Winning answers of 71st Miss Universe R'Bonney Gabriel

Texas-born R'Bonney Gabriel, 28, was crowned the 71st Miss Universe (Miss Universe 2022) on Saturday, January 14 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Apart from her winning looks and undeniable stage presence, R'Bonney also gave impressive answers during the question-and-answer rounds. During the Top 5 Q&A, she was asked by Vyral Media PR co-founder Mara Martin: "Miss Universe recently made an inclusive change, allowing mothers and married women to compete this year. What's another change you'd like to see, and why?"

She replied: "For me, I would like to see an age increase because I am 28 years old and that is the oldest age to compete, and I think it's a beautiful thing. My favorite quote is "if not now, then when" because as a woman, I believe age does not define us. It's not tomorrow, it's not yesterday, but it's now. The time is now that you can go after what you want."

R'Bonney advanced to the Top 3 where each of the finalists was only given 30 seconds to answer the nerve-racking final question: “If you win the Miss Universe, how would you demonstrate this an empowering and progressive organization?”

Her winning answer: “Well, I would use it to be a transformational leader. As a very passionate designer, I’ve been sewing for 13 years, I use fashion as a force for good. In my industry, I’m cutting down on pollution through recycled materials when I make my clothing. I teach sewing classes to women that have survived from human trafficking and domestic violence, and I say that because it is so important to invest in others, invest in our community, and use your unique talent to make a difference. We all have something special and when we plant those seeds to other people in our life, we transform them and we use that as a vehicle for change.”

The first ever Filipino-American Miss USA and Miss Universe won 10 years after Olivia Culpo's victory in Las Vegas, Nevada. She became the ninth US representative to win the prestigious pageant.

R'Bonney also became the first winner under the ownership of JKN Global Group, and the first to wear the new 6 million dollar Mouawad "Force for Good" crown and sustainable sash from The Sash Company.

As a voice for Asian Americans, she opens the door for more diversity and representation in society and her mission is for women and young girls to see themselves in her and feel inspired to conquer their goals by owning who they are.

Photos: Miss Universe


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