The beauty queen from Riffa posted an update on her Instagram, sharing photos and videos taken at Dubai International Airport as she departed for the US. In them, she wears a long, blue-feathered couture jacket by Furne One over blue jeans.
“A lot of people are saying I don’t fit a Miss Universe winner template. They say that I am just a pretty face but lack in height, don’t know how to answer a pageant question, doesn’t show much skin. So many feedback that sometimes I go back and listen to it,” she captioned the post.
She goes on to explain how she hopes to make a difference with her appearance and hopes to change stereotypical views on Arab women.
“I came here in Miss Universe with a different purpose. I want to be the voice for women who are afraid to show themselves because society has already made a judgment without even knowing them, because they lack the certain standards and stereotypes that they have moulded in their minds. I want to tell them the stories and histories of Arabian women — how they fight and live their lives to the fullest.
“I want to be the force of change and the force for good. A new template of women that most people, especially those whose voices are unheard or kept on the side. I want them to see me as a reflection of themselves, that they can do it as well, that they can build their own stage — if people decide not to give them one.
She concluded: “I wish the new Miss Universe will be a girl who can break all barriers and stereotypes, and will have a voice to challenge the norms, and will have a new light to the Miss Universe organisation. And I really do hope that I can dedicate my life to be in this mission. See you in New Orleans.”
Who is Evlin Khalifa?
Khalifa, 24, was crowned Miss Bahrain in September. She is a trained pianist and model who was born to a Russian mother and Bahraini father. She has the honour of being only the second beauty queen to represent the kingdom at Miss Universe.
She follows in the footsteps of Manar Deyani, who last year made history by participating on her country's behalf for the first time.
"This is the best moment in my life," Khalifa previously told The National. "When I was crowned, I felt so blessed, so honoured and so happy. I am very thankful for all of the support and trust, and I feel like it is my birthday, but even better."