Viewers go wild for history-making Miss Nepal in this year’s Miss Universe competition
This year’s 72nd Miss Universe competition was full of historic firsts.
One woman who emerged from the competition with an overwhelming amount of support is 22-year-old Miss Nepal, Jane Dipika Garrett.
Garrett won the title of Miss Nepal earlier this year and represented the nation at the Miss Universe competition at the Gimnasio Nacional José Adolfo Pineda in San Salvador, El Salvador on November 18 – becoming the first-ever plus-sized contestant to ever take to the prestigious stage.
“As a curvy woman who doesn’t follow certain beauty standards, I’m here to represent all women,” she said, per Indy100, proud to be an advocate of body positivity.
And the importance of Garrett’s inclusion wasn’t lost on those in attendance, as they erupted with cheers when the 22-year-old took to the stage in a stunning silver one-piece for the swimsuit competition.
Viewers at home couldn’t help but voice their delight, with many taking to X (formerly known as Twitter) to praise the beauty queen.
“OH WOW Nepal’s Jane Dipika Garrett is SUCH A BEAUTY and defies stereotype in Miss Universe. I LOVE that the crowd is cheering for her. Finally a representation of plus size women in the Ms. U!!! GOO GOO JANE cheering for you,” one person tweeted.
Another added: “Jane Dipika Garrett, you’ve broken barriers. Many women around the world see themselves in you. Congrats on Top 20, my sentimental fave.”
And a third viewer tweeted: “Pleased to see Miss Nepal in the Miss Universe Competition which is dominated by slim ladies. It’s refreshing to see all body types there too. Women have all sorts of bodies and every kind of body is beautiful.”
As well as being an advocate for body positivity, Garrett also uses her platform to champion hormonal health, PCOS, and mental health – after her own struggles with PCOS led to depression. She previously told Hola Magazine: “A few years ago, I was a very insecure person and had very low self-esteem. Now, I love myself, and that’s success to me.”
Another groundbreaking first from the competition was that this year’s Miss Universe featured the very first Miss Pakistan.
Representing the nation was Erica Robin – who also made a trailblazing statement during the swimsuit competition.
After hitting the stage, the San Salvador erupted with applause as Robin donned a stunning pastel pink burkini that covered much of her body – a stunning look when compared to the many daring swimsuits that had paraded the stage.
Sadly, per BBC News, Robin’s inclusion in the completion was met with backlash, with some Pakistan politicians calling it “shameful” and even the Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar ul-Haq Kakar even ordering an investigation.
Responding to the uproar, 24-year-old Robin said: “It feels great to represent Pakistan. But I don’t understand where the backlash is coming from. I think it is this idea that I would be parading in a swimsuit in a room full of men.”
Prior to the competition, Robin said she hoped to “change [the] mindset that Pakistan is a backward country”.
The competition was eventually won by Miss Nicaragua, Sheynnis Palacios.