The South African Zozibini Tunzi, new Miss Universe. AFP

Tunzi shone at the gala both in the part of parades with swimsuit and evening dresses as in the interventions before the microphone

Some of the candidates launched feminist messages from the stage and claimed equality between men and women

The South African Zozibini Tunzi has won Miss Universe 2019 and has left honey on the lips of Puerto Rico and Mexico, who caressed the title but, in the end, could not take the crown.

Tunzi, the third South African to triumph in the history of this competition and that conquered the public and the jury with their ideas against racism and machismo, prevailed at the gala held this Sunday night in Atlanta (USA) to the Puerto Rican Madison Anderson , who was named first bridesmaid; and the Mexican Sofía Aragón , who was chosen as the second maid of honor.

The night seemed to promise great news for Latin aspirants, since four Latin American candidates (Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Peru) passed several cuts until they sneaked into the ten finalists of Miss Universe 2019.

However, the world title will not travel this time to Latin America, a land with great passion for these beauty contests but that has not been done with a crown of this competition since the Colombian Paulina Vega won in 2014.

The 26-year-old Tunzi, a Tsolo native , shone at the gala both at the parade with swimsuit and evening gowns and at the microphone , where he garnered great applause from fans for his opinions against the racial discrimination.

"I grew up in a world where a woman like me, with my skin type and my hair type, was never considered beautiful . And I think it's time for that to end today," Tunzi said in his last message before. of the final deliberation.

The South African Zozibini Tunzi. | AFP

In another part of the night, the South African had to answer a question about what she thinks is the most important thing that girls should be taught today .

" Leadership . It's something that young women and women have lacked for a long time, not because they didn't want it but because of how society has labeled how women should be," he said.

" I think we are the most powerful beings in the world ... and we should teach girls to gain space. There is nothing more important than gaining space in society and strengthening yourself."

Ninety women arrived from all corners of the world participated in the gala, which took place at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta and which featured Steve Harvey as master of ceremonies, who is still remembered for proclaiming in 2015 as winner of Miss Universe to the Colombian Ariadna Gutierrez when, in reality, the winner was Filipino Pia Wurtzbach.

The first round, which only exceeded 20 of the applicants , was based on preliminary tests that were organized in the days before Miss Universe.

Already in the televised gala, the selection committee, formed entirely by women and with the Colombian Paulina Vega and the Venezuelan Gaby Espino within the jury, was discarding applicants from the parades in bathing suits and with evening dresses, and also based on the questions to the contestants.

Among the issues on which the candidates were questioned were the social protests that different countries have experienced in recent weeks, the boundaries between government surveillance and the right to privacy of citizens, or the fight against the climate crisis .

In Miss Universe 2019 there were also moments for the smile, such as when Colombian Gabriela Tafur Nader dedicated an affectionate wink to one of the spectators.

"Grandma, I love you very much, thank you very much for coming," said the representative of Colombia to her excited grandmother.

In addition, some of the candidates launched feminist messages from the stage and claimed equality between men and women.

"Thanks to feminists of the past today I have better rights," said Brazilian Júlia Horta, while Dominican Clauvid Daly said she will fight child marriage so that "girls remain girls and are not girlfriends."

For its part, Puerto Rican Madison Anderson highlighted her commitment against sexist violence and Colombian Gabriela Tafur Nader advocated for the right of women to decide fully about their sex life.

"The most important thing is that women can decide on our own bodies . We have to be able to access quality health so that any decision we make about our body, our health and our reproduction, never puts our lives at risk" , he claimed.

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