Miss Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios wins Miss Universe 2023 in history-making competition

Miss Nicaragua, Shennis Palacios, has won the title of Miss Universe as she completes a year in the competition. The 23-year-old Palacios, a mental health worker and visual-content creator from San Salvador, El Salvador, became the first woman from Nicaragua to win the crown in Saturday night’s competition. The organization shared on Instagram that the new winner is battling anxiety and has launched a TV segment called “Understand Your Mind,” where she interviews specialists in emotional care.

Before the competition, she wrote on Instagram, “Nicaragua, I feel you in my heartbeat; the rhythm of your marimba runs through my veins. I will show what Nicaraguans are made of: courage, bravery, and unwavering determination.”

Last year’s winner, Miss Universe and Miss USA Aruboni Gabrielle, crowned Palacios. Miss Thailand, Antonia Porsild, was chosen as the first runner-up, and Miss Australia, Moraya Wilson, secured the third position.

Everyone who made history at Miss Universe 2023: married women, mothers, plus-size, and transgender contestants. Olivia Calpo, Maria Menounos, and Jenny Mai hosted the 72nd program, where many contestants made history.

Miss Colombia Camila Avella, a married mother, secured a spot in the top five. After winning the title of Miss Colombia, she posted pictures wearing the crown and sash, embracing her little daughter Amelia and husband Nasif Kamale.

Without them and the lessons they teach me every day, none of this would be possible,” she wrote on Instagram at that time.

2023 marked the first year when married women and mothers were allowed to compete. Avella competed alongside Miss Guatemala Michelle Cohen, a mother of two. Cohen captioned a beautiful picture with her two children on Instagram as “Mom Queen.”

Plus-size contestant Miss Nepal Jen Dipika Gaire was the first body-inclusive contestant to compete, securing a place in the top 20. She shared a picture on Instagram from the swimsuit competition, expressing her love for her curves.

For the first time, Miss Pakistan Erica Robin participated, wearing a floor-length pink gown for the swimsuit competition. After winning the title of Miss Pakistan, she wrote on Instagram, “When I was little, I always watched Miss Universe and believed that a Pakistani woman could not participate in the Olympics in her own way. A platform for good change and transformation.”

Two transgender women were also part of this year’s competition: Miss Portugal Marina Machete, who was in the top 20, and Miss Netherlands Rikki Valerie Kole.

Machete thanked on Instagram for the opportunity to share her story and represent the diversity and steadfast strength of women. She said, “I will continue to inspire the change I want to see in the world!”

Women from around the world competed for the title in personal statements, interview segments, evening gowns, and swimwear categories.

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