India’s Harnaaz Sandhu makes history as she is crowned Miss Universe 2021. It’s a big day for the country as the crown is brought home 21 years after Lara Dutta won the title in 2000. Held on 12th December in Eilat, Israel, the 21-year-old from Punjab represented India at the 70th instalment of the pageant.
Sandhu was presented the crown by Andrea Meza, former title owner from Mexico, at the event, which was live-streamed globally and had to edge out contestants from Paraguay and South Africa to claim the crown.
Talking to her Instagram, Miss Universe 2021 winner Harnaaz Sandhu wrote, “It has never been my journey, it has been Our journey. I began with baby steps, and as I come closer to the end, I wish to thank all my panelists for being an integral part of my learning. I thank my designers for making me shine at the pageant. Thank you for moulding me into the girl you see on stage today. I’m blessed.”
According to the Times of India, the Miss Universe 2021 contestants were asked, “What advice would you give to young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today,” as part of the top three-round. Harnaaz Sandhu said, “The biggest pressure the youth of today is facing is to believe in themselves. To know that you are unique makes you beautiful.”
“Stop comparing yourselves with others, and let’s talk about more important things that are happening worldwide. Come out, speak for yourself, because you are the leader of your life. You are the voice of your own. I believed in myself, and that is why I am standing here today,” Sandhu continued.
Before Harnaaz Sandhu and Lara Dutta made their country proud, Sushmita Sen changed history as she had become the first Indian woman to win Miss Universe almost 27 years back. Other Bollywood beauties who have won a pageant title are Priyanka Chopra, who won Miss World crown in 2000, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in 1994.