After an exhilarating wait of 21 years, India’s Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu has been crowned the 70th Miss Universe 2021 today. The last Indian to have won the Miss Universe crown was Lara Dutta in 2000 and Sushmita Sen in 1994. The 70th Miss Universe pageant was live-streamed globally.
Held in Eilat, Israel, Harnaaz competed against contestants from Paraguay and South Africa to win the title in the final round. The first and the second runners-up were Paraguay and South Africa respectively. Harnaaz beat 79 other contestants from various countries and territories to clinch the title. The crown was presented to Harnaaz by Andrea Meza, Miss Universe 2020 from Mexico.
As a part of the Top 3 round, the contestants were asked "What advice would you give to young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today". India’s Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu answered, "Well, I think the biggest pressure the youth of today is facing is to believe in themselves. To know that you are unique and that's what makes you beautiful, stop comparing yourselves with others, and let's talk about more important things that are happening worldwide. I think this is what you need to understand. Come out, speak for yourself, because you are the leader of your life. You are the voice of your own [life]. I believe in myself and that's why I'm standing here today. Thank you.”
For the final event, Harnaaz wore a scintillating embellished gown with a plunging V-neckline. The beautiful gown featured mirrorwork in geometric shapes and sequins that dazzled. The 21-year old completed her winning look with tear-drop earrings, loose curls, glossy lips, nude smoky eyes and blushed cheeks.
Prior to reaching the finals, in the Top 5 round, she was asked, “Many people think climate change is a hoax, what would you do to convince them otherwise?” She gracefully answered, "My heart breaks to see how nature is going through a lot of problems, and it is all due to our irresponsible behaviour. I totally feel that this is the time to take action and talk less. Because our every action could save or kill nature. Preventing and protecting is better than repent and repair and this is what I am trying to convince you guys today."
Who is Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu?
A resident of Punjab, Harnaaz Sandhu started her modelling and pageant journey with Times Fresh Face in 2017. The model-actress has won numerous pageant titles such as Miss Universe India 2021 in October and Femina Miss India Punjab 2019, as well. Currently, she is pursuing her Master's degree in Public Administration, she has even acted in several Punjabi-regional movies too.
A proud moment for the country, we couldn’t be happier and proud for this historic moment, Harnaaz!