Gabriel R’Bonney from the United States was crowned the 71st Miss Universe on Saturday night.
Gabriel, who last year became the first Filipino-American to win Miss USA, won the crown ahead of Amanda Dudamel of Venezuela and Andreína Martínez of the Dominican Republic.
The pageant was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, with 84 women from around the world competing for the crown.
Saturday night was the last day of the competition, with eliminations reducing the number of finalists until the final two remained.
Gabriel replied that she hoped the pageant organizers would raise the age limit for contestants.
“For me, I’d like to see an age increase because I’m 28. And that’s the highest age to compete. And I think that’s a beautiful thing. My favorite quote is ‘ if not now, then when?’ Because as a woman, I believe age doesn’t define us. It’s not tomorrow, it’s not yesterday, but it’s now. The time has come,” she said. declared.
Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel is crowned at the Miss Universe pageant in New Orleans on January 14, 2023. Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Gabriel, originally from Houston, is a model, fashion designer and sewing instructor who prioritizes the environment in her work.
In the final Q&A segment of the pageant, the top 3 contestants were asked how they would work to demonstrate that Miss Universe is an empowering and progressive organization if they win the title.
Gabriel said she would use the platform to be a “transformational leader” and highlighted her passion as a force for good in the fashion industry by reducing pollution and using recycled materials in fashion. clothing manufacturing.
“We all have something special and when we plant those seeds for other people in our lives, we transform them and use them as a vehicle for change.”
Jakkaphong has been candid about her experiences as a transgender woman and is also the first female pageant owner.
A previous version of this article misidentified Gabriel. She is the first Filipina-American to win Miss USA.