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Miss Universe Pageant

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

has won , capping off a year of firsts for the competition.

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: ."

Last year's winner, Miss Universe and Miss ˽ýӳ 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, , 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.

“Without them, and without the teachings that leave me each day to day, none of this would be possible,” she wrote on Instagram at the time.

2023 was the first year married women and mothers were allowed to compete. Avella competed alongside Miss Guatemala Michelle Cohn, a mother of two. Cohn captioned a pageant portrait of herself on Instagram with her two children.

Plus-size contestant Miss Nepal Jane Dipika Garrett was 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.

For the first time, the pageant included a Miss Pakistan, Erica Robin, .

“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: , 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 " and added, "I’ll keep inspiring the change I want to see in the world!"

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

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