Meet the 84 women competing to be Miss Universe 2023

  • The 72nd annual Miss Universe pageant will take place on Saturday in El Salvador.

  • Eighty-four women from all over the world are competing for the pageant world's biggest crown.

  • The contestants include lawyers, models, and artists.

The Miss Universe competition is a celebration of global pageant winners, bringing together the best of the best for the ultimate crown.

The 2023 pageant will take place on Saturday in El Salvador, and current Miss Universe R'Bonney Gabriel — who claimed the title after a controversial Miss USA win — will crown the new queen.

The contestants come from around the world, and their careers and interests are as varied as their nationalities. They shared information about themselves in their Miss Universe bios, and elaborated on the causes close to their hearts in videos for the Voice for Change campaign.

Albania: Endi Demneri

Miss Albania 2023 Endi Demneri
Miss Albania 2023. Courtesy of Miss Universe

Endi Demneri, 24, is a model who recently appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar Bulgaria and Greece. Demneri also walked for Dolce & Gabbana during the 2022 Milan Fashion Week.

According to her Miss Universe bio, Demneri is using her platform to advocate for endometriosis and change "women's lives based on my life experience." During her Voice for Change video, Demneri said she was able to treat her own endometriosis after seeking help and now hopes to help women identify it and find the right treatment for themselves.

Angola: Ana Bárbara Da Silva Coimbra

Angola: Ana Bárbara Da Silva Coimbra
Miss Angola 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Ana Bárbara Da Silva Coimbra, 23, has a degree in economics. Her platform is dedicated to improving rural families' access to nutritional food in Angola.

"We are facing the most challenging period since the end of the civil war, caused by high inflation," she said in her Voice for Change video. "Unfortunately malnutrition is the biggest cause of the high infant mortality rate in our country."

The pageant queen currently helps ecological schools teach agriculture classes that will help empower people to grow their own food.

Argentina: Yamile Dajud

Miss Argentina 2023 Yamile Dajud
Miss Argentina 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Yamile Dajud, 27, has a degree in social communications with a specialty in public opinion and political marketing, according to her Miss Universe bio.

In her Voice for Change video, Dajud said she's using her platform to reduce social pressures among teens. She launched "This is Me," a social project aimed at preventing mental illness by inspiring self-discovery, boosting self-esteem, and encouraging a "sense of happiness and self-worth among these young individuals."

Aruba: Karol Croes

Miss Aruba 2023 Karol Croes
Miss Aruba 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Karol Croes, 27, works as an international model, social-media marketer, and entrepreneur and speaks four different languages, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Croes launched the "Pan pan mi ruman" initiative to help promote self-expression, self-love, and self-empowerment among adolescents. In her Voice for Change video, Croes explained that her platform was inspired by her own experiences growing up with divorced parents.

"I like to give talks to teenage groups so they know they can also overcome this personal trauma," she said in the clip. "I want to continue being a voice for the children and youth who seek to be understood and heard."

Australia: Moraya Wilson

Miss Australia 2023 Moraya Wilson
Miss Australia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Moraya Wilson, 22, will graduate from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology this year with a degree in business marketing. She currently works as a model and a coach for skiing and track, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Wilson competed internationally as an alpine ski racer and has continued to make sports her platform. In her Voice for Change video, Wilson said she believes it's a powerful tool with the "ability to harness the potential of any individual." She hopes to specifically use her platform to promote sports to young girls.

The Bahamas: Melissa Ingraham

Miss Bahamas 2023 Melissa Ingraham
Miss Bahamas 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Melissa Ingraham, 26, is an environmental scientist who recently earned her master's degree in climate change.

In her Voice for Change video, Ingraham advocated for building resilience amid the climate crisis through infrastructure improvements, investing in agriculture and water initiatives, and disaster preparedness plans.

Bahrain: Lujane Yacoub

Miss Bahrain 2023 Lujane Yacoub
Miss Bahrain 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Lujane Yacoub, 19, is an actor, dancer, and model who plans to study creative arts in London. According to her Miss Universe bio, Yacoub is the first Smile Train ambassador from Bahrain.

Yacoub started the initiative "Project Hero," in which she dresses up in costume and visits children with special needs. She wants to use her platform to "empower children through arts and expression" and also serve as a symbol of "Bahraini women empowerment," according to a post on the Miss Bahrain Universe Instagram page.

Belgium: Emilie Vansteenkiste

Miss Belgium 2023 Emilie Vansteenkiste
Miss Belgium 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Emilie Vansteenkiste, 22, has a degree in occupational therapy. She currently works as a professional Latin dancer and hopes to pursue a career as a TV host, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Vansteenkiste's platform is advocating for psychological counseling access for everyone and dismantling the stigma around therapy. In her Voice for Change video, Vansteenkiste said her platform was inspired by the counseling she received after her mother was diagnosed with cancer.

Bolivia: Estefany Rivero

Miss Bolivia 2023 Estefany Rivero
Miss Bolivia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Estefany Rivero, 26, is an architect. She hopes to one day become an interior designer, according to her Miss Universe bio.

In her Voice for Change video, Rivero explained that she is from the country's Amazon region and belongs to the group of indigenous people known as the Mojeños. Rivero is an active member of the Loro Parque Foundation, which has been working for over 20 years to save the blue-throated macaw bird.

Brazil: Maria Brechane

Miss Brazil 2023 Maria Brechane
Miss Brazil 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Maria Brechane, 19, is a model and journalism student, according to her Miss Universe bio. She is fluent in Portuguese, English, Spanish, and Brazilian Sign Language.

