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Who is Andrea Meza, winner of Miss Universe?

After the 2020 edition was cancelled due to covid-19, the Mexican was victorious at the 69th Miss Universe beauty pageant in Hollywood, Florida on Sunday.

Who is Andrea Meza, winner of Miss Universe?
Rodrigo Varela AFP

On Sunday night Andrea Meza was crowned the winner of the Miss Universe beauty pageant in the awards 69th annual ceremony in Hollywood, Florida.

The 26-year-old entered the competition as Miss Mexico and wrote "MÉXICO ESTO ES PARA TI," 'Mexico this is for you', in an Instagram post shortly after the announcement was made.

She was one of 74 competitors from all around the world to make it to the event, and beat Julia Gama (Miss Brazil) and Janick Maceta Del Castillo (Miss Peru) to the top prize. South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi had held the title for nearly 18 months after the 2020 ceremony was cancelled due to covid-19.

Who is Andrea Meza?

The 26-year-old from Chihuahua City, Mexico was representing her home country at the pageant and is also the official Tourism Brand Ambassador for her hometown. She became the third Miss Mexico to be crowned Miss Universe after Ximena Navarrete in 2010 and Lupita Jones in 1991.

Meza has a degree in software engineering from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua after graduating in 2017, subsequently working as a software engineer. She is also an activist who focuses on women’s rights and is currently involved in projects with the Municipal Institute for Women, a UNESCO organisation aimed at tackling gender-based violence.

She is a passionate vegan who uses her significant social media following to promote an active and healthy lifestyle. As well as being a model, Meza is also a certified make-up artist and lists extreme sports as one of her interests.

What did Meza say after being crowned Miss Universe?

Sunday’s event was co-hosted by Access Hollywood's Mario Lopez and Olivia Culpo, winner of the competition’s 2012 edition, with a guest performance from Luis Fonsi.

Throughout the competition contestants often mix pageantry with political messages and are not afraid to comment on contemporary issues.

During the ceremony, Meza spoke about the prevalence of beauty standards in society: "Nowadays beauty isn't only the way we look. For me, beauty radiates not only in our spirit, but in our hearts and the way that we conduct ourselves. Never permit someone to tell you that you're not valuable."

After being announced as 2021 Miss Universe, a press release from Meza spoke of her delight to be crowned the winner.

"I am so honored to have been selected among the 73 other amazing women I stood with tonight," she said. "It is a dream come true to wear the Miss Universe crown, and I hope to serve the world through my advocacy for equality in the year to come and beyond."