She was crowned at the event on Sunday in Florida after beating other contestants in the competition.
The Sunday night marked the return of the Miss Universe competition to television after the pageant was cancelled in 2020 for the first time due to the covid-19 pandemic.
The 26 year-old Miss Mexico, Andrea Meza, finished first ahead of the Brazilian and Peruvian finalists in a flashy televised event, hosted by American actor Mario Lopez and television personality Olivia Culpo.
Former Miss Universe contestants Cheslie Kryst, Paulina Vega and Demi-Leigh Tebow (who won the title in 2017) served as competition analysts and commentators, and members a panel of eight women that determined the winner.
Dressed in a sparkling red evening gown, Meza tearfully walked the catwalk as Miss Universe for the first time, before rushing back for a group hug with other competitors.
Meza beat more than 70 contestants from around the world to emerged as winner.
The 69th installment of Miss Universe event was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Leading up to the final competition, Miss Myanmar, Thuzar Wint Lwin, who was among the top 21, used her time in the spotlight to bring attention to the coup in her country.
“Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day,” she said during her biographical video, which showed photos of her taking part in the anti-coup protests. “Therefore I would like to urge everyone to speak out about Myanmar.”
She won the award for best national costume; during the competition segment on Thursday, where she wore an outfit beaded in traditional Burmese patterns and held up a sign that read “Pray for Myanmar.”
Her country has been in an uproar since February 1, when the army ousted civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
And according to local monitoring group, at least 796 people have been killed by security forces since then, while nearly 4,000 people are behind bars.
Miss Singapore, Bernadette Belle Ong, who did not make the top 21, also used the national costume period to make a political statement.
Dressed in a glittering red bodysuit and matching thigh-high boots, she turned around to reveal her cape, in the colors of the Singaporean flag, which was painted with the caption “Stop Asian Hate.”
“What is this platform for if I can’t use it to send a strong message of resistance against prejudice and violence?” she wrote on Instagram alongside pictures of her outfit.
You will recall that the United States have witnessed a surge in anti-Asian violence in the past year, which activists have blamed on former president Donald Trump’s rhetoric, especially his repeated description of Covid-19 as the “China virus.”
The pageant, which has drawn criticism in the past for objectifying the contestants, had in recent years, focused more on female empowerment and activism.