In her Voice for Change video, Brechane said she is helping open a school in Brazil that will offer courses to both the deaf community and people who want to learn Brazilian Sign Language.

British Virgin Islands: Ashellica Fahie

Miss British Virgin Islands 2023 Ashellica Fahie
Miss British Virgin Islands 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Ashellica Fahie, 28, is a qualified lawyer in the British Virgin Islands, England, and Wales, according to her Miss Universe bio. She also works as an international civil and commercial mediator.

Fahie won Miss Teen British Islands in 2011. In a December 2022 interview with I Am A Girl NGO, Fahie said competing in pageants has given her the ability to "go beyond my comfort zone and push my limits as to what I'm capable of."

Bulgaria: Yuliia Pavlikova

Miss Bulgaria 2023 Yuliia Pavlikova
Miss Bulgaria 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Yuliia Pavlikova, 30, has a master's degree in economics. She has been running a model school for children since she was 16 and also organizes international festivals and competitions for young people, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Pavlikova was named Miss Bulgaria just six days before she needed to fly to El Salvador to begin Miss Universe. But she is a decorated pageant queen and has also competed in Miss Earth 2021 and Miss Grand International 2022.

"There are 6 days before the flight to El Salvador, do you think it's possible to get ready? I think after today in my life, nothing is impossible," she wrote on Instagram after winning Miss Bulgaria 2023.

Cambodia: John Sotima

Miss Cambodia 2023 John Sotima
Miss Cambodia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

John Sotima, 23, graduated from the Mapa Fashion Design Academy with a degree in fashion design.

According to her Miss Universe bio, Sotima wants to advocate for children and women in need of help and provide them with "the love of family, a home of hope, the joy of the future, and education for everyone." Sotima counts Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray as one of her inspirations.

Cameroon: Issie Princesse

Miss Cameroon Issie Princesse
Miss Cameroon 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Issie Princesse, 23, is currently pursuing her degree in professional management. Her platform is raising awareness for breast cancer and sickle cell disease, according to her Miss Universe bio.

In her Voice for Change video, Princesse discussed how breast cancer has become a serious public health issue in Cameroon. She currently travels throughout the country to raise awareness among women and young girls and help increase access to quality care. She said winning Miss Universe will help her "fight this disease with more resources, and together we can save the lives of thousands of women."

Canada: Madison Kvaltin

Miss Canada 2023 Madison Kvaltin
Miss Canada 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Madison Kvaltin, 28, has a bachelor's degree in sociology and business from Queen's University and currently operates a marketing and web-design company, according to her Miss Canada bio. She also runs Skilla Athletics, which promotes body confidence, and launched The Body Love Club, which uses workshops, retreats, and classes to "empower others through movement."

According to her Miss Canada bio, Kvaltin was inspired to begin competing in pageants after overcoming an eating disorder. She wants to use her platform to promote body confidence and empower others to "love their bodies through all stages of life."

Cayman Islands: Ileann Powery

Miss Cayman Islands 2023 Ileann Powery
Miss Cayman Islands 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Ileann Powery, 26, has been a member of the Cayman Islands' national volleyball team for more than a decade. She's traveled to 11 different countries and competed in more than 19 international tournaments, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Powery is a self-taught photographer and videographer and currently runs her own photography business "iPow Creations." She is also a member of the Cayman Island Folk Singers.

Chile: Celeste Viel

Miss Chile 2023 Celeste Viel
Miss Chile 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Celeste Viel, 23, has a degree in public relations and is a licensed health coach, according to her Miss Universe bio. She is also an advocate for foster children, which was inspired by her own experience growing up with three children that her family adopted from the foster care system.

Viel has a unique connection to Miss Chile. Her mother, Paula Caballero, won the same title 30 years ago.

"I have her with me in all of this process," Viel recently told HOLA. "I'm living the same emotions that she lived, and that's priceless to me. She's accompanied me throughout this whole process and has shared some of what she's experienced."

Colombia: Camila Avella

Miss Colombia 2023 Camila Avella
Miss Colombia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Camila Avella, 28, works as a journalist and model. She also helps provide young mothers with training in mental health, finance management, and entrepreneurship, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Avella, who is married and has a daughter, became eligible to compete after the Miss Universe Organization changed the rule to allow mothers and married women in the pageant starting in 2023. Avella told HOLA that she previously competed for the Miss Colombia title in 2018 and was motivated to try again after the rule change.

"One role is not going to define us, and we're finally breaking down those stereotypes that have held us back for so long," she told the site. "I want women to teach their children that they're not a limitation, that a child is the most beautiful thing that exists."

Costa Rica: Lisbeth Valverde Brenes

Miss Costa Rica 2023 Lisbeth Valverde Brenes
Miss Costa Rica 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Lisbeth Valverde Brenes, 28, graduated from the National University of Costa Rica with a degree in special education. She also works as a model, entrepreneur, and advocate for wildlife protection, social initiatives, and tourism promotion within Costa Rica, according to her Miss Universe bio.

In her Voice for Change video, the pageant queen discussed her work as a special-education teacher and her social project Manos Unidas Costa Rica, which is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities and sending a message to society that disability is not a disease.

Croatia: Andrea Erjavec

Miss Croatia 2023 Andrea Erjavec
Miss Croatia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Andrea Erjavec, 23, is currently studying primary education at the Faculty of Education in Zagreb. She is planning to pursue her MBA at the Zagreb School of Economics.

