Miss Nicaragua wins Miss Universe 2023 for 1st time

Slay, queen.

Amber Tay | November 20, 2023, 05:00 PM



A new queen has been crowned for Miss Universe 2023.

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A post shared by Miss Universe (@missuniverse)

Sheynnis Palacios, 23, of Nicaragua was crowned Miss Universe 2023 at the 72nd Miss Universe Pageant in El Salvador on Nov. 18.

It is the first time a Nicaraguan has won the competition.

The runner-up was Thailand's Anntonia Porsild, 27, and the third place went to Moraya Wilson, 22, from Australia.

Miss Universe Singapore, Priyanka Annuncia, 26, was announced as a Top 10 Silver Finalist for the 72nd Miss Universe Voice For Change.

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Historic firsts

A total of 84 contestants, all winners of their own national pageants, competed in this year's Miss Universe Pageant.

Women from all across the globe compete for the title by vying for the top spot in four categories: personal statement, in-depth interview, evening gown and swimwear.

This also marks the first year where married women and mothers were allowed to compete, such as Miss Colombia Camila Avella and Miss Guatemala Michelle Cohn.

Other highlights included Miss Nepal being the first plus-size contestant and Pakistan's first participation in the competition, represented by Erica Robin.

Palacios was crowned by 2022's Miss Universe, R'Bonney Gabriel from the United States.

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A post shared by Miss Nicaragua (@missnicaraguaof)

Activist for mental health and gender equality

Sheynnis Palacios is a mental health advocate, having suffered from anxiety attacks.

She has competed in pageants since she was 15 years old.

She previously represented Nicaragua in the 2017 Teen Miss Universe pageant, placing in the top 10, and in the 2021 Miss World pageant.

In her final answer to the jury, she emphasised the need to close the gender wage gap and give women the opportunities to work in any area they wish.

"There are no limitations for women," she said.

Top image via @sheynnispalacios_of/Instagram