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  • Miss Universe 2021's Winning Advice To Girls: 'Stop Comparing Yourselves With Others'

    India's Harnaaz Sandhu claims the 70th Miss Universe crown with striking advice for young women.
    by Angela Baylon .
Miss Universe 2021's Winning Advice To Girls: 'Stop Comparing Yourselves With Others'
PHOTO BY (from left) instagram/missuniverse, instagram/harnaazsandhu_03
  • Harnaaz Sandhu of India was crowned Miss Universe 2021, on December 13, 2021 (Philippine time), besting 79 other candidates. Philippine bet Beatrice Gomez also finished strong, entering the Top 5 of the pageant held in Eliat, Israel.

    During the final round of the competition, the top 3 delegates were asked the same question: "What advice would you give young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today?"

    At the front and center of Harnaaz's answer is self-love. For her, the only way young women could break through societal pressure is when they stop focusing on others and start acknowledging and appreciating their own strengths.

    In full, she says, "Well, I think the biggest pressure the youth of today is facing is to believe in themselves. To know that you are unique and that what makes you beautiful, stop comparing yourselves with others and let’s talk about more important things that are happening worldwide. I think this is what you need to understand.

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    Come out, speak for yourself because you are the leader of your life, you are the voice of your own. I believed in myself and that’s why I’m standing here today." 

    Her well-put statement shone the brightest from her runner-ups' answers. First runner-up, Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira tackled resilience.

    She said, "I’ve been through so many hard situations in my life but I [overcame] it, so I want all women, all person[s] who [are] watching in this moment to join forces, to do what you are meant to do because you can do it, no matter the situation. You can overcome it, and you can always be victorious."

    For her part, second-runner up Miss South Africa Lalena Mswane told young women to step out of their comfort zone in the pursuit of their goals.

    With conviction, she said, "I would implore young women today to choose courage over comfort every opportunity they get. I’d also like young women to know that since the beginning of time, they’ve had everything within them to achieve anything they wanted. It is, unfortunately, the world that convinced us that we did not." 

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    Miss India's advocacy

    In her Miss Universe profile, Harnaaz said her ultimate inspiration to believe in her strength as a woman is her mother, "who broke generations of patriarchy to become a successful gynecologist and led her family."

    Working alongside her mom in medical missions to help women in need, Harnaaz was made aware of her privilege. But instead of soaking in her own comforts, the 21-year-old actress developed her advocacy for women empowerment.

    "Harnaaz today is a strong advocate for women's empowerment, particularly their constitutional rights to education, careers, and their freedom of choice," her profile read.

    Before joining Miss Universe, Harnaaz said she wanted to use her status as a celebrity in her home country to "break stereotypes that the world has of women." 

    Harnaaz succeeds Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Meza of Mexico. She is also the third woman from India to claim the prestigious title.

    As parents, our children look up to us and rely on us for guidance. If you're asked the same question, what is the best advice you could give to your youngsters? Share your answer on our Facebook group, Smart Parenting Village.

    All parents aspire to become a good example for their kids. Read how to be effective role models here.

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