In her Voice for Change video, Erjavec said she wants to use her platform to advocate for education. She also wants to give children a place to practice sports and make athletics a part of their everyday lives.

Curaçao: Kim Rossen

Miss Curaçao 2023 Kim Rossen
Miss Curaçao 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Kim Rossen, 26, is an occupational therapist who is passionate about helping elderly people become more independent, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Rossen is also an accomplished track-and-field athlete and an advocate for equality in sports. She aspires to become a successful model and also hopes to open a healthcare practice on her island in the future.

Czech Republic: Vanesa Švédová

Miss Czech Republic 2023 Vanesa Švédová
Miss Czech Republic 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Vanesa Švédová, 20, currently works as a model. She is also a student at the University of Logistics and teaches children's swimming lessons in her spare time, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Švédová has participated in a Dolce & Gabbana fashion show, which she said is one of the biggest accomplishments of her career.

Denmark: Nikoline Uhrenholt Hansen

Miss Denmark 2023 Nikoline Uhrenholt Hansen
Miss Denmark 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Nikoline Uhrenholt Hansen, 21, studied marketing and economics in Copenhagen and aspires to work in beauty and fashion.

In her Voice for Change video, the beauty queen said her platform was inspired by her close relationship with her grandfather. Hansen wants to help combat loneliness among the elderly in Denmark and inspire others to socialize with them. She hopes to be a "voice for good and the person who stands up and talks about this problem."

Dominican Republic: Mariana Downing

Miss Dominican Republic 2023 Mariana Downing
Miss Dominican Republic 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Mariana Downing, 28, is currently a professional model in New York City. She graduated from the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and also participated in a leadership and business program at Harvard University, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Downing is an aspiring author and plans to release an autobiographical collection of poems called "Evol Love." She previously dated Marc Anthony when she was 21, telling HOLA that the relationship was a "beautiful moment in my life."

Ecuador: Delary Stoffers

Miss Ecuador 2023 Delary Stoffers
Miss Ecuador 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Delary Stoffers, 23, currently works as a model, according to her Instagram page.

Stoffers' Miss Universe platform is Type 1 Diabetes education. In her Voice for Change video, Stoffers said that she works with the Fuvida Foundation to help provide tools to children and young people so they can "face the daily challenges related to adjusting their insulin doses, their diet, and self-monitoring."

Egypt: Mohra Tantawy

Miss Egypt 2023 Mohra Tantawy
Miss Egypt 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Mohra Tantawy, 21, is a model who was born and raised in Cairo. She recently graduated with a degree in business marketing from New Giza University, according to Harper's Bazaar Arabia.

Tantawy told Arab News that she never expected to be Miss Universe Egypt because she didn't grow up competing in pageants, but she hopes to use her platform to show women in Egypt that they are strong and resilient.

"You may face hardships in your life, you may not always get the support you deserve, but if anyone in the world can do it, it is you," she added. "Look back at your ancestors and see just how much they've achieved but also always look towards the future because it is yours to create."

El Salvador: Isabella García-Manzo

Miss El Salvador 2023 Isabella García-Manzo
Miss El Salvador 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Isabella García-Manzo, 20, is currently pursuing a degree in hospitality and business management, according to her Miss Universe bio.

García-Manzo has been gaining customer-service experience through hotel internships. She also gives surfing lessons to children to "instill confidence and personal empowerment," her bio adds.

Equatorial Guinea: Diana-Lita Hinestrosa Eraul

Miss Equatorial Guinea 2023 Diana-Lita Hinestrosa Eraul
Miss Equatorial Guinea 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Diana-Lita Hinestrosa Eraul, 25, has a degree in economics and is currently studying to become a doctor in neuropsychology, according to her Miss Universe bio.

She is the founder of Proyecto Futuro, a youth organization that advocates for equality in education.

Finland: Paula Joukanen

A headshot of 2023 Miss Finland Paula Joukanen.
Miss Finland 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Paula Joukanen, 22, is a model, former tennis player, and current law student.

She finds inspiration in "rebellious and confident" women who have paved the way for equality, according to her Miss Universe bio, and is passionate about helping refugees by raising money and volunteering as a teacher.

Joukanen has visited more than 50 countries through her charity work, and she speaks six languages. In her free time, she often makes TikTok videos with her pet guinea pigs Bob and Billy.

France: Diane Leyre

A headshot of Miss France 2023 Diane Leyre.
Miss France 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Diane Leyre, 26, studied at IE University in Madrid to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration, according to her Miss Universe bio.

She's worked as a model and a co-host of the French radio station Europe 2, and is now using her Miss Universe platform to share her motto "vivre ensemble," which translates to living together. In a video for Voice for Change, Leyre said that growing up in a "multicultural region" inspired her to spread this "call to action."

As Miss Universe, she said, she'd advocate for strengthening anti-discrimination laws, fostering inclusivity in schools, and helping victims of all injustices.

Germany: Helena Bleicher

A headshot of Miss Germany 2023 Helena Bleicher.
Miss Germany 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Helena Bleicher, 24, grew up across the globe. She was born in Cologne, Germany, and spent her childhood there, but she has gone on to live across three continents since turning 18. She's now studying to be an educator, her Miss Universe bio says.

With her pageant platform, Bleicher hopes to be an advocate for ending childhood poverty. She said in a Voice for Change video that she works with the Tabasamu organization to help children in Tanzania afford school uniforms, a requirement for them to receive an education.

