Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen of India on Sunday said she would rather be a contestant of the prestigious beauty tilt again than a judge because of the difficulty of choosing the most deserving woman to wear the much coveted crown.
But Sen, who was crowned Miss Universe in Manila, vowed to choose the best girl to succeed Philippines’ Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. She admitted that she’s a big fan of the Filipina beauty.
“Honestly I’d rather be a contestant than a judge. Because as judge, especially if you have become a contestant, your hands keep like, I can’t do that to someone. She’s worked so hard for this and I just can’t give her low marks,” Sen told members of the media at the Miss Universe red carpet at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
“The best girl must win. The best country must keep their best foot forward tomorrow morning,” she said.
Asked what she is looking for in the next Miss Universe, Sen said: “A 21st century girl who is unapologetic about being beautiful. She should enjoy it. She should inspire change. She should be beautiful and body confident but not superficially. She has to forget that she’s from, for example from the Philippines, and become a universal person that has equal empathy for the rest of the world.”
Sen said she finds the Philippines’ bet Maxine Medina beautiful, adding that she has a big legacy to follow because Wurtzbach “is such a wonderful Miss Universe and a beautiful girl.”
Aside from Sen, the Miss Universe judges this year are Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres of Puerto Rico; Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola; Mickey Boardman, editorial director of fashion and pop-culture magazine PAPER; TV star and former model Cynthia Bailey; and Emmy and Tony award-winning producer and activist Francine LeFrak.
For her part, Lopes said she was looking for a “confident, strong, and beautiful girl” with the “full package.
“Miss Universe is a woman who is capable of inspiring other women and young girls… I’m a little bit nervous because it’s a huge responsibility. I’ve been Miss Universe so I know the importance of this title, the importance of carrying this crown. So I have to be honest that it’s tough, but it’s not impossible. The judges will pick the best,” Lopes said.