Miss Universe: The highly anticipated Miss Universe 2022 pageant took place on January 14 in New Orleans where R'Bonney Gabriel from the United States was crowned the 71st Miss Universe. Meanwhile, India's contestant Divita Rai made it to the Top 16 of Miss Universe this year.
Who is Divita Rai
Born in Mangaluru, Karnataka, Divita Rai graduated from Mumbai's Sir JJ College of Architecture. The 25-year-old Indian model finished as the second runner-up in Miss Diva Universe 2021 but lost the crown to the winner Harnaaz Sandhu (who went on to become Miss Universe).
At Miss Diva 2021 competition, she won the sub-contest titles of Miss IQ, Miss Lifestyle, and Miss Sudoku.
Later in August 2022, Rai was crowned Miss Diva Universe by the outgoing titleholder Harnaaz Sandhu.
Rai's take on education and overcoming challenges
In an interview with Health Shots, she shared that since her childhood, her parents have emphasised on education. "I truly believe that education is important to give you confidence and to acquire life skills, and not just from an academic standpoint," she said.
"Education is my advocacy too. I want girls, especially, to be educated because it can give them the confidence to take their life and destiny in their own hands, on their own terms," she added.
In the same interview, she opened up about her struggle with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
"I have to exercise and have a healthy diet, to curb my PCOS from aggravating. It’s a challenge for every woman – her body type is different and her needs are different at every phase of life, So, we’ve got to first respect ourselves and believe that it’s okay to go through these things," she highlighted.
Divita Rai at 71st Miss Universe
Rai turned into 'Sone Ki Chidiya' for the National Costume round at the 71st Miss Universe 2023. The costume was designed by Abhishek Sharma who said that the National Costume is inspired by the "ethereal portrayal of India". For the swimsuit category, she wore a cape, christened Dil Se, which is an ode to love without any judgements, and celebrated the LGBTQ+ community.
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