The world’s first vegan Miss Universe on Inside 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 say the crown.

However for Meja—whose feminist seeds have been sown when she was a justice-seeking youngster rising up in Chihuahua, Mexico—changing into a magnificence queen was by no means a dream; His coronary heart was set on changing into a health care provider or an engineer. It wasn’t till her early 20s that Majora acknowledged the large energy that it meant to provide her entry to one of many world’s largest 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 appears 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 vital. And so long as she’s making her hundreds of thousands of viewers, as she says, “uncomfortable” (an act she does not take evenly), she is aware of she’s profitable—and that is the success that any. Can award excess of 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 a degree the place I might now not stand to eat animals. I knew nothing about vegetarianism, however one in all my closest buddies is a vegetarian, so I used to be studying somewhat bit from him. I feel if you find yourself not able to make adjustments in your life, you refuse to just 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 sport changers And studying somewhat 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 individuals 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 individuals uncomfortable, I will preserve doing it. I hope I could make a distinction from this discussion board.

VN: Why is it vital to you to struggle gender-based violence?

am: I come from a rustic that has been violent in direction of ladies, particularly inside my state. I am from the state of Chihuahua—and sadly, it is recognized for violence in opposition to ladies. I grew up figuring out that ladies are disappearing. I grew up with the concern of going out alone. My sister turned a feminist earlier than I arrived, and he or she impressed me. “That is the tradition we’re residing 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 individuals have been listening to me, and I might use this platform to speak about vital subjects—points which might be right here in my nation. are taking place. And never solely in Mexico, however everywhere in the world. So that is what I have been doing.

“Get snug 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: Typically it’s tough. The world isn’t going to be with you on a regular basis. There are all the time individuals who can be in opposition to you, individuals who won’t such as you. However I remind myself that I am doing the appropriate factor and that I can change a minimum of one thought within the room.

VN: Why do you consider it is vital 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 method in an effort to be lovely or worthy. I used to look at 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 identical time, after I began it, I had plenty of hassle accepting myself as I used to be. I wished to slot in a sure measurement. I wished to have hair like those on TV or in magazines. No matter I did, it was by no means sufficient. It is rather unhappy to dwell 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 exterior feedback, they usually should not care about how different ladies look on social media. Get snug 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 changing into a health care provider. I wished to be a pediatrician, I wished to be an architect, I wished to be a singer. Once I began rising up I spotted that I’m superb at maths. I began dreaming of changing into an engineer- I had by no means dreamed of changing into a magnificence queen. In class, when it was the spring pageant, they’d 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 daily of my wonderful work and my vital responsibility as Miss Universe and a public determine attempting to make a distinction in a technique to transfer ahead and encourage me. Once I’m so drained, after I’m always working and do not have the weekend to get relaxation, I can begin to complain somewhat. However I preserve reminding myself that I’m residing my dream. And I attempt to keep a stability in order that it is not all in regards to the work.

VN: What sort of adjustments do you count on 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 massive 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 have been coming from. Then after I grew up I began ignoring it and stopped fascinated by animals. So I suppose my life finally 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 every kind of meals. Tacos- You recognize, I am Mexican so I beloved tacos. I make vegetarian tacos now. Ceviche, which may be very fashionable in my nation; Now I’ve a vegetarian recipe too. All of the Mexican dishes- pozole, tamales, they have been all my favourites. However my mom all the time used to prepare dinner plenty 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: Figuring out that I’m contributing to saving our world. I consider this way of life is one of the best 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 Atmosphere and Social Justice
Korean Vegan’s First Cookbook Is an Training in Acceptance

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