Colombia fields mother to 2023 Miss Universe pageant
After Guatemala crowned Michelle Cohn as the first mother to qualify for the international stage of the Miss Universe pageant, Colombia has proclaimed another mom to compete in the global tilt’s 72nd edition in El Salvador in November.
Camila Avella, a married woman and mother to a two-year-old daughter, edged out 23 other aspirants for the Miss Universe Colombia crown in a competition held at the Puerta de Oro Centro de Eventos del Caribe in Baranquilla, Colombia, on Sept. 2 (Sept. 3 in Manila).
The 27-year-old model and TV presenter will now try to become the third Colombian woman to capture the Miss Universe title at the international pageant’s 2023 competition, after the late Luz Marina Zuluaga (1958) and Paulina Vega (2014).
The Miss Universe Organization (MUO) started allowing mothers and married women to participate in the international pageant for the 2023 competition. This announcement came even before Thai media mogul Anna Jakrajutatip acquired the company in October last year.
In the home front, the Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) organization also accepted mothers and married women to the national pageant’s 2023 competition. Three moms made it as official candidates, with Claire Dacanay from Parañaque City advancing to the semifinals.
But the Miss Universe pageant is not the first international tilt to allow mothers to compete against single ladies and those who have not borne children. The Miss Global contest has already allowed this in their own competition.
Single mother Eileen Gonzales represented the Philippines in the 2018 Miss Global pageant held in Manila. She was also one of the three mothers who competed in the 2023 Miss Universe Philippines competition, which was eventually won by actress, model, and 2019 Miss World Top 12 finalist Michelle Dee.
Dee is the daughter of 1979 Miss International Melanie Marquez and cousin of 2017 Reina Hispanoamericana Teresita Ssen Marquez.
Dee will try to become the fifth Filipino woman to be proclaimed Miss Universe, after Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), and Catriona Gray (2018).
The 2023 Miss Universe pageant will conclude in a coronation show on Nov. 18 (Nov. 19 in Manila). Filipino-American sustainable fashion designer and advocate R’Bonney Gabriel from the United States will relinquish her title to her successor who will be proclaimed at the end of the ceremonies. EDV