Catriona Gray, 24, Miss Philippines, was elected Miss Universe in Bangkok, beating the competitors of 93 other countries. Gray, who wore a red dress that was inspired by a volcano in her country, said she chose that color “because when I was 13 my mother dreamed that I became Miss Universe and I wore a red dress.”
Gray was elected by a jury of women only, for the first time in the history of the competition.
The Philippines, where beauty contests are very popular, have greeted the victory with great enthusiasm.
Even President Rodrigo Duterte, through his office, congratulated himself. The Miss Universe contest this year saw the first transgender contestant, Miss Spain Angela Ponce, and the controversies that touched US competitor Sarah Rose Summers, who would make fun of Cambodia and Vietnam’s competitors for their broken English. Summers later apologized.