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Miss Universe Australia: Maria Thattil progresses to the top 10

Australia’s Miss Universe 2021 entrant, Maria Thattil, has been selected for the top 10 of the competition.

The renowned beauty pageant began in Florida on Sunday, after it was postponed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Maria, 28, wowed the judges in a figure-hugging blue dress, as she progressed through to the next stage of the competition.

Next round: Australia’s Miss Universe entrant, Maria Thattil has been selected for the top 10 of the competition. Pictured at the Miss Universe 2021 pageant in Florida on Sunday

The Indian-Australian beauty is representing Australia at the 69th Miss Universe contest.

Maria, the daughter of immigrants who was born and raised in Melbourne, addressed her critics who say she isn’t ‘Australian enough’ to represent her country in an impassioned column for Stellar magazine this weekend.

With her cultural identity having ‘always been a point of contention’, Maria hopes her presence in the competition on Monday will ‘shatter glass ceilings’.

Out of the blue: Maria, 28, wowed the judges in a figure-hugging blue dress, as she progressed through to the next stage of the competition. Pictured at the Miss Universe 2021 pageant in Florida on Sunday

Out of the blue: Maria, 28, wowed the judges in a figure-hugging blue dress, as she progressed through to the next stage of the competition. Pictured at the Miss Universe 2021 pageant in Florida on Sunday

'My cultural identity has always been a point of contention': Maria has addressed critics who say she isn't 'Australian enough' to represent at the pageant on Monday, in an impassioned column for The Daily Telegraph's Stellar magazine

‘My cultural identity has always been a point of contention’: Maria has addressed critics who say she isn’t ‘Australian enough’ to represent at the pageant on Monday, in an impassioned column for The Daily Telegraph’s Stellar magazine

‘Like many “third culture” kids, I used to feel like an awkward in-betweener – never feeling Indian enough to be Indian, or Australian enough to be Australian,’ she said.  

Maria revealed how she was often subjected to cruel jokes and racial stereotypes growing up, and admitted to trying to hide her ethnicity in her teens and early twenties.

‘I wore foundation three shades too light and green contacts to appear more Caucasian, and I laughed along to racist jokes,’ she said.

Candid: The daughter of immigrants, who was born and raised in Melbourne, said that growing up she never felt 'Indian enough to be Indian, or Australian enough to be Australian'

Candid: The daughter of immigrants, who was born and raised in Melbourne, said that growing up she never felt ‘Indian enough to be Indian, or Australian enough to be Australian’

Fitting in: Maria revealed how she was often subjected to cruel jokes and racial stereotypes growing up, and admitted to trying to hide her ethnicity in her teens and early 20s

Fitting in: Maria revealed how she was often subjected to cruel jokes and racial stereotypes growing up, and admitted to trying to hide her ethnicity in her teens and early 20s 

Maria is determined to use her platform at the Miss Universe pageant to combat injustice in Australia and around the world.

‘My voice will amplify those who haven’t been heard and I hope my presence in this arena will shatter glass ceilings,’ she said. 

Maria previously told Beauty Crew she was inspired to apply for Miss Universe Australia because of the 2019 winner, Priya Serrao, who was born in India.

Determined: Now set to represent Australia at the Miss Universe competition on Monday, Maria is determined to use her platform to combat injustice. Pictured at the preliminary competition in Florida, in the United States this month

Determined: Now set to represent Australia at the Miss Universe competition on Monday, Maria is determined to use her platform to combat injustice. Pictured at the preliminary competition in Florida, in the United States this month 

‘Seeing her do it, that’s when I realised there is no mould,’ she said.  

‘My message is all about inclusivity, and inclusivity means equality. 

‘I’m championing a world where people can be themselves, irrespective of markers of their social identity that they have been told is a deficit, whether it’s sexuality, faith, their job, their socioeconomic status, their gender.’  

Message: 'My voice will amplify those who haven't been heard and I hope my presence in this arena will shatter glass ceilings,' she said. Pictured at the national costume show this month

Message: ‘My voice will amplify those who haven’t been heard and I hope my presence in this arena will shatter glass ceilings,’ she said. Pictured at the national costume show this month


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