Many celebrities do some outlandish things to stay relevant and in the spotlight. Occasionally, though, they also do something to pay tribute to their most important influencers. The Miss Universe pageant began earlier this month, and Miss Thailand wore a dress made of soda tabs to the Miss Universe pageant. Not only is it surprisingly stunning, but she did it as a tribute to honor some of the most important people in her life.
The Pageant’s History and Origins
The Miss Universe Pageant has passed through many hands during its time. In October 2021, it came into possession of the first-ever female owner in its history, Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip. “We are incredibly honored to be acquiring the Miss Universe Organization and working with its visionary leadership team,” said Jakrajutatip. “We seek not only to continue its legacy of providing a platform to passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions, but also to evolve the brand for the next generation.”
Beginning in 1952, the first pageant consisted of only 30 women but has since grown significantly. First televised three years later, in 1955, it is now broadcast in 165 countries worldwide. Although the pageant’s purpose and message have faced some controversy over the years, its sole purpose is to celebrate diversity and empower women across the globe. Furthermore, most competitors have also made waves for their philanthropic and charitable works.
Miss Thailand’s Unconventional Look
During the pageant, there are several categories in which the women compete. They range from talent to beauty to knowledge. During this year’s evening gown portion of the competition, Miss Thailand stunned audiences with her unusual choice of gown. Nonetheless, her selection was original and stunning. Anna Sueangam-iam, Miss Thailand, shared an image of her gown to Instagram. The image has gone viral and now has more than 150,000 likes.
Not likely a coincidence, the dress was designed by Manirat, a Thai Fashion brand. “Although she was called by some as ‘the garbage beauty queen,’ that never stops her from shining bright as a precious gem,” Miss Thailand posted on her Instagram page. The “nickname” is in reference to her choice of evening gown, made from the tabs from the top of soda cans, and Swarovski crystals. Regardless of others’ opinions the gown, called the “Hidden Precious Diamond Dress“, holds a meaning close to Anna’s heart.
No Stranger to Struggles
So how does a gown made of “trash” hold a place in the heart of Miss Thailand? Well, according to the beauty queen’s Instagram page, “This gown was inspired by the familiar surroundings of my childhood,” Her post continues, “Growing up with garbage collector parents, my life as a child was among piles of garbage and recyclables. This unique gown was purposefully tailor-made with discarded and recycled materials, namely the ‘Can Tab’ to present to the UNIVERSE that what’s considered worthless by many actually possesses its own value and beauty. Thank you all for seeing it, hearing it, and hopefully being that message of self-worth.”
From poverty to harsh weather to genocide, people of islands often face more hardships than those in other parts of the world. According to Miss Thailand’s Bio, Anna is no stranger to tragedy and struggles. She was born in a slum in Bangkok and was sent to a Buddhist temple to be brought up by nuns, an attempt by her father to keep her safe. Miss Thailand was fed leftovers from the monks and worked hard to scrape money together for school. She collected plastic bottles for recycling, donated blood, and a number of odds and ends gigs.
Using Her Voice to Better the World
Although she had a difficult upbringing, she credits that to how she got where she is today. Additionally, she’s used her fame to create a brighter world, collaborating with many nonprofit organizations. An example is providing children with access to educational systems. Moreover, she conducted a campaign supporting the No Mixed Waste project and works with Smile Train Thailand.
Miss Thailand has a story and mission that powerfully speaks volumes to poor children worldwide. Her journey is an inspiration. Meanwhile, her out-of-the-box thinking will likely help her make strides to continue making the world a better place.
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