R’Bonnie Gabriel, an Asian American, won the Miss Universe title

R’Bonnie Gabriel She won the 71st Miss Universe title from the United States on Saturday night.

Gabrielle became the first Filipina-American to win the Miss USA title last year, beating Amanda Dudamel of Venezuela and Andrea Martinez of the Dominican Republic.

Held in New Orleans, Louisiana, 84 women from around the world competed for the crown.

Saturday night was the final day of competition, with eliminations whittling down the finalists to the final two.

As Gabrielle entered the top 5, she was asked, “Miss Universe recently made a change this year to allow mothers and married women to compete. What is another change you would like to see and why?”

Gabriel replied that he hoped the pageant organizers would raise the candidate age limit.

“For me, I want to see the age increase because I’m 28. That’s the oldest age to compete. And I think that’s a beautiful thing. My favorite quote is ‘If not now, when?’ Because I believe that as a woman, age doesn’t define us, it’s not tomorrow, it’s not yesterday — but it’s now. The time is now,” she said.

Gabrielle is a Houston-based model, fashion designer and sewing instructor who prioritizes the environment in her work.

This is a growing story. More details to come.

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