Asian-American R’Bonney Gabriel crowned Miss Universe

R’ Bonney Gabriel from the United States was crowned the 71st Miss Universe on Saturday night.

Gabriel, who became the first Filipino-American to win Miss USA last year, took the crown ahead of Amanda Dudamel of Venezuela and Andreína Martínez of the Dominican Republic.

The pageant was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, with 84 women from around the world competing for the crown.

Saturday night was the final day of competition, with eliminations narrowing down the number of finalists until the final two remained.

When Gabriel entered the Top 5, she was asked, “Miss Universe recently made an inclusive change that allows moms and married women to participate this year. What’s another change you’d like to see and why?”

Gabriel replied that she hoped the contest organizers would raise the age limit for the contestant.

“For me, I’d like to see an age increase because I’m 28 years old. And that’s the oldest age to compete. And I think it’s a beautiful thing. My favorite quote is ‘if not now, then when?’ Because as a woman, I believe age doesn’t define us. It’s not tomorrow, it’s not yesterday — but it’s now. The time is now,” she said.

Born in Houston, Gabriel is a model, fashion designer and sewing instructor who prioritizes the environment in her work.

This is an evolving story. More details to follow.

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