On Monday night in San Paulo, Brazil, Leila Lopes was awarded the title of Miss Universe 2011. It was the first time a contestant from Angola was awarded the title and only the fourth time a black woman had received it. Speaking timidly and showing much humility and appreciation, a new Miss Universe was crowned. Here are some quick facts to get you caught up to speed on Leila Lopes, the new Miss Universe 2011.
Miss Angola took the first step towards becoming Miss Universe from the UK
Though the African country of Angola can count Leila Lopes as their first crowned winner in the history of the Miss Universe Pageant, she actually started her run for the title in Great Britain where she is studying Business Management. In October of 2010, Lopes won the title of Miss Angola UK and went on two months later to win the title of Miss Angola in her home country two months later
She knows how to look good in bold outfits
During the swimsuit competition, Leila highlighted her outer beauty in a bright yellow bikini that was sexy without being vulgar. First covered from the waist down in a slinky purple wrap, Miss Angola revealed her slender build and deftly strutted before the audience and judges, giving them a good look at the future of the Miss Universe title. Though fans favored her evening gown look (a gold and silver sequined dress with feather adornments), the judges obviously thought she shined in all her outfits (sequins or not).
Miss Universe likes to tweet
Seeing as the pageant restricts entry to women under 27 who have never been married or had children, you would expect that most of the contestants would have a strong grasp on social media; Miss Angola is no exception. Prior to winning the 2011 Miss Universe crown, @leila_lopes was tweeting about her experiences in Brazil and being very congenial, wishing that the best contestant would win. She’s since been named on the @TheRealMissU account and will (presumably) soon broadcast from that much larger forum.
She’s a humanitarian
Not satisfied with tackling the old pageant standard of “world peace”, Miss Universe 2011 is excited about the chance to promote both her country and her social causes. In the past, she has “worked with various social causes. I work with poor kids, I work in the fight against HIV. I work to protect the elderly and I have to do everything that my country needs She added that “I think now as Miss Universe I will be able to do much more.
She’s an overall crowd pleaser
How do you gain support from a crowd who showed up to support someone else? Speak to them in their language. Literally. Lopes’ home country of Angola, like Brazil, was once a Portuguese colony. Choosing to address both the judges and the audience in Portuguese proved a huge asset in competition (perhaps more so than her smile, which the beauty considered her biggest weapon going into the competition).
Good luck with all your causes, Leila, and we wish you the best as the new Miss Universe!
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