Daughter of Indian parents Miss Australia Maria Thattil has taken out a top 10 spot in the 69th Miss Universe 2021.
NRI Affairs News Desk
Maria Thattil walked the stage as part of the final top 10 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The winner crowned was Miss Mexico, Andrea Meza. The 28-year-old from Melbourne was one of 74 competitors competing in the pageant screened live across the globe on Monday morning EST.
The model and content creator impressed judges throughout the week and took to the stage in an elaborate black swan costume created by Perth designer Nicola Yeung in the National Costume segment, as well as an elaborately embellished evening gown weighing 36kg, with removable train, designed by Melbourne designer Alin Le’ Kal.
Thattil, who is represented by agency Bella Management, won the title of Miss Universe Australia last year whilst competing in Melbourne lockdown largely via Zoom from her parents’ home. Due to social distancing restrictions, she travelled to the competition unaccompanied, with her family and friends watching the pageant in Australia.
The daughter of Indian parents who migrated to Australia in the 80s, the former Human Resources Manager is currently training to be a life coach and is a staunch advocate for social justice, anti-racism, diversity and inclusion, mental health and equality.
Chelsea Bonner, CEO of Bella Management, said Maria’s place in the top 10 was inspirational. “Maria is a phenomenal representative for diversity and inclusion. She has exemplified nothing but beauty, grace, heart and passion throughout the entire competition during a challenging year. She is an incredibly deserving top 10 finalist and has made Australia very proud.”
Thattil recently produced her own video titled My Australia which was largely shot in Victoria. “As Miss Universe Australia, I have a once in a lifetime opportunity to be the voice of more than 25 million people that call Australia home,” she said. “Not many people have the privilege of representing their entire country on an international stage.
“I was moved by my love for my country and my belief that the world can take some valuable learnings from us. However, I was also moved by my vision for the future and my fierce drive to champion inclusion and diversity in not only Australia but the world.”
Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Miss India Adeline Castelino gave the Indians more to cheer about by finishing third runner-up in the beauty pageant, which was won by Miss Mexico Andrea Meza.