The newest most beautiful woman in the universe has been crowned. South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters bested all 91 other contestants who represented their respective countries from around the world.
The 22-year-old beauty queen was born in June 1995 in Sedgefield, Western Cape. She is a degree-holder in Business Management from one of South Africa’s most prestigious tertiary institutions, North Western University. In high school, she made history for holding two leadership positions simultaneously.
In her biography posted at the Miss Universe website, she disclosed that her greatest motivation come from her disabled half-sister, who lives in Potchefstroom with her dad and stepmom.
She also shared that she is passionate about a program that helps train women to do self-defense in different situations. She intends to share such workshops so she can help more women.
This advocacy could be pinpointed to a recent experience when she was carjacked at Hyde Park. The incident happened just a month after she was crowned Miss South Africa. She said she was forced to get into her car after handing over her car keys to the carjackers. To free herself from the situation, she managed to punch one of those attackers in the throat and run away to seek help.
Nel-Peters also stirred some controversies in the past months. Among which was a viral photo she herself posted wherein she can be seen wearing gloves while serving food to black children during a charity event in Soweto in her home country.
Critics and social media bashers accused her of wearing gloves to avoid getting in direct contact with black children. To justify their accusations, they posted recent photos of Nel-Peters touching white children without gloves during other events.
To address the controversy, Ms South Africa posted a video on her Twitter account with captions that read: “I truly hope that you’ll hear my heart and understand that it came from a place of wanting to do good.”
In the video she explained, “All the volunteers on site wore gloves that day because we honestly thought that it’s the right thing to do while working with the food. That was unintentional as wearing of gloves was purely for hygienic (purposes). My intentions were taken up completely wrong.”
As expected some of her bashers did not accept that explanation and even continued to poke fun at her by promoting #MissSAchallenge over the social media.
Nel-Peters was among the crowd favorites during Miss Universe’s preliminary events. She was even among the top 3 contestants that most pageant analysts had predicted to bring home the crown that night.
She awed judges and audiences at The Axis Theater at Planet Hollywood casino-resort in Las Vegas, Nevada when she gave her answer to the final question: “What quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality in your time as Miss Universe?”
She responded: “As Miss Universe, you have to be confident in who you are as an individual. A Miss Universe is a woman that has overcome many fears and by that she is able to help other women overcome their fears. She is a woman that nothing is ever too much is asked for and that’s exactly who I am.”
Aside from the prestige and numerous opportunities to travel around the world for various purposes, the new Miss Universe will also earn a yearlong salary and the right to live in a luxury apartment in New York City for the entire duration of her reign, of course on top of many other prizes.