Great Britain: Jessica Page

A headshot of Miss Great Britain 2023 Jessica Page.
Miss Great Britain 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Jessica Page, 27, is an entrepreneur with a passion for empowering other women. After earning a degree in marketing and events, according to her Miss Universe bio, she founded a program called Take Her Lead that helps young businesswomen find female role models in the industry.

She also runs her own marketing business and does freelance work as a social-media manager. Describing herself as "determined," Page says in her Miss Universe bio that she grew her company to be worth nearly a quarter of a million dollars within two years.

Greece: Marielia Zaloumi

A headshot of Miss Greece 2023 Marielia Zaloumi.
Miss Greece 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Marielia Zaloumi, 20, is dedicated to helping children with medical concerns. Most notably, she serves as a member of Elpida, an association that advocates for children who have cancer.

Zaloumi also studies business administration at Deree College in Athens, and she was once a member of Greece's national synchronized swim team. In her Miss Universe bio, she says she finds inspiration in nature and feels happiest when surrounded by her family.

Guatemala: Michelle Cohn

A headshot of Miss Guatemala 2023 Michelle Cohn.
Miss Guatemala 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Michelle Cohn, 28, holds many titles: entrepreneur, model, brand founder, and mom of two. The latter role marks her as one of the first mothers to compete in the Miss Universe competition.

Cohn is also passionate about women's empowerment, as mentioned in her Miss Universe bio, and supporting the deaf community. She said in a video for Voice for Change that through the swimwear brand she founded, she works to employ deaf women and advocate for equal opportunities and accommodations.

Guyana: Lisa Andrea Narine

A headshot of Miss Guyana 2023 Lisa Andrea Narine.
Miss Guyana 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Lisa Andrea Narine, 26, has dreams of working in politics. She's now studying international relations at the University of Guyana.

But her real passion, according to her Miss Universe bio, is charity work. Narine founded the NurtureNew platform in 2021, through which she aims to support young people and single parents by providing a safe space and teaching skills needed to start a business.

In her spare time, Narine also works as a radio host and creative coordinator, and enjoys dancing, modeling, and archery.

Honduras: Zuheilyn Clemente

A headshot of Miss Honduras 2023 Zuheilyn Clemente.
Miss Honduras 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Zuheilyn Clemente, 22, is no stranger to the spotlight. She's a TV star in Honduras, according to her Miss Universe bio, and is also a student of marketing and international business. She dreams of being an ambassador for her country.

Clemente also dedicates time to philanthropic work. She regularly rescues animals and is passionate about ending violence. In a Voice for Change video, she shared that she supports the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 2, which encourages people to do what they can to end hunger around the world by 2030.

Hungary: Tünde Blága

A headshot of Miss Hungary 2023 Tünde Blága.
Miss Hungary 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Tünde Blága, 27, is a model, writer, and avid traveler, according to her Miss Universe bio. She published her first book, which tells the story of her life as a pageant queen, in 2022.

In a video for Voice for Change, Blága shared that she's most passionate about achieving world peace. With her pageant platform, she aims to work toward strengthening groups like the United Nations and promoting conversations between religious and cultural leaders.

Iceland: Lilja Síf Pétursdóttir

A headshot of Miss Iceland 2023 Lilja Síf Pétursdóttir.
Miss Iceland 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Lilja Síf Pétursdóttir, 19, is an advocate for the "uniquely-abled," according to her Miss Universe bio. She's also one of the youngest women to compete for this year's crown.

Pétursdóttir serves as a caretaker for her younger sister who has cerebral palsy, as she's said on Instagram, and she's visited children's hospitals to learn about the work that goes into caring for other young people with the same medical condition.

She has future plans to study nursing and work in a hospital.

India: Shweta Sharda

A headshot of Miss India 2023 Shweta Sharda.
Miss India 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Shweta Sharda, 23, has danced her way to the top. A self-taught performer, according to her Miss Universe bio, she's appeared as a lead dancer on multiple Indian dance shows and now works as a Bollywood choreographer.

Sharda describes herself as self-reliant, and she revealed in her Voice for Change video that her father didn't support her choice to pursue dancing as a career. As a result, she said she's eager to help those with "unnoticed talent" via her platform Aatmanirbhar, which encourages young people to pursue their passions.

She also works as an ambassador for Barefoot Edu Foundation, a nonprofit that works to transform underserved schools.

Indonesia: Fabiënne Nicole Groeneveld

A headshot of Miss Indonesia 2023 Fabienne Nicole Groeneveld.
Miss Indonesia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Fabiënne Nicole Groeneveld, 23, has a bachelor's degree in international business, which has led her to jobs in sports leadership and TV production, according to her Miss Universe bio.

But she's currently focused on Empower Now, a movement she started to support children and teach them the English language.

In a Voice for Change video, Groeneveld said the effort is also dedicated to providing creative outlets to children who have special needs and mentorship to people who have experienced domestic violence.

Ireland: Aishah Akorede

A headshot of Miss Ireland 2023 Aishah Akorede.
Miss Ireland 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Aishah Akorede, 24, is a corporate compliance consultant and model who's earned two law degrees. She's also the founder of Recrowned Ireland, an initiative that hosts fundraisers, mentorship programs, and other events to empower women and fight against issues like sexual violence and period poverty.

In her Voice for Change video, Akorede said she's especially passionate about the latter issue and has made it her mission to provide sustainable menstrual products to those who have trouble accessing them.

