- Harnaaz Sandhu, a 21-year-old model from Punjab, has been crowned Miss Universe 2021.
- Harnaaz was crowned Miss Universe 21 years after Lara Dutta was crowned in 2000.
- Miss Paraguay was the first runner-up and Miss South Africa, the second runners-up.
Harnaaz Sandhu, from Punjab, who represented India at the 70th Miss Universe 2021 pageant, has won the title. Harnaaz, 21, was named Miss Universe, 21 years after Lara Dutta was crowned Miss Universe in 2000.
Harnaaz Sandhu defeated contestants from Paraguay and South Africa in the competition held in Eilat, Israel. Harnaaz was crowned during the event by Andrea Meza, former Miss Universe 2020 from Mexico. The Miss Universe pageant was live-streamed throughout the world.
Miss Paraguay came in second while Miss South Africa finished third.
All of the contestants had to answer the same question during the Top 3 round. They were asked, “What advice would you give to young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today?”
Harnaaz stated, “Well, I think the biggest pressure the youth of today is facing is to believe in themselves. To know that you are unique and that’s what makes you beautiful, stop comparing yourselves with others, and let’s talk about more important things that’s happening worldwide. I think this is what you need to understand. Come out, speak for yourself, because you are the leader of your life. You are the voice of your own [life]. I believe in myself and that’s why I’m standing here today. Thank you.”
Only two Indians have ever won the Miss Universe title before Harnaaz. Sushmita Sen was the first woman to win the title of Miss Universe in 1994. Lara Dutta was named Miss Universe six years later, in 2000.
In October, Harnaaz was crowned Miss Universe India 2021 in Mumbai beating 19 other contestants. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration.
Harnaaz Sandhu started her beauty pageants journey when she was 17 years old. She formerly held the titles of Miss Diva 2021, Femina Miss India Punjab 2019, and Femina Miss India 2019 top 12 finalist.
Harnaaz hails from Chandigarh and has previously appeared in Punjabi films such as Yaara Diyan Poo Baran and Bai Ji Kuttange.