Tonight, Miss World Vanessa Ponce of Mexico will crown her successor at the 69th Miss World competition.
For the past year, Ponce has toured the globe to fulfill her duties as Miss World, but on Saturday, her reign will come to an end. She tells the Lifestyle Inquirer, “It’s time. It’s time for someone new to take my role. It’s time for a new project, new energy, new dreams.”
Here’s what you need to know about Miss World 2018 Vanessa Ponce.
1. She Was Crowned Last Year’s Pageant Winner in Sanya, China
Last year, Ponce was crowned the 68th Miss World at the Sanya City Arena in China.
She became the first Miss World from Mexico in the beauty contest’s 68-year reign. She tells the Lifestyle Inquirer of her win, “Mexico went crazy when I won, because I was the first. Everyone was like, ‘you made it, you made us proud.’ I’m so blessed that it was me, and I’m so blessed that I was born in this century.”
A full-time model and beauty queen, Vanessa was born and raised in the city of Guanajuato. After winning the crown last year, she told reporters backstage, “I can’t believe it. I really can’t believe it… And I think all the girls deserved it. I am proud to represent all of them. I will do as much as I can in the time I have got. Thank you so much, everyone.”
To date, Ponce has over 335k followers on Instagram. Her bio reads, “In a world full of people who couldn’t care less, be someone who couldn’t care more.”
2. She Received Her Degree in International Commerce from the University of Guanajuato
Even though Vanessa was the first Miss Mexico to be crowned the winner of Miss World, she is no stranger to fashion. She was the winner of Mexico’s Next Top Model in 2014.
Ponce studied international commerce at the University of Guanajuato, in the state of Guanajuato. She also holds a diploma in Human Rights.
Earlier this year, when Piers Morgan introduced Vanessa to viewers as a model, she corrected him and said that her main role is as a charity worker. When Piers said, “Here´s my point: I don´t think you should be remotely afraid to accept you are dazzingly beautiful.” She responded, “We are changing the world… We know we are beautiful – and thank you for saying so – but we have a purpose. We all have projects in our own communities. All the girls have them. And there are 140 nations so it’s a huge network.”
While the interview was at first tense, it “ended in good spirits”, in the words of Hola!.
3. She Is a Licensed Scuba Diver
When she isn’t working, you can find Ponce scuba diving, playing volleyball, or painting.
She tells the Lifestyle Inquirer that given the choice, she would move to London next. “I feel half London-eer, London-ese (British) now …” Vanessa tells the outlet. “I like that society is completely nonjudgmental. You can be however you want, you can dress however you like, you can be whoever you want—no one judges you. No one steps in your way, no one fusses about it, you’re just doing your thing and people are doing theirs. And we’re all seen as equal.”
4. She Works with a Number of Humanitarian Organizations
During the Miss World 2018 competition, Vanessa campaigned for her project, “Na Vili”, which helps children of Mexican day laborers who emigrated from the State of Guerrero, Mexico, to the State of Guanajuato. In the words of Yucatan.com, “The Navalí Project, which has been operating in Guanajuato for five years, consists, according to the model, in providing education, health and nutrition to children of indigenous day-to-day families. In this way, children, instead of going to work, are taken to a space where they receive education and medical care.”
When she met the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in January, she shared with him, “Any gift you have is of no use if you don’t put it at the service of others.”
Ponce is on the Board of Directors of a rehab center for girls. She has volunteered with a number of other organizations, including Migrantes en el Camino, and she’s worked with organizations that support people with disabilities.
5. She Is the Oldest Miss World Winner Thus Far
While she is still young at 27, Ponce is the oldest winner thus far in the beauty contest’s history.
Vanessa tells the Lifestyle Inquirer, “I just feel like I’m gonna miss the team, this experience,” she said. “I see them getting to meet each other, eating in the restaurant … I was there. And I’m getting nostalgic about all these moments.”
On Saturday, 111 countries will be represented in the 2019 Miss World competition. Check out the contestants and winner predictions here.