Miss Universe 2023 Sheynnis Palacios had bouts of anxiety during competition
MANILA, Philippines—Sheynnis Palacios convincingly won the 2023 Miss Universe title in El Salvador with her confident gait, commanding presence and impactful remarks. But all this belied the bouts of anxiety she encountered in her journey to the crown.
“One of my biggest challenges is fighting my anxiety attacks. I just want to let this be known that this is normal, it happens in our society,” she said during the post-coronation press conference held after she won her crown at the culmination of the final competition at the Jose Alfonso Pineda Arena in San Salvador on Nov. 18 (Nov. 19 in Manila).
Through an interpreter, Palacios shared that she has been battling with anxiety even as a young girl, and it still persisted even when she had already captured her national title that would bring her to Miss Universe. And the bouts extended even during her time in El Salvador. But she was able to overcome those.
“I owe this to my mother, my mother is a single mother, and she did this with love. And also my grandmother. They taught me that with firewood and heat, you can make delicious food,” she shared.
The new queen also said she dedicates her victory to young girls around the world, her inner child and her compatriots. “I’m very happy. I thank God, and I thank life for having this opportunity. My life has changed, but also the lives of many little girls out there. Because through my voice, I’ll be able to open many doors for them. This era is just starting. It will bring change to little girls in our society,” she declared.
“In a very big way, I know I opened a window, I opened a door, and a ray of opportunities for all the little girls and also women who are watching. And through my life experience, I’ve been able to show that there are no generational limitations to really make your dreams come true,” Palacios explained.
“I just want to say to those little girls who are watching me, who are told that dreams do not come true, they can come true. And when they tell them you can’t, don’t believe them, just really believe what’s in your heart,” she continued.
Palacios bested 83 other international delegates to inherit the crown from Filipino-American sustainable-fashion designer R’Bonney Gabriel and become her country’s first-ever Miss Universe winner.
“I was born in the land of beautiful lakes and volcanoes, Nicaragua. It is the very first time that this happens in our country. It’s like an historic even. I would like to thank you for making this dream come true,” the newly crowned queen said.
“I’m very proud to say I’m the very first Miss Nicaragua to win Miss Universe,” declared Palacios, whose pageant journey has seen her become a finalist in the Miss Teen Universe contest and a Top 40 finisher in the Miss World pageant.
Palacios and the rest of the ladies in the Top 10, including Michelle Marquez Dee from the Philippines, are currently in Mexico to promote the 73rd Miss Universe pageant that will be held in the Central American country next year.