Ousted Miss Universe Bolivia says stripping of title is 'absolutely unfair'

Fernanda Pavisic described other competitors as 'old ladies' in a viral Instagram video

Miss Universe Bolivia 2022 Fernandec Pavisic made insulting comments about fellow beauty queens. Photo: Instagram / @fernandapavisic_
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Fernanda Pavisic, who was supposed to represent Bolivia in Miss Universe 2022, was stripped of her title — a move she has said is “absolutely unfair”.

The model, 23, was dethroned after an Instagram video of her mocking other Miss Universe candidates went viral.

In the video, Pavisic called Miss Brazil, Miss El Salvador and Miss Paraguay “old ladies”, while claiming the representatives of Ecuador, Aruba, and Curacao all belong in the “thanks for participating” category.

Pavisic, who has won several local beauty pageants in the South American nation, also insulted contestants from Peru, Venezuela and Argentina.

Pageant fans immediately called her out for her behaviour, as, according to rules stipulated by the pageants, beauty queens are meant to act as ambassadors of goodwill, champions of diversity and observe proper social decorum and poise at all times.

Pavisic deleted the controversial Instagram Story, and defended herself in another video in which she described her remarks as being part of a “social experiment” on the type of content that goes viral online.

Promociones Gloria, the owner of the Miss Universe Bolivia franchise, took away her crown on Thursday. On her Instagram page, Pavisic expressed disappointment in the decision, saying it was “absolutely unfair”.

The Bolivian organisation has since announced a new Miss Universe 2022 delegate — Maria Camila Sanabria Pereyra, who recently represented the country in the Indonesia-held Miss Grand International 2022 in October.

"I'm getting ready to represent my country in the best way possible. I'm not perfect, I'm aware. I need to improve, and I'm short on time, but I'll work with my heart," Pereyra said in an Instagram post on Saturday.

The Miss Universe Bolivia shake-up happens only weeks before the global pageant in New Orleans on January 14.

Usually held in December, the glitzy beauty pageant earlier postponed the coronation, reportedly to avoid clashing with the ongoing Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

Organisers of Miss Universe 2022 are expecting about 90 candidates — which includes Miss Universe Bahrain Evlin Khalifa, the second contestant from the Gulf country. Last year, the island was represented by Manar Nadeem Deyani, a fashion designer who lives in Dubai.

Miss Universe 2021 winner Harnaaz Sandhu from India will crown her successor at the pageant.

Miss Universe is one of the longest-running and most-watched beauty competitions in the world; it is broadcast in 165 countries and seen by more than half a billion people annually.

Beauty pageants are often rife with controversy. Most recently, Miss Montana USA Heather Lee O’Keefe claimed the Miss USA contest was rigged after R’Bonney Gabriel became the first Filipino-American to win Miss Texas and made history again as the first to be crowned Miss USA.

"Bottom line is, most of the Miss USA contestants feel very strongly that there was favouritism towards Miss Texas USA and we have the receipts to prove it," she claimed in a TikTok video.

Last April, the Mrs World contest made global headlines when title holder Caroline Jurie resigned amid controversy surrounding a crown-snatching incident at a Sri Lankan beauty contest. Kate Schneider from Ireland, the first runner-up, was named the new Mrs World 2020.

Scroll through the gallery below to see some of the Miss Universe 2022 contestants

Updated: December 04, 2022, 8:11 AM