Miss Universe 2023: Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua wins in inclusive year for pageant

A number of the contestants made history at the event, held in El Salvador

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Miss Universe Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios has been crowned the 72nd Miss Universe at the 2023 pageant, held in El Salvador.

Palacios, 23, was named the winner in the early hours of Sunday morning, after days of elimination rounds. She was crowned by the previous year's Miss Universe R'Bonney Gabriel from the US.

In the final round, she beat Miss Universe Thailand Anntonia Porsild, a Danish-Thai model, to receive the coveted crown created by Lebanese jeweller Mouawad.

The rest of the final 10 consisted of Miss Universe Australia, Moraya Wilson; Miss Universe Colombia, Camila Avella; Miss Universe Puerto Rico, Karla Guilfu; Miss Universe El Salvador, Isabella Garcia-Manzo; Miss Universe Peru, Camila Escribens; Miss Universe Philippines, Michelle Dee; Miss Universe Spain, Athenea Perez; and Miss Universe Venezuela, Diana Silva.

Palacios, is a communications graduate and TV presenter. Earlier this year she beat nine other contestants to the Miss Universe Nicaragua title.

She is also an experienced beauty queen, having participated in several contests including Miss World last year where she finished in the top 40.

An inclusive year for Miss Universe

The final 20 included Jane Dipika Garrett, the first plus-size contestant to win the Miss Universe Nepal crown.

“I love my curves! My body is my temple and I will take care of it as holy ground,” Garrett wrote on Instagram, sharing images of herself wearing a silver Rubin Singer swimsuit in the swimwear round.

“As a woman who is curvy and who does not meet certain beauty standards, I'm here to represent women who are curvy, who struggle with weight gain, who struggle with hormonal issues,” she said following her Miss Universe Nepal win in September.

“I believe that there is not only one type of beauty standard but every single woman is beautiful just as she is.”

Also in the top 20 was Erica Robin, the first Miss Universe Pakistan.

“I am honoured and humbled to be the first-ever Miss Universe Pakistan and I want to highlight the beauty … and culture of Pakistan,” Robin wrote in a post on Instagram, after being crowned Miss Universe Pakistan in September.

“I would like to invite everyone to visit my country and try the most sumptuous Pakistani cuisine and explore our enchanting nature, snow-capped mountains, greenery and progressive landscapes.”

Miss Universe Colombia Avella's success in the pageant is also a significant one, as the first married contestant to make the top five. A model and TV presenter, Avella won Miss Universe Colombia after the rule change in August 2022, which dictated that married women and mothers could enter the competition from the 2023 event onwards.

Updated: November 19, 2023, 6:23 AM