Miss Universe recap


Yasmin Vizguerra, Reporter

The 2018 Miss Universe beauty pageant has received a fair amount of attention for a multitude of reasons, but for the most part because this year the first transgender woman was allowed to compete.

      Miss Spain, Angela Ponce, was the first trans woman to have competed after the company, having been previously owned by President Donald Trump, changed its policy in 2012 after the company faced heavy criticism after Canada disqualified contestant, Jenna Talackova, when learning she was trans, saying it was because she was not a “naturally born” woman. It wasn’t until she threatened legal action that they changed the policy.

     Talackova was then given the right to continue competing but she never advanced in the pageant, making Ponce the first trans woman to have done so.

     Ponce beat 22 other contestants to be named Miss Spain.

    Ponce has been dancing since she was seen and for the pageant, her national costume, Ponce sported a traditional Spanish “Bata de Cola” which most typically recognized with the flamenco dance.

     Although Ponce, 27, didn’t manage to make it past the first round, she was welcomed with a special tribute in the finals.

     She received a standing ovation on Sunday night as she walked with her sash raised above her head.

  “It’s cool to see that there’s been a trans woman able to compete, it’s fair because every woman should be granted the access even as trans,” said Eduardo Nunez (‘20).

     Meanwhile, Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers, was criticized for being xenophobic and making borderline racist remarks about a fellow contestant, Miss Cambodia after posting a video to Instagram where she teased Miss Cambodia on her accent and how no one else knew her language.

    Summers apologized after a fashion account, Diet Prada, compared her to Regina George from Mean Girls, later saying her whole career centered around her being an empathetic woman and that she meant no harm.

     One of the highlights from the pageant however dealt around a contestant who never even got the chance to step foot on stage.

    Miss Sierra Leone, Marie Esther Bangura, had to travel from Ghana then to Nigeria where she had to apply for a Thai visa in order to compete.

    The process took two weeks, Bangura arriving a few days too late to compete.

    Bangura stayed in Thai, natives being very sympathetic and even giving her a tour during her stay.

     Miss Philippines, Catriona Gray, was named the winner at the 67th annual pageant.

     Gray is the fourth Filipina to have won the pageant.

     “It’s crazy to see how many times the Philippines has had people win, they must be doing something right,” said Jenna Kay (‘21).

     The theme of the pageant this year was “Empowered Women,” being judged by seven women including former pageant winners, businesswomen, and a fashion designer.