Italy: Carmen Panepinto Zayati

A headshot of Miss Italy 2023 Carmen Panepinto Zayati.
Miss Italy 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Carmen Panepinto Zayati, 23, has a deep background in STEM, according to her Miss Universe bio. She's earned one degree in electronics engineering, is working toward another in the field of biorobotics, and aims to be a leader for other women who hope to enter similar fields.

Zayati's scientific studies and endeavors are the result of her hopes for a sustainable future. In her Voice for Change video, she said her passion for the planet and her dreams of being a role model for hopeful female scientists led her to the Miss Universe stage.

Jamaica: Jordanne Lauren Levy

A headshot of Miss Jamaica 2023 Jordanne Lauren Levy.
Miss Jamaica 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Jordanne Lauren Levy, 27, has made a mark on her home country as a doctor and community leader. In her Miss Universe bio, she says her role as a physician is the part of her life she's most proud of.

Her career has also impacted her activism. Levy created the Be-You-tiful campaign to advocate for more educational opportunities for young women, and she spoke out in support of women and their sexual health in her Voice for Change video.

Japan: Rio Miyazaki

A headshot of Miss Japan 2023 Rio Miyazaki.
Miss Japan 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Rio Miyazaki, 20, is a lifelong cheerleader. She began performing at the age of 6, and later went on to be a cheerleader for a professional baseball team as an adult. She also instructs young cheerleaders, as seen on her Instagram page.

While Miyazaki says in her Miss Universe bio that she's most proud of her athletic career, she's now studying to become an educator. She also describes herself as the "type of person who doesn't give up" until she's achieved her goals.

Kazakhstan: Tomiris Zair

A headshot of Miss Kazakhstan 2023 Tomiris Zair.
Miss Kazakhstan 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Tomiris Zair, 20, is a model and student who's currently pursuing a degree in marketing. She describes herself as loyal, according to her Miss Universe bio, and is proud of her personal perseverance.

In an Instagram post from August, Zair said she hopes her Miss Universe journey will inspire other young people in Kazakhstan, and help them realize that "dreams can come true with hard work and dedication." She also said she's eager to share her country's culture and love for nature.

Korea: Soyun Kim

A headshot of Miss South Korea 2023 Soyun Kim.
Miss South Korea 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Soyun Kim, 28, is passionate about reducing gender inequality. In a Voice for Change video, she said she's particularly focused on ending the stigma that surrounds single mothers, and hopes to support those who are struggling financially by creating a resource guide in collaboration with the Korean Unwed Mothers Families Association.

Outside of her philanthropic work, Kim works as a model and IT professional.

Kosovo: Arbesa Rrahmani

A headshot of Miss Kosovo 2023 Arbesa Rrahmani.
Miss Kosovo 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Arbesa Rrahmani, 22, says modeling isn't a job for her. Instead, according to her Miss Universe bio, it's her "life and passion" — one that she "went against all odds" to succeed in.

She also enjoys singing, as she's shared on Instagram, and describes herself as powerful. Rrahmani finds inspiration in her mother and is close with her family.

Laos: Phaimany Lathsabanthao

A headshot of Miss Laos 2023 Phaimany Lathsabunthao.
Miss Laos 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Phaimany Lathsabanthao, 28, is passionate about sharing the power of handicrafts and textiles produced in her home country.

In a Voice for Change video, she shared that she often works with skilled women in Laos to educate women in need and those who have disabilities about how to produce their crafts. This cultural work, she believes, can encourage gender equality and financial stability.

In her Miss Universe bio, Lathsabunthao also noted that she's happiest when home with her two dogs, named Sticky Rice and Green Rice.

Latvia: Kate Alexeeva

A headshot of Miss Latvia 2023 Kate Alexeeva.
Miss Latvia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Kate Alexeeva, 29, has visited 56 countries in her lifetime and is passionate about art, music, and sports, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Alexeeva also works as a model and entrepreneur. She shared in her Voice for Change video that she's been exposed to situations of domestic violence in both jobs, and is now outspoken in support of those who have experienced it.

She also has a dream of creating a safe and sustainable community for survivors in the Baltic region.

Lebanon: Maya Aboul Hosn

A headshot of Miss Lebanon 2023 Maya Abou El Hosn.
Miss Lebanon 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Maya Aboul Hosn, 25, stays busy as an influencer, TV host, and International Ambassador of Faculty and Agricultural and Food Sciences at the American University of Beirut.

She said in her Miss Universe bio that she finds inspiration in the resiliency of her country, and that she's most proud of the work she's done for her community.

Some of that work includes her efforts to restore equal education opportunities in Lebanon, as she mentioned in a Voice for Change video.

Malaysia: Serena Lee

Miss Malaysia 2023 Serena Lee
Miss Malaysia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Serena Lee, 26, is a world traveler. Having visited 10 countries so far, she said in her Miss Universe bio that she's now excited to explore El Salvador while participating in the pageant.

She's currently a law student in Malaysia.

Malta: Ella Portelli

A headshot of Miss Malta 2023 Ella Portelli.
Miss Malta 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Ella Portelli, 25, is a real-estate agent with a bachelor's degree in spatial design. Her hobbies include art, boxing, and extreme sports like skydiving, and her family is one of the most important things in life, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Having been diagnosed with body dysmorphia, Portelli is now eager to encourage other women to love themselves and overcome their internal struggles.

She's also an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and has represented Malta in a Pride parade, as seen in her Voice for Change video.

