70th Miss Universe is Harnaaz Sandhu of India


India's Harnaaz Sandhu topped a field of some 80 contestants to be crowned the 70th Miss Universe on Sunday, December 12 at the Universe Dome in Eilat, Israel.

The 21-year-old model and actress became the third Indian representative to win the coveted Miss Universe title. She succeeds Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Meza of Mexico.

Nadia Ferreira of Paraguay and Lalela Mswane of South Africa were the first and second runners-up, respectively, while Valeria Ayos of Colombia and Beatrice Gomez of the Philippines completed the Top 5 finalists.

Completing the Top 10 were the contestants from Aruba, Thessaly Zimmerman, France, Clémence Botino, Puerto Rico, Michelle Colón, The Bahamas, Chantel O'Brian, and the USA, Elle Smith.

The contestants from Great Britain, Emma Collingridge, Japan, Juri Watanabe, Panama, Brenda Smith, Singapore, Nandita Banna, Venezuela, Luiseth Materán, and Vietnam, Nguyen Huynh Kim Duyen were the rest of the Top 16 semi-finalists.

The new Miss Universe is a strong advocate for women's empowerment, particularly their constitutional rights to education, careers, and freedom of choice.

Harnaaz draws inspiration from her mother, who broke generations of patriarchy to become a successful gynecologist and led her family. Driven to support other women the same way, she grew up working with her mother at health camps addressing women's health and menstrual hygiene.

The Indian beauty will now go to New York where she will be based throughout the duration of her reign. She will travel the world and campaign for social causes supported by the Miss Universe Organization.

Apart from wearing the power of unity crown by Mouawad, Harnaaz will also receive sponsored prizes and will be provided a salary while reigning as Miss Universe.



Photos: Tracy Nguyen, Benjamin Askinas / Miss Universe Organization

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