R’Bonney Gabriel of the United States was crowned Miss Universe 2022 at a ceremony held on January 15 in New Orleans. The 28-year-old was crowned by Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu at the grand finale of the 71st edition of Miss Universe.
Apart from performing well in all the rounds, it was her answer during the final Question-and-Answer round that sealed her fate. For the final question round of Miss Universe 2022, all three finalists were asked, “If you win Miss Universe, how will you work to demonstrate this is an empowering and progressive organization?”
A short video of the Q&A round has been posted on Twitter by the official account of Miss Universe. It was Miss USA’s answer that won over the judges as she replied that she would use ”fashion as a force for good.” She highlighted how her background in helping survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence could be translated into a bigger platform if she won the pageant.
Watch the video here:
USA’s top 3 answer!
The 71st #MISSUNIVERSE Competition is airing LIVE on @TheRokuChannel! pic.twitter.com/i7Ol0mPGFc
— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) January 15, 2023
“Well, I would use it to be a transformational leader. As a very passionate designer, (having) been sewing for 13 years, I use fashion as a force for good. In my industry, I’m cutting down on pollution through recycled materials when I make my clothing. I teach sewing classes to women that have survived human trafficking and domestic violence. And I say that because it is so important to invest in others, invest in our community, and use your unique talent to make a difference. We all have something special, and when we plant those seeds (in) other people in our life, we transform them, and we use that as a vehicle for change,” replied R’Bonney Gabriel, Miss USA 2022.
Ms Gabriel is a model, fashion designer, and sewing instructor who prioritizes the environment in her work. According to the Miss Universe website, Ms Gabriel is also a former high school volleyball player and a graduate of the University of North Texas. She is currently CEO of her own sustainable clothing line, R’Bonney Nola.
”As the first Filipino-American to win Miss USA, she shares the importance of embracing your culture. As a voice for Asian Americans, she opens the door for more diversity and representation in society and was honoured to be published in Vogue Philippines. Bonney’s mission is for women and young girls to see themselves in her, and feel inspired to conquer their goals by owning who they are,” a short bio on the website reads.
Notably, Miss USA has been crowned Miss Universe for the first time in 11 years. The Dominican Republic came in third place, while Venezuela came in second. Meanwhile, India’s Divita Rai, who had clinched a spot in the top 16, missed out on the crown as she couldn’t advance to the top 5. Over 80 contestants competed for the Miss Universe 2022 title.
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