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The "queen of garbage" who conquered Miss Universe with a dress made of recycled cans


The Thai Anna Sueangam-iam shared in the contest the story of her childhood, which she spent among the dumps of Bangkok, and wanted to pay tribute to her with a design based on sheet metal rings

As a child they called her "queen of garbage", but at the age of 23 the Thai Anna Sueangam-iam has been crowned queen of beauty.

It was not her, but the American R'Bonney Gabriel who managed to win the title of Miss Universe in the contest held this weekend.

But the personal story of Sueangam-iam, who did come to be named the most beautiful woman in her country, was the one that caught the attention of the public, making her the true protagonist of the day.

"I am a person who grew up in a garbage dump," explained the model within the framework of the contest.

Her father was a garbage collector, her mother was a street sweeper, and the family lived in one of Bangkok's poorest slums.

The girl herself had to search through the garbage for plastic bottles to collect and help with some bats (Thailand's national currency) to the precarious family economy.

Sueangam-iam also scrubbed public toilets, donated blood every semester, and ate leftovers from Buddhist nuns' dining room.

She always dreamed of being a beauty queen, but because of her situation, her classmates made fun of her, calling her "the queen of garbage."

More information

A Thai transgender millionaire buys the Miss Universe beauty pageant with the aim of making it more inclusive and diverse

Far from hiding these humble origins, Miss Thailand shared them with the jury and with her colleagues and made them part of the story with which to present herself in the contest.

In the preliminary competition, held on January 11 in New Orleans, United States, the model took the stage in a shiny metallic dress.

The design could be reminiscent of those fashioned by the designer Paco Rabanne in the sixties, claimed in the early two thousand by figures such as Kate Moss or Paris Hilton.

Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip, new owner of the Miss Universe pageant, presents the ImpactWayv award to Miss Thailand, Anna Sueangam-iam.Gerald Herbert (AP)

But the suit contained another message: it was made of tin rings set with Swarovski crystals.

“This dress was inspired by the family environment of my childhood,” Sueangam-iam explained on her Instagram account, which has just reached half a million followers.

“Growing up with garbage-collector parents, my childhood was spent among piles of garbage.

This one-of-a-kind dress was purposely made from discarded and recycled materials to show the universe that what many consider worthless actually has its own value and beauty.”

The can ring dress became something else.

In a symbol and a powerful media hook that has earned the wearer the ImpactWayv award for its social impact of the contest, as well as great visibility.

The Miss Universe beauty pageant has lost relevance in recent years, accused of objectifying women and representing a series of outdated and outdated values.

To alleviate this change in its social perception, after 70 editions, last year an attempt was made to give it a change of focus.

In October 2022 it was acquired by the Thai transgender tycoon and activist Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, who bought it for $20 million (more or less the same amount in euros, at current exchange rates) with the aim of making the organization more "inclusive". and that celebrates women of all profiles, cultures and traditions”.

Former US President Donald Trump owned the event from 1996 to 2015.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-01-16

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