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Why South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters Deserves the Miss Universe 2017 Title

A new Miss Universe has been crowned.

While we’re sad that our very own Rachel Peters didn’t win the crown and the title, we’re also happy to have seen her do her best at the competition. Rachel was a crowd favorite, and it’s easy to see why; she’s the complete package: gorgeous, sexy, smart, eloquent, and confident.  Even Miss Universe 2017 co-host and backstage interviewer Ashley Graham was vocal about rooting for her.

Rachel made it all the way up to the Top 10. Given the chance, we’re sure Rachel would’ve nailed the Q&A portion as much as she slayed the preliminary competitions.

As our fellow kababayans try to move on from this Miss Universe loss, our resiliency also makes us look forward to the pageant and the beauty queen who will represent our country next year.

In the meantime, congratulations are in order for South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who was crowned as the Miss Universe 2017 during the coronation night held at The Axis at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas yesterday, November 26.

The last time South Africa won in the competition was almost four decades ago, with beauty queen Margaret Gardiner being named as Miss Universe 1978.

According to the Miss Universe website, Demi-Leigh, 22, “recently earned her degree in Business Management at North West University after making history at her high school for holding two leadership positions.” An obviously strong, independent, and confident woman, it’s interesting to note that she is passionate about training women in self-defense in various situations through her “Unbreakable” program. According to an article on news.abs-cbn.com, she was inspired to pursue this advocacy of sorts “when she was held at gunpoint and robbed after winning her title as Miss South Africa.”

Here, let us take a look back at the highlights of her Miss Universe journey, and point out why she deserves the most covetable pageant title.

 

Photo from Miss Universe Organization

 

1. She carried her national costume with grace and confidence. Her intricately pretty outfit was inspired Namaqualand daisies, proteas, and the map of Africa. It was designed by Malikah Hajee and Lloyd Kandlin.

 

Photos from Miss Universe Organization and @roadtomissusa

 

2. She slayed in swimsuits. In her black Yamamay bikini, Miss South Africa 2017 was among the favorites for Best in Swimwear at the preliminary swimsuit competition. Come coronation night, Demi-Leigh rocked a yellow bikini.

 

Photos from Miss Universe Organization and @sthanlee

 

3. She looked stunning in her evening gown. Well, maybe not in the green gown she wore at the preliminary competition, because she actually didn’t impress in it. But, when she emerged in her nude form-fitting gown with silver accents, plunging neckline, and thigh-high slit for the final look at the coronation night, Miss South Africa 2017 looked gorgeous, even more so since she matched her gown with a clean and sleek updo that drew more attention to her beautiful face.

 

Photo from @missuniverse

 

4. Her take on the “most important issue women face in the workplace” is on point. On the first Q&A round, she was asked to comment on the issues women face in the workplace. Her answer was brief yet impactful: “In some places, women get paid 75 percent of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours, and I do not believe that is right. I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world.”

 

Photo from @roadtomissusa

 

5. She had a winning answer for the final Q&A, and she delivered it confidently. The top three girls were all asked the same question: “What quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality to your time as Miss Universe?" Again, Miss South Africa 2017’s answer may be short but it sure did come across as a very well said thought. She said, "As Miss Universe, you have to be confident in who you are as an individual. A Miss Universe is a woman who has overcome many fears and by that, she is able to help other women overcome their fears. She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for. And I think that is exactly who I am."

 

Congratulations to the reigning queen!

 

Photos from @missuniverse (thumbnail) and @roadtomissusa (cover photo)