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From Miss Universe to Miss World: The 'Big Four' beauty pageant titleholders right now!

2020-01-03 15:57
Big Four Pageant Titleholders
Big Four Pageant Titleholders (Photos: Getty, Instagram/Nellys Pimentel)

Cape Town - The world's "Big Four" pageants have crowned their titleholders who will execute reign throughout 2020!

ICYDK: The Big Four refers to the four major international beauty pageants for women - Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss Earth. 

ALSO READ: From Miss Universe to Miss World 2019: 'The Big Four' international pageant calendar

Zozibini Tunzi made the country proud when she was crowned Miss Universe 2019, but here are three more beauty queens you might not have known about. 

1. Miss Universe

26-year-old Zozibini Tunzi from Cape Town was crowned Miss Universe 2019 in Atlanta Georgia on 8 December.

Zozibini, who was born in Tsolo, eSdwadweni in the Eastern Cape, first took part in Miss South Africa in 2017 - the same year Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters walked away with the coveted title

In 2019, she came back for a second time - ditching the weave and embracing her natural hair and was crowned Miss South Africa in August 2019. 

Her natural beauty made her stand out throughout the Miss Universe preliminary rounds. But it was her inspiring words during the grand finale which blew over the judges when she said: "I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair, was never considered to be beautiful, and I think that it is time that stops today.

Zozibini is the third South African to win the Miss Universe crown. The first was Margaret Gardiner in 1978, followed by Demi-Leigh in 2017.

Now that Zozibini has taken over the Miss Universe crown for Catriona Gray, Sasha-Lee Olivier, who placed in the top 40 at Miss World 2019, will pick up Zozibini's Miss South Africa duties. 

2. Miss World 

Miss World Jamaica Toni-Ann Singh was crowned the 69th Miss World in December 2019.

Now that she wears the crown for the next year, Toni-Ann will have the opportunity to travel the world, making a difference through several philanthropic projects.

She will also get the boost needed to expand her "Beauty with a Purpose" initiative to the furthest corners of the world. 

After her crowning ceremony, Toni-Ann spoke about how she wants to use her crown for sustainable change for women. She also defended beauty pageants, saying women are allowed to be whatever type of women they choose to be.

The 23-year-old graduate from Florida State University said that beauty was the least important aspect of her achievement. 

3. Miss Earth 

Miss Earth Puerto Rico, Nellys Pimentel scooped the Miss Earth 2019 title in the Philippines in October.

The psychology student, who is pursuing a second qualification in Marketing is the first Puerto Rican to take home the title. 

Nellys is also the first Caribbean woman to win the Miss Earth crown in the pageant's 19-year history.

"Becoming Miss Earth 2019 means much more than a crown. It means gaining a bigger voice to address environmental issues in a way that create change," she wrote on Instagram.

4. Miss International 

Thailand's Sireethorn Leearamwat made history when she crowned Miss International 2019 - the first from her country!

Contestants from 83 countries and territories participated in 2019, surpassing the previous record of 77 contestants in 2018, making this edition the biggest turnout in the pageant's history.

In the preliminary rounds, the finalists were given 45 seconds to give a speech about why they should win the crown.

Sireethorn began her speech by saying she was criticised a lot when she was awarded the Miss Thailand title. But she never gave up, and she used the critiques she received to improve herself.

"I dare to dream to be a beauty queen," she said.

Compiled by Graye Morkel

(Photo: Getty, Instagram/Nellys Pimentel)