Miss Universe Breaks Barriers for Nicaragua with Win and Feminist Tribute
This year’s Miss Universe pageant has us gleaming in Latino pride with a historical win for Nicaragua. Sheynnis Palacios, a Nicaraguan model and mental health activist became the first woman from the Central American country to win the pageant.
The 23-year-old took to Instagram before the start of the show to express her excitement in representing her country, dedicating the special moment to her inner child.
“I dedicate tonight to my inner child and to every girl that wishes to make this dream come true. Not even the sky is the limit. Dream so big that people think it’s impossible to achieve because that’s when you know your dreams and goals are overcoming barriers, and remember to accompany them with determination, perseverance, and passion.”
Another special mention by Palacios? When asked which woman’s shoes she would live in for one year if she could, the Nicaraguan contestant chose none other than Mary Wollenstonecraft.
“I would choose Mary Wollenstonecraft because she was the first woman to open the discussion on women’s rights, living through a very difficult situation,” she started. “And I would do whatever is possible so that the income disparity between men and women during that time would open up so that women could work in whatever area they wanted to. There are no limits for women.”
But who was Wollenstonecraft? What did she do, and why did she inspire this pageant queen to pick her among so many others? We’ve got the answers.
Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer and philosopher who advocated for the rights of women in the 18th century
Wollstonecraft was born in April 1759 in England. According to Britannica, she was the daughter of a farmer and worked as a teacher and governess. Although she lived a short life, dying at age 38 in 1797, the author wrote about politics, history, philosophy, and more.
She began analyzing the condition of women of her time early on, publishing her first work, “Thoughts on the Education of Daughters,” in 1787 based on her child-caring experiences. Then, she joined London publisher Joseph Johnson in 1788 as a translator.
During that time, she was most famous for “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” published in 1792, Stanford cites. The book argued women were not inferior to men; this only appeared due to their lack of education. Causing an uproar, the book is considered a pivotal piece in feminist literature, influencing American and European women’s movements of the 19th century.
According to Britannica, the book was a key influence on women’s rights pioneers, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Margaret Fuller.
Her daughter is Mary Shelley, author of “Frankenstein”
Following her return to England, Wollstonecraft started a romance with Godwin, leading to the birth of her second daughter, renowned author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Although the feminist philosopher died 11 days after her birth, Shelley became one of the most prominent novelists in history, writing “Frankenstein.”
It’s no wonder such an important figure inspired Palacios. This is why she impressed many with her answer.
This X user thinks the answer was “brilliant” and that “feminism won today.”
Of course, there’s no question this Miss Universe has brains and beauty.