Shortly before being crowned Miss Universe 2017 on Monday 30 January 2016 in Manila (Philippines), Iris Mittenaere of France, launched a desperate plea for all the borders of the world to be left wide open.
“Having open borders can allow us to travel across the world and discover a little more about our neighbours,” the Miss France 2016 told host Steve Harvey during the last round of questions on the migration crisis in Europe.
Mittenaere’s plea comes at the time when US President Donald Trump signed an executive order meant to build a wall between along the Mexican border to keep millions of Latin America hustlers out of his country.
Born in Lille in northern France 24 years ago, Mittenaere – the former Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais 2015 – is the second French woman to get the top beauty accolade 57 years after Lorraine Christiane Martel won the title in 1953.
“I was very surprised because, well I don’t know, you know, I still touch the crown and I think, oh my God, I have the crown on my head, I can’t believe it… It is every girl’s dream. Now perhaps we will have more European Miss Universe,” she said.
The dental surgery student said afterwards that she would be campaigning for dental and oral care around the world.
She beat Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier, first runner-up, and Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar, second runner-up, on her way to the lift the crown. The other top finalists included beauties from Kenya, Indonesia, US, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Philippines, Canada, Brazil and Thailand.