Miss Universe 2021 Finalists Tackle Mental Health, COVID-19, Domestic Violence and More

The Miss Universe pageant took place last night, and during their final questions and statements, the finalists addressed difficult subjects including domestic violence and mental health.

Among these tough subjects, Miss Mexico, who would go on to win the Miss Universe title, discussed changing beauty standards, while runner-up Miss Brazil discussed women in leadership and mental health. Miss India tackled a question on COVID-19 while Miss Peru shared a message of hope for victims of domestic violence.

Missed the pageant last night? You can watch the powerful statements from the Miss Universe finalists below.

Miss Mexico on Changing Beauty Standards

Mexico's Andrea Meza, aged 26, was crowned as Miss Universe last night. In her final statement, she discussed changing beauty standards and said: "We live in a society that is increasingly advanced and just as we have advanced as a society we have also advanced in stereotypes.

"Today, beauty does not only lie in how we see ourselves, for me the beauty lies in our spirit, soul, and the values ​​as we handle ourselves. Never allow someone to tell you that you have no value."


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— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) May 17, 2021

Miss Brazil on Women in Leadership and Mental Health

Miss Universe runner-up Julia Gama, aged 27, is an actress, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker.

Miss Brazil answered her final question on women in leadership and said: "Women are such an important part of society, and just because we are not encouraged in the same way men are, we have our potential wasted.

"The world needs women's contributions because we came for some reason and I invite every woman to understand that we are the leaders of our lives, and yes, we can do a lot for our communities. So please, take your power."

A strong message from Brazil. #MISSUNIVERSE

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— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) May 17, 2021

For her final statement, Miss Brazil discussed mental health and said: "Mental health is still a very stigmatized topic and it keeps us from giving the right assistance to those in need. So may we all tonight remember to normalize conversations about anxiety or depression because we all hurt sometimes. But we don't need to face it alone.

"May we all come together because togetherness is our strength, and together we can overcome anything. So let's support each other, let's share empathy."


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— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) May 17, 2021

Miss India on COVID-19

Maria Thattil, aged 28, a founder, speaker, corporate professional, digital creator, and activist, was asked about COVID-19 and whether or not countries should issue lockdowns.

Miss India said: "Coming from India and witnessing what India is experiencing right now, I have realized something very important: that nothing is more important than the health of your loved ones.

"You have to draw a balance between the economy and health, and that can only be done when the government works with the people, hand in hand, and produces something that will work with the economy."

What a powerful final answer from India. #MISSUNIVERSE

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— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) May 17, 2021

Miss Peru on Domestic Violence

Janick Maceta, aged 26, works as an audio engineer and represented Peru in the Miss Universe pageant. Her final question was on what she would say to victims of sexual and domestic abuse.

Miss Peru said: "I would tell [victims of domestic abuse] that I admire their strength, that they're survivors, and that I have been there too. I became the hero of my own story.

"That's why I advocate to save little girls from being victims. They're survivors, they're heroes, they have the power. Don't ever, ever make anyone silence your voice."

Last up for the final question is Peru, with a powerful message. #MISSUNIVERSE

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— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) May 17, 2021
Miss Universe participants congratulate Miss Mexico
Miss Mexico Andrea Meza is crowned Miss Universe 2021 onstage at the Miss Universe 2021 Pageant at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on May 16, 2021, in Hollywood, Florida. Rodrigo Varela/Stringer/Getty