Mauritius: Tatiana Beauharnais

A headshot of Miss Mauritius 2023 Tatiana Beauharnais.
Miss Mauritius 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Tatiana Beauharnais, 24, works as a police constable in Mauritius. But outside of her work, her biggest passions are her family and fitness. She said in a recent Instagram post that her parents are both active and have inspired her interest in working out.

Beauharnais also said in her Miss Universe bio that she advocates for women's empowerment, and she shared on Instagram that she pursued her career in law enforcement to help fight gender-based violence and discrimination.

Mexico: Melissa Flores

A headshot of Miss Mexico 2023 Melissa Flores.
Miss Mexico 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Melissa Flores, 25, works as a psychologist when she isn't representing Mexico at Miss Universe, according to her bio for the pageant.

As she shared in her Voice for Change video, Flores became an activist against dating violence after going through the experience herself, and her project No Me Limites aims to educate people about what a healthy relationship looks like.

Mongolia: Namuunzul Batmagnai

A headshot of Miss Mongolia 2023 Namuunzul Batmagnai.
Miss Mongolia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Namuunzul Batmagnai, 23, is a model.

In her Miss Universe bio, she said she loves exercising and her parents, and she considers herself resilient.

Myanmar: Amara Bo

A headshot of Miss Myanmar 2023 Amara Bo.
Miss Myanmar 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Amara Bo, 23, works as a runway model, but she also has a degree in computer science, according to her Miss Universe bio. She shared in her bio that she got her degree at the same time she was appearing on a reality show.

In her Voice for Change video, Bo said she wants to use her platform to advocate for children who do not have parents in Myanmar, as well as adolescent girls who are forced to become parents, giving them safe spaces and greater access to education.

Namibia: Jameela Uiras

A headshot of Miss Namibia 2023 Jameela Uiras.
Miss Namibia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Jameela Uiras, 23, works as a model and a marketing strategist, using the degree in marketing she got from the University of Namibia, according to the Miss Namibia website.

With her platform, Uiras hopes to provide children with a better education to prepare them for the job market, as she shared in her Voice for Change video, and she said in her Miss Universe bio that her family is crucial to her — especially after losing her mother in September 2020.

Nepal: Jane Dipika Garrett

A headshot of Miss Nepal 2023 Jane Dipika Garrett.
Miss Nepal 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Jane Garrett, 22, became an advocate for mental and hormonal health after struggling with depression as a result of her PCOS, as she shared in her Voice for Change video. Now, she makes it her mission to educate others on hormonal disorders and how they can affect people's mental health.

She is also a champion for body positivity, often sharing on Instagram that she wants people to celebrate their bodies no matter how they look and how they change.

Netherlands: Rikkie Kollé

A headshot of Miss Netherlands 2023 Rikkie Kollé.
Miss Netherlands 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Rikkie Kollé, 22, was a model before she was crowned Miss Netherlands, even competing on "Holland's Next Top Model."

She also made history when she was crowned Miss Netherlands, as she is the first transgender titleholder from her country.

In her Voice for Change video, Kollé said she hopes to use her platform to champion equality and fight bullying, particularly because she has been bullied throughout her life for her gender identity.

Nicaragua: Sheynnis Palacios

A headshot of Miss Nicaragua 2023 Sheynnis Palacios.
Miss Nicaragua 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Sheynnis Palacios, 23, has a degree in mass communications from the Universidad Centroamericana, and she has a passion for producing and editing video content, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Her degree is a huge source of pride for Palacios, particularly because she started having intense anxiety attacks during her studies, as she shared in her Voice for Change video. Palacios started the project "Understand Your Mind" to advocate for women who experience mental-health issues.

Nigeria: Ugochi Mitchel Ihezue

A headshot of Miss Nigeria 2023 Ugochi Ihezue.
Miss Nigeria 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Ugochi Mitchel Ihezue, 26, has a joint MBA from the Lagos Business School in Nigeria and the IESEG School of Management in Paris, according to her Miss Universe bio. Becoming Miss Nigeria also isn't her first pageant triumph. In 2017, Ihezue was crowned Miss World Nigeria and placed in the top 15 at the Miss World pageant, where she was also named Miss World Top Model.

With her platform, Ihezue hopes to help educate women in financial literacy to help them achieve independence, according to her Voice for Change video. She also has a passion for painting.

Norway: Julie Tollefsen

A headshot of Miss Norway 2023 Julie Tollefsen.
Miss Norway 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Julie Tollefsen, 28, works as a fashion designer in Oslo, according to her Miss Universe bio. She prioritizes sustainability in her designs, using her platform as Miss Norway to advocate for less waste in fashion, as she shared in her Voice for Change video.

Tollefsen is also a mental-health advocate and volunteer at a nursing home, and she loves to spend time outdoors when she can.

Pakistan: Erica Robin

A headshot of Miss Pakistan 2023 Erica Robin.
Miss Pakistan 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Erica Robin, 24, will make history when she walks across the Miss Universe page, as she is the first ever Miss Pakistan to compete in the pageant.

In her day-to-day life, Robin works as a model, and she is passionate about her religious beliefs, as she is among the 1% of Christians in Pakistan, according to her Miss Universe bio.

She uses her platform to advocate for gender equality in the workplace, and she volunteers at the Karachi Down Syndrome charity, as she said in her Voice for Change video.

Panama: Natasha Vargas

A headshot of Miss Panama 2023 Natasha Vargas.
Miss Panama 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Natasha Vargas, 26, has a degree in journalism from the Latin University of Panama, and in her Miss Universe bio, she said she hopes to champion human rights with her writing.

