The coveted Miss Universe pageant witnessed a vibrant Thai beauty queen in the top three for the first time in three and a half decades. Carrying on the legacy of Apasra Hongsakula, the 1965 winner, and Porntip Nakhirunkanok, the 1988 champion, Anntonia left an indelible mark on the international beauty pageant.
The notable event in 2023 took a progressive stride, breaking from longstanding conventions by embracing diversity and inclusivity. The competent roster, featuring an openly transgender woman from Portugal, a body-positive participant from Nepal, and a Colombian contestant elegantly balancing motherhood, embodied the changing perception of beauty and underlined the significance of welcoming multiple interpretations of charm and individuality.
Looking ravishing at all times, Anntonia won over numerous hearts with her elegant simplicity on the grand stage. Among the top twenty, her name prominently figured in the top ten finalists, which boasted contenders from the Philippines, Australia, Spain, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, and of course, Thailand.
When Thailand’s name was announced among the elite top 5, which included representatives from Australia, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Nicaragua, the Thai pageant enthusiasts couldn’t contain their exhilaration. Anntonia’s enchanting voyage marched ahead as she ascended into the top three, rubbing shoulders with breathtaking beauties from Nicaragua and Australia in the grand finale.
In the climactic round, Anntonia was posed with a challenging enquiry: If given a chance to walk a mile in another lady’s shoes for a year, who would she emulate? Displaying no signs of uncertainty, she articulated her reverence for Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani stalwart highly regarded for her commendable crusade for female education.
The nail-biting climax saw a hard decision being made by the judicious panel. Sheynnis Palacios Cornejo of Nicaragua was bestowed with the Miss Universe 2023 crown, marking the beginning of an era as it was the first-time Nicaragua had triumph in this prestigious contest. This was indeed a monumental accomplishment for the Central American country on the global front.
Regardless of not clinching the supreme title, Anntonia’s exceptional display of talent and self-poise committed to promoting a positive message, showered glory and pride upon all Thai people. Indeed, her remarkable journey is an inspiration and testament to the fact that beauty is indeed more than just skin-deep.