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 girl 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 have been sown when she was a justice-seeking baby 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 physician or an engineer. It wasn’t till her early 20s that Majora acknowledged the large energy that it meant to offer 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 appears like, strive 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 girls’s empowerment, the problems to which Meja has devoted her life are each nice and mandatory. 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 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 a degree the place I might now not stand to eat animals. I knew nothing about vegetarianism, however certainly one of my closest buddies is a vegetarian, so I used to be studying a bit of bit from him. I feel when you’re not able to make modifications in your life, you refuse to just accept actuality. I used to be making hen, 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 a bit of 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 wish to make folks uncomfortable.” If it is speaking about what’s taking place to animals or if it is about girls in energy, then so long as I am making folks uncomfortable, I am going to maintain doing it. I hope I could make a distinction from this discussion board.

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

am: I come from a rustic that has been violent in direction of girls, particularly inside my state. I am from the state of Chihuahua—and sadly, it is recognized for violence towards girls. I grew up realizing 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 dwelling in, simply because it is our regular does not imply it is proper,” she stated. About 5 years in the past, I used to be already concerned in competitions, and I felt that some folks have been listening to me, and I might use this platform to speak about essential subjects—points which can 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 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 is just not going to be with you on a regular basis. There are all the time individuals who will probably be towards you, individuals who is not going to such as you. However I remind myself that I am doing the correct factor and that I can change at the least one thought within the room.

VN: Why do you consider it is essential 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 must be a sure manner in an effort to be stunning or worthy. I used to observe these high 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 lots of bother 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 extremely 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 wish to inform ladies that they should not hearken 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 changing 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 superb at maths. I began dreaming of changing into an engineer- I had by no means dreamed of changing into a magnificence queen. At school, when it was the spring pageant, they’d a princess and a king. I would see them on stage, and I would be like, “Wow, they’re attractive.” 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 day-after-day of my wonderful work and my essential obligation as Miss Universe and a public determine making an attempt to make a distinction in a option to transfer ahead and encourage me. Once I’m so drained, after I’m always working and do not have the weekend to get a great relaxation, I can begin to complain a bit of. However I maintain reminding myself that I’m dwelling my dream. And I attempt to preserve a steadiness in order that it is not all in regards to the work.

VN: What sort of modifications do you count on to see when it comes to 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 exhausting, 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 hen, egg or meat I used to be consuming got here from the farm, I’d not eat it. If I met cows or chickens, I’d 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 with animals. So I suppose my life ultimately made me a vegetarian, as a result of at first, 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 realize, I am Mexican so I cherished tacos. I make vegetarian tacos now. Ceviche, which could be very common 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 lots of greens. I grew up consuming greens, so making a change was not a tough activity 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 simplest ways to contribute to stopping local weather change. It’s a tough activity, 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 Setting and Social Justice
Korean Vegan’s First Cookbook Is an Schooling in Acceptance

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