Miss Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios wins Miss Universe 2023 in history-making competition

Miss Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios has won the title of Miss Universe 2023, capping off a year of firsts for the competition.

Nicaragua's Sheynnis Palacios is Miss Universe 2023, defeats India's Shweta Sharda | Mint
Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios is Miss Universe 2023, defeats India’s Shweta Sharda

Palacios, 23, a mental-health activist and audiovisual producer, became the first woman from Nicaragua to win the crown at Saturday night’s pageant in San Salvador, El Salvador. The organization shared on Instagram that the new winner copes with anxiety and launched a TV segment called “Understand Your Mind,” in which she interviews experts in emotional care.

“Nicaragua, I feel you in my heartbeat, the sound of your marimba runs through my veins,” she wrote on Instagram prior to the competition. “I will show what Nicaraguans are made of: valor, courage and determination.”

Last year’s winner, Miss Universe 2023 and Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel, crowned Palacios. Miss Thailand Anntonia Porsild was named runner-up and Miss Australia Moraya Wilson placed third.

Everyone who made history at Miss Universe 2023: Married women, moms, plus-size and trans contestants

Multiple other contestants made Miss Universe history at the 72nd event, hosted by Olivia Culpo, Maria Menounos and Jeannie Mai.

Miss Colombia Camila Avella, a married mother, made the top five. After winning the Miss Colombia title, she posted portraits of herself in her crown and sash, hugging her young daughter, Amelia, and tux-clad husband Nassif Kamle.


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A post shared by Camila Avella M🌞 (@camiavellam)

Plus-size contestant Miss Nepal Jane Dipika Garrett was the pageant’s first body-inclusive contestant and finished in the top 20.

“I love my curves! My body is my temple and I will take care of it as holy ground,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing a photo of herself from the swimsuit competition.


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A post shared by Jane Garrett (@jadedipika_)

For the first time, the pageant included a Miss Pakistan, Erica Robin, who wore a pale-pink, floor-length caftan for the swimsuit competition.

“When I was young, I always watched Miss Universe and I used to believe that a woman from Pakistan couldn’t join the greatest Olympics of its kind,” she wrote on Instagram after winning the Miss Pakistan title and celebrated “being able to use my platform for good change and transformation.”


This year’s competitors also included two transgender women: Miss Portugal Marina Machete, who placed in the top 20, and Miss Netherlands Rikkie Valerie Kollé.

On Instagram, Machete gave thanks for “the opportunity to share my story and represent the diversity and unshakable strength we have as women” and added, “I’ll keep inspiring the change I want to see in the world!”


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A post shared by Marina Machete (@marinamachetereis)

Women from around the globe competed for the title in the categories personal statement, in-depth interview, evening gown and swimwear.

Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios has been announced as the winner of the Miss Universe 2023 title, defeating India’s Shweta Sharda in a grand event that took place at the Jose Adolfo Pineda Arena in San Salvador, El Salvador on November 19.

Miss Universe 2022 – USA’s R’Bonney Gabriel crowned Sheynnis Palacios on the stage. She is the first Nicaraguan woman to win the Miss Universe title this year.

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