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Gorgeous! Miss Universe Australia is Indian!

By Rediff Get Ahead
November 13, 2020 16:17 IST
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Indian-origin beauty queen Maria Thattil was crowned Miss Universe Australia 2020.

Maria, 27, who is based in Melbourne, will represent Australia at the Miss Universe 2020 beauty pageant.

Participating virtually in the pageant due to the pandemic, she beat 25 other contestants to win the title.

Here's presenting 5 things you must know about the newly crowned beauty queen.

 

All photographs: Kind courtesy Maria Thattil/Instagram

1. Her Indian roots

Maria was born and raised in Melbourne.

Her parents are of Indian origin. 'My dad is from Kerala,' she revealed in an online interview.

'He still has family there and I have travelled to India to visit my dad's side of the family.

'My mom is from Kolkata. When she migrated, her entire family migrated too.

'So I grew up with a large family of uncles and aunts and lots of cousins in Melbourne.'

 

2. Being scared to face the camera

Maria is a talent recruiter for the federal government and has a bachelor degree in psychology and a masters in human resources. 

A fashion influencer with over 67,000 followers on Instagram, Maria has a YouTube channel in which she posts lifestyle videos and make up tutorials.

However, there was a time when she was scared to face a camera.

She said, 'In 2013 I started to put my hand in front of my face in photos because I was so self-conscious.

'The first time someone took a 'proper' picture of me where I didn't cover my face was 2015 -- a friend took a picture using a DSLR camera and I remember being shocked because I thought I looked pretty.

'And I slowly started to smile in photos again without a hand over my face, then I started smiling with my teeth... eventually I stopped feeling like I didn't deserve to feel comfortable in front of the camera.'

She added, 'I went from feeling like an imposter in front of the lens to deciding I want to model, to being able to confidently 'be'.'

 

3. An advocate for people of colour

Maria began her social career by sharing beauty tips for people of colour back in 2016 when she worked as a pro makeup artist.

'This is me. Always too much or never enough -- the cultural identity crisis of children of immigrants,' she captioned this pic, above.

'I'm the daughter of both one of the oldest civilisations in the world (India) and one of the most multicultural societies in the world (Australia),' she shared.

'Enriched by the wealth of multiple cultural lenses, I am me. Multi-faceted, complex and powerful.'

After winning the crown, she said, 'As a woman who prides herself on belonging to a multicultural society enriched by our powerful, rich First Nations history and culture -- I cannot express the pride I feel wearing a crown that honours the traditional owners of the land we live on.'

 

4. Coffee is her poison

'If I could drink only ONE thing for the rest of my life (water is also permitted), it would be a strong almond latte -- one per day!

'I'm your typical Melbournian, I LOVE a coffee run, a coffee date, a morning coffee, a coffee with a book,' she wrote on an Instagram post.

 

5. She loves her body (and her stretch marks as well)

Maria took to Instagram to post a pic of her in a bikini revealing stretch marks and cellulite on her thighs.

People felt she was 'too bold', but the beauty queen admitted that she is not a fan of airbrushing.

'We've been conditioned to think that our bodies need airbrushing and to 'exist' without a 'fix' is bold.

'I want us to challenge a culture where loving and accepting yourself is considered 'courageous'. That should be the norm.'

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