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Get To Know Miss Universe 2022 Harnaaz Sandhu

By Paula Gallagher··  4 min read
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Get To Know Miss Universe 2022 Harnaaz Sandhu Alamy
Alamy

Yesterday, 80 international beauty queens gathered to vie for the crown of Miss Universe 2022. One emerged the winner – Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu.

The Miss Universe pageant was held at the Universe Arena in Eilat, Israel and was hosted by Steve Harvey. The pageant crowned its queen around 5 a.m. local time, running through the night to accommodate the U.S. primetime schedule. The pageant was expected to reach about 600 million viewers across 172 countries. 

The pageant included the standard segments: displays of traditional national costumes, swimwear, and interview questions. 

Harnaaz Sandhu, 21, was crowned Miss Universe, the first winner from India in 21 years (Lara Dutton won it in 2000). Sandhu said she was feeling “overwhelmed because it’s been 21 years since India got Miss Universe crown — and it’s happening right now.” 

Sandhu was crowned by Miss Universe 2021 Andrea Meza of Mexico. This year’s runner-up is Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira and the second runner-up is Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane.

Harnaaz Sandhu is working on her master’s degree in Public Administration. She is also an actress. For fun, she does yoga, dances, cooks, rides horses, and plays chess.

Her Platform: Female Health and Hygiene

Harnaaz Sandhu’s platform is menstrual equity through public administration, and she attributes her involvement and passion to her mother, Dr. Rabinder Kaur Sandhu, who is a gynecologist. Sandhu has worked with her mother at health camps and on social media to educate women about female health, female cancers, and menstrual hygiene.

Sandhu and her mother did an Instagram series this past November in which they discussed important women’s health issues like menstrual hygiene, cramps, PCOS, PCOD, thyroid, and ovarian and breast cancers.

Harnaaz encouraged both women and men to not view a woman’s period as a “dirty” and “shameful” thing. She also encouraged men to be more supportive of their female family members when they’re on their period. Harnaaz said, "Periods aren't dirty, and women aren't impure, menstruation is not shameful. Society underestimates the strength of a woman. Remember, everything you can do; we can bleed and still take care of the home, family and work. So, support your daughter, sister, mother, and wife and let her know you are there for her."

Harnaaz also spoke about the example her mother set in her area of advocacy: "Mom, you being a woman, have always taken care of your personal and professional life. Indian women are multitaskers. I remember my mother visiting Gurdaspur, to conduct workshops trying to spread awareness about the same. You have been very dedicated to the noble cause. It is high time we come together and talk about ourselves and our issues openly without feeling any sense of shame or guilt."

Her National Costume

Harnaaz Sandhu wore a gorgeous pink lehenga set for the National Costume Competition.

Designed by Abhinav Mishra, the lehenga was paired with traditional Indian jewelry: “danglers, bangles, a statement ring, a choker neckpiece, and a haar, with a multi-stranded matha patti.

The designer commented on the color and ornamentation of the ensemble: “We chose a delicate color like pink to celebrate femininity, however, it holds strength and power, too! We also chose to incorporate our signature intricate mirror and gota patti work to showcase the fine craftsmanship of our country.”

She's Just the Cat's Meow

The pageant didn't end without another interesting interaction from host Steve Harvey. He asked Miss India about her talent to impersonate animal sounds and requested a demonstration. Sandhu gave an impromptu cat impersonation that went viral on Twitter.

Closing Thoughts

“This has been an experience of a lifetime!” said Sandhu. “The past three weeks have been a dream getting to know these exceptional women, and I’m honored to be chosen among them to represent this inspiring organization. I hope to serve the global community to the best of my ability in the year to come.”

Harnaaz Sandhu will move to New York City in January to begin her reign.

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