Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green is the runner-up for Miss Universe 2018. After three hours of televised competition, following a week of preliminary competition in Thailand, she lost the crown to Miss Philippines Catriona Gray. This year’s competition had a record 94 contestants representing their countries. Miss Venezuela took the third place position. If Gray cannot fulfill her duties as Miss Universe, Green will step into the role and take the crown and title.
Tamaryn Green, who is 23 years old, is in her 6th year of medical school and training to become a doctor. According to The South African, although Green had to put her studies on hold to fulfill her duties as Miss South Africa, “she still feels she can use her knowledge to good effect over the next 12 months, telling the pageant her medical know-how could be used “to help South African women understand their strengths.” Her title and the Miss Universe competition will help her pay for medical school: The South African reports that “with all the prizes and contracts she’s won, the total package comes to about R3 million.”
The South African reports that Green is a Tuberculosis survivor and has used her Miss South Africa title to help bring about change and fight the disease. In September, she spoke about her #BreakTheStigma campaign to the United Nations.
Ahead of the final night of competition for the coveted title of Miss Universe 2018, Green posted a throwback photo of herself as a child on Instagram and wrote a touching letter to her former self in the caption. She began with “Little girl, You might not understand this now because the most important thing for you is to play in the sun with your sister and brother but what a story you’ll have to share. Before you were born there was a special promise placed on your life, something bigger than you ever would have imagined and it will be great….but the journey will not be easy.” After making reference to the struggles she has faced in her life, and the Miss Universe journey those struggles helped lead to, she addressed the significance of the Miss Universe 2018 competition and what it means to her to be there:
“On the 17th of December 2018 you’ll proudly say your name in front of millions with the utmost pride as you represent the country that raised you on that stage! How wonderful!
No matter what happens, always take pride in the woman that you’ve become, the voice that you’re putting out into the world and that kindness is the world’s most valuable currency. Love those who raised you and shaped you and always give thanks to the Lord for this blessed life! Remember always, that you are fearfully and wonderfully made!”
Green had some added pressure during the competition, since the 2017 Miss Universe title went to South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. The Miss Universe organization defines their winner as “confident. She must understand the values of our brand and the responsibilities of the title. She must have the ability to articulate her ambition. A contestant should demonstrate authenticity, credibility and exhibit grace under pressure.”