The world’s first vegan Miss Universe on Interior Magnificence, Feminism, and Utilizing Her Platform for Good

Andrea Mezza is the definition of a multi-hyphenate. In 2020, the activist and singer not solely turned the third Mexican lady to win the coveted Miss Universe title, however this knock-out rabble-rouser made historical past as the primary vegetarian to assert the crown.

However for Meja—whose feminist seeds had been sown when she was a justice-seeking youngster rising up in Chihuahua, Mexico—turning into a magnificence queen was by no means a dream; His coronary heart was set on turning into a physician or an engineer. It wasn’t till her early 20s that Majora acknowledged the big energy that it meant to provide her entry to one of many world’s greatest platforms — the universe, actually — from which to advocate radicalism. for social change.

If it does not problem any beforehand held beliefs about what a pageant winner seems to be like, attempt it for measurement: Majora thinks mainstream magnificence requirements are downright ridiculous, alluding to the truth that we How we glance to ourselves and our shared planet, not how we glance bodily, is what defines true, lasting magnificence. From animal rights to gender equality and ladies’s empowerment, the problems to which Meja has devoted her life are each nice and obligatory. And so long as she’s making her tens of millions of viewers, as she says, “uncomfortable” (an act she does not take calmly), she is aware of she’s profitable—and that is the success that any. Can award way over the sash. Wesnews’ Jasmine Singer met with Miss Universe to debate tacos, criticism, and self-love.

Tracy Nguyen / Miss Universe Group

VEGNEWS: When did your vegan journey start?

Andrea Meza: Two years in the past, my life introduced me to some extent the place I may now not stand to eat animals. I knew nothing about vegetarianism, however one in all my closest associates is a vegetarian, so I used to be studying slightly bit from him. I feel when you’re not able to make modifications in your life, you refuse to simply accept actuality. I used to be making rooster, and I could not eat it anymore. So I went vegetarian for about two months, after which after watching the documentary recreation changers And studying slightly bit about vegetarianism, I used to be like, “Okay, I am able to make a change.”

VN: How do you propose to make use of your platform to unfold the phrase about vegetarianism?

am: One thing that I am saying as Miss Universe is, “I need to make folks uncomfortable.” If it is speaking about what’s taking place to animals or if it is about ladies in energy, then so long as I am making folks uncomfortable, I will maintain doing it. I hope I could make a distinction from this discussion board.

VN: Why is it necessary to you to battle gender-based violence?

am: I come from a rustic that has been violent in the direction of ladies, particularly inside my state. I am from the state of Chihuahua—and sadly, it is identified for violence towards ladies. I grew up understanding that girls are disappearing. I grew up with the worry of going out by myself. My sister turned a feminist earlier than I arrived, and he or she impressed me. “That is the tradition we’re dwelling in, simply because it is our regular doesn’t suggest it is proper,” she mentioned. About 5 years in the past, I used to be already concerned in competitions, and I felt that some folks had been listening to me, and I may use this platform to speak about necessary matters—points which can be right here in my nation. are taking place. And never solely in Mexico, however all around the world. So that is what I have been doing.

“Get comfy with who you’re and the way you look, and it’ll take you additional than evaluating you to others.”
—Andrea Mays

VN: How do you take care of the backlash?

am: Generally it’s tough. The world will not be going to be with you on a regular basis. There are at all times individuals who might be towards you, individuals who won’t such as you. However I remind myself that I am doing the proper factor and that I can change at the least one thought within the room.

VN: Why do you consider it is necessary for society to maneuver away from inflexible magnificence requirements?

am: as a result of they’re dangerous. They’re telling society and little ladies that they should be a sure manner as a way to be stunning or worthy. I used to observe these prime fashions after I was little, and clearly, I admired them and all the previous Miss Universe winners. He impressed me. However on the similar time, after I began it, I had a whole lot of hassle accepting myself as I used to be. I needed to slot in a sure measurement. I needed to have hair like those on TV or in magazines. No matter I did, it was by no means sufficient. It is vitally unhappy to reside life feeling that you’re not sufficient. To start with I used to be evaluating myself to everybody. Now that I am right here, I need to inform ladies that they should not take heed to outdoors feedback, they usually should not care about how different ladies look on social media. Get comfy with who you’re and the way you look, and it’ll take you past evaluating your self to others.

VN: How was your childhood?

am: I used to be a dreamer. I dreamed of turning into a physician. I needed to be a pediatrician, I needed to be an architect, I needed to be a singer. Once I began rising up I noticed that I’m excellent at maths. I began dreaming of turning into an engineer- I had by no means dreamed of turning into a magnificence queen. At school, when it was the spring competition, that they had a princess and a king. I might see them on stage, and I might be like, “Wow, they’re beautiful.” Then, when Ximena Navarrete gained the Miss Universe title in 2010, it was the primary time that being a magnificence queen got here to my thoughts.


Tracy Nguyen / Miss Universe Group

VN: How do you keep so optimistic?

am: I remind myself on daily basis of my wonderful work and my necessary obligation as Miss Universe and a public determine making an attempt to make a distinction in a technique to transfer ahead and encourage me. Once I’m so drained, after I’m always working and haven’t got the weekend to get a great relaxation, I can begin to complain slightly. However I maintain reminding myself that I’m dwelling my dream. And I attempt to keep a steadiness in order that it isn’t all in regards to the work.

VN: What sort of modifications do you anticipate to see by way of making a kinder world?

am: I hope governments and well being establishments start to acknowledge that we do not want animal merchandise, [that we have] Plant based mostly merchandise. I do know it’s arduous, however it may be achieved. And I do know it is asking for lots, however I want that sooner or later, the large supermarkets would go fully vegetarian.

VN: What was your relationship with animals like rising up?

am: Rising up, my household owned a farm. And if the rooster, egg or meat I used to be consuming got here from the farm, I might not eat it. If I met cows or chickens, I might not eat them. I declined as a result of I used to be unhappy to know the place they had been coming from. Then after I grew up I began ignoring it and stopped desirous about animals. So I assume my life ultimately made me a vegetarian, as a result of to start with, I used to be like that.

VN: And how much meals did you develop up consuming?

am: I’ll eat all types of meals. Tacos- You understand, I am Mexican so I cherished tacos. I make vegetarian tacos now. Ceviche, which may be very in style in my nation; Now I’ve a vegetarian recipe too. All of the Mexican dishes- pozole, tamales, they had been all my favourites. However my mom at all times used to cook dinner a whole lot of greens. I grew up consuming greens, so making a change was not a tough job for me.

VN: What’s your favourite half about being a vegetarian?

am: Understanding that I’m contributing to saving our world. I consider this life-style is one of the simplest ways to contribute to stopping local weather change. It’s a tough job, however all of us ought to do one thing about it.

For extra interviews with vegan changemakers, learn:
Why Tabitha Brown by no means loses sight of her religion, household or vegetarianism
Joaquin Phoenix on Veganism, the Surroundings and Social Justice
Korean Vegan’s First Cookbook Is an Schooling in Acceptance

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