In the lead-up to the 72nd edition of Miss Universe, we had the pleasure of chatting with the radiant Miss Mexico, Melissa Flores. This 25-year-old psychologist from Michoacán is not just a beauty queen but a woman on a mission. With a smile that can brighten any room, Melissa passionately shared her journey to the world’s most prestigious beauty pageant and her aspirations to make a significant impact on mental health and violence eradication.
Miss Universe 2023 is set to take place on November 18 in El Salvador. Ninety contestants from around the globe will vie for the coveted title of ‘the most beautiful woman in the world.’ The reigning Miss Universe, R’Bonney Gabriel, will pass on her crown to her successor at the end of the competition. Spanish-speaking viewers in the United States can tune into Telemundo, the official Spanish-language broadcaster of the competition.
When asked about her feelings leading up to the competition, Melissa expressed her excitement and anticipation. Despite the rigorous preparation since her crowning as Miss Universe Mexico, she remains thrilled about the journey ahead.
Melissa’s interest in beauty pageants is not the typical childhood dream. Growing up as the youngest of two brothers, she was more inclined towards ‘boys’ games’ and even dreamt of becoming an astronaut. However, as she grew taller, her family suggested modeling, leading her to participate in a beauty pageant. She quickly grew fond of it, realizing it gave her a platform to combine her passion for psychology and charity work.
The Road to Miss Universe 2023
When asked about her physical and emotional preparation, Melissa admitted to struggling with giving up uchepos, a traditional dish from Michoacán. However, maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise has never been a problem for her. She also stressed the importance of mental health, sharing that she works with a human development coach to manage the stress and emotions that come with her busy schedule.
Melissa had the opportunity to meet Andrea Meza, Miss Universe 2020, who advised her to be herself, enjoy the moment, and not imitate anyone else. This advice resonated with Melissa, who is eager to learn and grow.
If crowned Miss Universe, Melissa hopes to be remembered for her empathy and her project ‘Don’t Limit Me,’ which aims to combat dating violence. She also wishes to raise awareness about violence in all areas of life and work towards its eradication.
Evolution of the Pageant
Starting in 2024, the Miss Universe competition will no longer have an age limit. Melissa believes this change reflects the evolving needs of new generations and opens doors for more women worldwide to share their stories and messages.
Melissa takes immense pride in her Mexican heritage, citing the country’s rich diversity, traditions, and people as its greatest strengths. She is excited to represent Mexico and embody the resilience, bravery, and strength of Mexican women at the Miss Universe pageant.