US beauty queen crowned Miss Universe

By Staff reporters   January 15, 2023 | 03:33 am PT
Miss USA R'Bonney Gabriel, a model and sewing instructor, was crowned the 71st Miss Universe on Sunday (Hanoi time).

R'Bonney Gabriel is crowned the 71st Miss Universe. Video courtesy of FPT Play

Gabriel, the first Filipino-American to win Miss USA last year, is a model, fashion designer, and sewing instructor.

"I teach sewing classes to women that have survived from human trafficking and domestic violence. And I say that because it is so important to invest in others, invest in our community, and use your unique talent to make a difference," Gabriel said in response to the final question for the top 3 contenders, about how they would work to demonstrate Miss Universe as an empowering and progressive organization if they won the title.

"We all have something special and when we plant those seeds for other people in our life, we transform them and we use that as a vehicle for change."

The 28-year-old is the oldest beauty queen ever to win Miss Universe crown.

When she entered the Top 5, she was asked for her thought on Miss Universe's change to allow mothers and married women to compete this year.

Gabriel responded by saying she hoped the contest organizers would increase the candidate age limit.

"For me, I would like to see an age increase because I am 28 years old. And that is the oldest age to compete. And I think it's a beautiful thing. My favorite quote is 'if not now, then when?' Because as a woman, I believe age does not define us. It's not tomorrow, it's not yesterday -- but it's now. The time is now," she said.

She won the crown ahead of Amanda Dudamel from Venezuela and Andreína Martínez from the Dominican Republic.

This year Miss Universe was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, among 84 contestants from around the world.

Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Ngoc Chau did not make it to the top 16.

Chau, 29, won Vietnam’s Next Top Model in 2016. She was crowned Miss Supranational Vietnam in 2018 before winning the crown at the 2022 Miss Universe Vietnam.

Her sledge mat national costume at the 71st Miss Universe was selected among the top 10 by beauty peagant website Missosology.

Vietnamese beauty queen Nguyen Thi Ngoc Chau performs at Miss Universe 2023. Video courtesy of Miss Universe

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