She also launched the project Routes of Hope with the organization Casa Hogar Luisa, supporting immigrants in Panama and ensuring they are treated with dignity, according to her Voice for Change video.

Paraguay: Elicena Andrada Orrego

A headshot of Miss Paraguay 2023 Elicena Andrada Orrego.
Miss Paraguay 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Elicena Andrada Orrego, 28, is a pageant veteran. She won Miss Latin America of the World in 2017 and competed in Miss Grand Paraguay in 2021, though she spent much of her life in Spain. She also loves bonding with other women, which is why the pageant world is such a good fit for her, as she said in her Miss Universe bio.

Orrego hopes to use her platform to help end human trafficking, and she launched the Rise Above campaign to help educate others about the global issue, according to her Voice for Change video.

Peru: Camila Escribens

A headshot of Miss Peru 2023 Camila Escribens.
Miss Peru 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Camila Escribens, 25, didn't always picture herself as a pageant queen. Instead, she had high hopes to compete in track at the Olympics — she even competed at the Junior Olympics when she was just 14 years old, as she shared in her Voice for Change video. But shortly after, she was diagnosed with three brain arteriovenous malformations and a rare disease called Factor VII deficiency, which causes blood-clotting problems.

After years of being in and out of hospitals, Escribens is using her second chance at life to help children in Peru with her nonprofit organization AMA by giving them access to ample nutrition and sports, which she considers human rights.

Philippines: Michelle Dee

A headshot of Miss Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee.
Miss Philippines 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Michelle Marquez Dee, 28, studied psychology at De La Salle University and received an entrepreneurship certificate from Harvard University Online, which she used to found multiple businesses, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Dee is also an activist for autism acceptance, a cause she became passionate about because she has two siblings who are on the autism spectrum, as she shared in her Voice for Change video. She was named the Autism Society Philippines' Goodwill Ambassador in 2019, and she still holds the position today.

Dee also loves to take photos, and she considers herself an "adrenaline junkie."

Poland: Angelika Jurkowianiec

A headshot of Miss Poland 2023 Angelika Jurkowianiec.
Miss Poland 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Angelika Jurkowianiec, 27, is a medical analyst, and her work has made her passionate about ensuring people have access to medications and regular medical screenings, according to her Voice for Change video. If she wins Miss Universe, she hopes she can bring more awareness to the importance of medical access.

"The Miss Universe crown is like a tool for me to do more and speak louder," she said.

Portugal: Marina Machete

A headshot of Miss Portugal 2023 Marina Machete.
Miss Portugal 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Marina Machete, 28, works as a flight attendant, and she became the first transgender Miss Portugal when she won the pageant in 2023.

Machete is an advocate for inclusivity, and she uses her platform as Miss Portugal to ensure others have access to safe housing, education, and medical care, especially other trans people, as she said in her Voice for Change video.

In her Miss Universe bio, Machete also said she values people who have a good sense of humor, as she's always looking for reasons to laugh.

Puerto Rico: Karla Guilfú Acevedo

Miss Puerto Rico 2023 Karla Guilfú Acevedo.
Miss Puerto Rico 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Karla Guilfú Acevedo, 25, is currently studying to get her master's degree in psychology, and she also works as a model. She loves food and animals, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Acevado is a mental-health advocate, founding the nonprofit Let's Begin to Heal to help prevent suicide in Puerto Rico and help citizens gain access to mental-health care, move their bodies, and give back to their communities, as she shared in her Voice for Change video.

Russia: Margarita Golubeva

A headshot of Miss Russia 2023 Margarita Golubeva.
Miss Russia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Margarita Golubeva, 22, is a student pursuing degrees in singing and customs service at two different universities, according to her Miss Universe bio. Golubeva isn't new to competitions, as she previously competed on the Russian version of "The Voice."

Golubeva also said in her Miss Universe bio that her mother is a big source of inspiration for her, as she raised four children while working as an oncologist.

Saint Lucia: Earlyca Frederick

A headshot of Miss Saint Lucia 2023 Earlyca Frederick.
Miss Saint Lucia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Earlyca Makeba Frederick, 25, has been competing in pageants since she was just 3 years old, with her efforts culminating in being named Miss Saint Lucia. She currently teaches social sciences and language arts, and she is in the process of getting her bachelor's degree in primary education, according to her Miss Saint Lucia bio.

Frederick is involved with multiple youth groups in Saint Lucia, and she said in her bio that she hopes to use education as a "force for good" with her platform.

Singapore: Priyanka Annuncia

A headshot of Miss Singapore 2023 Priyanka Annuncia.
Miss Singapore 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Priyanka Annuncia, 26, is not only a personal trainer but also the founder of BODSITIVE, an inclusive fashion brand that includes exercise attire, basics, undergarments, and more.

In addition, Annuncia is an anti-human-trafficking activist, a cause she became inspired to champion after she had a career in criminology. She currently partners with Alliance Anti-Trafic in Thailand, which supports victims of human trafficking, and she raises money to support these communities through projects like her Jab for Justice kickboxing classes, according to her Voice for Change video.

Slovakia: Kinga Puhova

A headshot of Miss Slovakia 2023 Kinga Puhova.
Miss Slovakia 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Kinga Puhova, 22, had a career as a successful fashion model, walking runways at Milan and Paris Fashion Week shows and working with designers such as Carolina Herrera, as she shared in her Miss Universe bio.

Today, Puhova is studying fashion project management at the Mod'Spe Paris CE in Paris, which has inspired her to create two sustainable fashion collections to date.

