Move over, Meghan Markle.
You aren’t the only beauty who will forever now be associated with wearing a tiara.
On the heels of the exciting Markle and Prince Harry engagement news, the annual Miss Universe Pageant aired live from Las Vegas on Sunday night.
At the outset of the sexist competition (seriously, how do events such as this still exist in 2017?!?), 92 women were on stage, set to strut their stuff and answer dumb questions in hopes of earning the ultimate honor.
In the end, however, only one could be crowned champion.
And that one was Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters!
The holder of a business management degree, Nel-Peters knocked off runner-up Miss Colombia Laura Gonzalez and third place finisher Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett to claim the crown.
Shortly after it was placed on her head, the new Miss Universe was asked to comment on sexual harassment, considering the accusations swirling around Hollywood these days.
Replied the 22-year old:
“If women take hands and stand together, we are unbreakable and we can say no to the things that are wrong in the workplace, at home or wherever you might go.”
(Perhaps women can also take hands and stand together against a competition that pits them against each other in categories such as Swimsuit Wearing and Evening Gown Donning.)
Three days of preliminary interviews and judging took place before the broadcast yesterday.
Nearly as soon as Miss Universe went live last night, 16 semi finalists and then the final Top 10 were announced.
These women, naturally, then went on to compete in swimwear, evening gown, final question and final look rounds.
At one point, host Steve Harvey asked the eventual winner:
“What quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality to your time as Miss Universe?”
This is how Nel-Peters responded:
As Miss Universe you have to be confident in who you are as an individual. And Miss Universe is a woman that has overcome many fears and by that she is able to help other women to overconme their fears.
She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for and I think that is exactly who I am.
Referencing his famous gaffe in 2015, when he read the wrong name as champion, Harvey poked fun at himself when the climactic moment arrived.
“Be afraid. Be very afraid,” he told the remaining contestants prior to crowning Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.
Nel-Peters hails from the South African coastal community of Sedgefield in the Western Cape province.
She helped develop a program to train women in self defense after she was robbed at gunpoint a month after she was crowned as Miss South Africa.
After waving to the crowd and accepting the honor, Miss Universe said she has a number of causes on which she hopes to focus.
“HIV/AIDS is a very big problem in my country South Africa, so I hope to stand as an advocate for that,” she cited as an example.
Nel-Peters also earned a year-long salary and a luxury apartment in New York City for the duration of her reign, along with other prizes.
This is a very dumb and insulting event that really ought to be canceled.
But that doesn’t mean we aren’t happy for Nel-Peters.
Long may she wave!