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Beauty queens use ‘national dress’ round to call for end to ‘violence and discrimination’

Miss Universe 2021 contestants made a fashion and political statement during the ‘national dress’ round of the 69th annual beauty competition on Friday morning. 

Lola de los Santos Biccò, the official representative for Uruguay, appeared onstage at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida donning a multi-coloured ensemble with a powerful message which read: ‘No more hate, violence, rejection, discrimination.’ 

Among the others calling for their message to be heard was Miss Myanmar, Thuzar Wint Lwin, who held up a sign which urged for ‘prayers’ for her country. The Asian nation has been embroiled in unrest since the military carried out a putsch on February 1, disputing the results of an election that resulted in a pro-democracy party winning power. 

Across Myanmar, citizens have been pushing back against the ruling junta, staging massive demonstrations which have been met with violence by the military and led to the deaths of hundreds so far.  

Lola de los Santos Biccò, the official representative for Uruguay appeared onstage at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino donning a multi-coloured ensemble with a powerful message which read: ‘No more hate, violence, rejection, discrimination’ (pictured)

Miss Myanmar, Thuzar Wint Lwin (pictured), held up a sign which urged for 'prayers' for her country. The Asian nation has been embroiled in unrest since the military carried out a putsch on February 1, disputing the results of an election that resulted in a pro-democracy party winning power

Miss Myanmar, Thuzar Wint Lwin (pictured), held up a sign which urged for ‘prayers’ for her country. The Asian nation has been embroiled in unrest since the military carried out a putsch on February 1, disputing the results of an election that resulted in a pro-democracy party winning power

Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong decided to include her powerful message into her actual costume and decided to shine a spotlight on the #StopAsianHate movement through a sequinned bodysuit which included a hashtag on a white and red cape

Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong decided to include her powerful message into her actual costume and decided to shine a spotlight on the #StopAsianHate movement through a sequinned bodysuit which included a hashtag on a white and red cape 

The official representative of Cayman Islands, Mariah Tibbetts, put on a very colourful display in a range of red, orange and blue in her carnival-inspired outfit

The official representative of Cayman Islands, Mariah Tibbetts, put on a very colourful display in a range of red, orange and blue in her carnival-inspired outfit

Miss Nicaragua Ana Marcelo made sure she stood out among the other contestants in her eye-catching ensemble

Miss Nicaragua Ana Marcelo made sure she stood out among the other contestants in her eye-catching ensemble 

Elsewhere, Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong decided to include her powerful message into her actual costume and decided to shine a spotlight on the #StopAsianHate movement through a sequinned bodysuit which included a hashtag on a flowing cape. 

Taking to her Instagram, she penned: ‘This year’s national costume is inspired by the Singapore flag. The red of the flag represents universal fellowship, and white purity.’

‘These ideals ring true not just for Singapore but also at an international competition like Miss Universe that brings women together to empower each other and address important issues. #stopasianhate.’

She continued: ‘Our peaceful social fabric is built on respect for all races, languages and religions. We stand tall and raise our voice for democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. This is what makes Singapore thrive as a multicultural, inter-religious nation.’ 

Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo put on a stylish display in red and blue wings and three stars to represent the colours and symbols of the country's flag

Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo put on a stylish display in red and blue wings and three stars to represent the colours and symbols of the country’s flag 

Flower power! Ivonne Cerdas Cascante, who represented Costa Rica, donned a floral-patterned gown as she took to the stage to compete in the 2021 beauty contest

Flower power! Ivonne Cerdas Cascante, who represented Costa Rica, donned a floral-patterned gown as she took to the stage to compete in the 2021 beauty contest

Miss Cambodia Sarita Reth was all smiles when it was her turn to grace the stage and showcase her 'national costume'

Miss Cambodia Sarita Reth was all smiles when it was her turn to grace the stage and showcase her ‘national costume’ 

Miss Canada Nova Stevens appears onstage at the Miss Universe 2021

Miss Canada Nova Stevens appears onstage at the Miss Universe 2021

Spreading the love! Nova Stevens, who was representing Canada, made sure the maple leaf took centre stage of her ensemble – the characteristic leaf of the maple tree is the most widely recognised national symbol of the country

Miss Bolivia Lenka Nemer appears onstage at the Miss Universe 2021

Lenka Nemer put on a jovial display to ensure her colourful costume was captured in all its glory

Miss Bolivia Lenka Nemer put on a jovial display to ensure her colourful costume was captured in all its glory

Looking all white! Miss Malta Anthea Zammit looked a vision in a white gown which featured colourful hand prints over the hem

Looking all white! Miss Malta Anthea Zammit looked a vision in a white gown which featured colourful hand prints over the hem

Other memorable performances included Miss Philippines Rabiya Mateo, who stood out in a pair of red and blue wings and three stars which represented the colours and symbols of her country’s flag. 

The three stars in the Philippine flag represent the country’s main island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. 

Keeping her dark hair wavy, she completed her eye-catching ensemble with a pair of mismatched heels.

Miss Bahamas Shauntae-Ashleigh Miller appears onstage at the Miss Universe 2021

Miss Bahamas Shauntae-Ashleigh Miller appears onstage at the Miss Universe 2021 

Monochrome magic! Miss Great Britain Jeanette Akua put on a memorable display in a black and white sequin down as she took centre stage

Monochrome magic! Miss Great Britain Jeanette Akua put on a memorable display in a black and white sequin down as she took centre stage 

Miss Netherlands Denise Speelman appears onstage at the Miss Universe 2021

Miss Netherlands Denise Speelman appears onstage at the Miss Universe 2021

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