In her Voice for Change video, Puhova also said she is passionate about encouraging women to self-examine themselves for breast cancer, promoting the cause with her #mirrorchallenge.

South Africa: Bryoni Natalie Govender

A headshot of Miss South Africa 2023 Bryoni Natalie Govender.
Miss South Africa 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Bryoni Natalie Govender, 27, is a lawyer who studied at the University of Johannesburg, and she is the first Miss South Africa of Indian descent to win the pageant since 1997, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Govender is a champion for gender equality, in part because of the high rates of violence against women in South Africa, as she shared in her Voice for Change video. To that end, she founded the program "Her Way Out," educating women about their legal rights.

Spain: Athenea Pérez

A headshot of Miss Spain 2023 Athenea Pérez.
Miss Spain 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Athenea Pérez, 27, has a degree in marketing and advertising, and in her Miss Universe bio, she says she is an advocate for racial equality in Spain.

According to her Voice for Change video, Pérez also wants to fight against interpersonal violence in Spain, particularly for adolescent girls. She founded the program The Importance of Signs to help teenagers spot signs of an abusive partner and get access to mental health and legal support if they need it.

Switzerland: Lorena Santen

A headshot of Miss Switzerland 2023 Lorena Santen.
Miss Switzerland 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Lorena Santen, 26, works in banking, using her degree in business administration, as she said in her Miss Universe bio. Her bio also states she is a mental-health advocate, and she is passionate about breaking stigmas around mental-health issues.

Santen wants to use her platform to promote early detection of breast cancer for women of all socioeconomic backgrounds, and she intends to create a breast health app to fulfill her mission, according to her Voice for Change video.

Thailand: Anntonia Porsild

A headshot of Miss Thailand 2023 Anntonia Porsild.
Miss Thailand 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Anntonia Porsild, 27, has a degree in communications from Stamford International University, and she plans to get her MBA soon. She is already using her business skills as an entrepreneur, founding the company Splash.

Porsild hopes to use her platform Little Steps Project to help women gain financial independence, focusing on those who don't have jobs outside of the home, as she shared in a Voice for Change video.

Trinidad and Tobago: Faith Gillezeau

A headshot of Miss Trinidad and Tobago 2023 Faith Gillezeau.
Miss Trinidad and Tobago 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Faith Gillezeau, 25, shows off her passion for Trinidad and Tobago not only by representing the country in the pageant, but also by competing as a national squash player and playing the steelpan, the country's national instrument, according to her Miss Universe bio.

Gillezeau works as a pharmacist, and her work has made her passionate about educating children on the ways diet and exercise can minimize the risk of chronic health issues, as her bio went on to state.

Ukraine: Angelina Usanova

A headshot of Miss Ukraine 2023 Angelina Usanova.
Miss Ukraine 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Angelina Usanova, 26, is trained as a singer, dancer, and composer, as she shared in her Miss Universe bio. Usanova's love of music goes hand in hand with her work as a sound healer and yoga instructor, which she uses to help those struggling amid the war in Ukraine.

She shared in her Voice for Change video that she is working to create rehabilitation centers that can support children who struggled with their mental health during the war using art therapy, music, and nutrition.

Usanova also loves outer space, and she serves as a Peace Ambassador for the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence to create recommendations for how to contact extraterrestrials in a peaceful manner, according to her Miss Universe bio.

USA: Noelia Voigt

A headshot of Miss USA 2023 Noelia Voigt.
Miss USA 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Noelia Voigt, 24, is an interior-design student, according to her Miss Universe bio. Voigt is also a bilingual, Venezuelan-American, and she hopes to use her platform to celebrate immigrants in America.

She also works with the One Love Foundation, which educates students about teen dating violence, according to a Voice for Change video. Voigt intends to make education about dating violence mandatory in US schools, and she has written a children's book that discourages bullying.

Venezuela: Diana Silva

A headshot of Miss Venezuela 2023 Diana Silva.
Miss Venezuela 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Diana Silva, 26, is a flight attendant as well as an experienced pageant contestant, as she previously represented Miss Venezuela at Miss World 2018.

Silva wants to educate teen girls about sex, improve their emotional health, and ensure they have access to contraception because of the high rate of adolescent mothers in her country, focusing on underprivileged communities, as she shared in her Voice for Change video.

Vietnam: Bùi Quỳnh Hoa

A headshot of Miss Vietnam 2023  Bùi Quýnh Hoa.
Miss Vietnam 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Bùi Quỳnh Hoa, 25, works as a model in addition to competing in pageants.

Hoa is an advocate for educating people about reproductive and sexual health, particularly underprivileged women and children in Vietnam, as she shared in her Voice for Change video.

She works with the W-project initiative, which gives Vietnamese women in remote areas access to insurance so they can take care of their gynecological health and educates children and families about how to prevent the contraction of infectious diseases.

Zimbabwe: Brooke Bruk-Jackson

A headshot of Miss Zimbabwe 2023 Brooke Bruk-Jackson.
Miss Zimbabwe 2023.Courtesy of Miss Universe

Brooke Bruk-Jackson, 21, works as a model, esthetician, and fashion designer in Zimbabwe, according to her Miss Universe Bio. She is the first representative Zimbabwe has had at the pageant in 22 years.

Bruk-Jackson wants to create financial inclusion in her country, particularly for women, and if she is crowned Miss Universe, she hopes to partner with NGOs around the world to help women thrive financially, as she shared in a Voice for Change video.

Read the original article on Insider