#Art + Culture

Who Is Maria Thattil? Indian-origin Woman Crowned Miss Universe Australia 2020

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Indian-Australian Maria Thattil was recently crowned Miss Universe Australia this year. The winner was announced in a virtual event due to Melbourne’s 112-day lockdown. Thattil, who is the daughter of Indian migrants, took part in the 16th Edition of the beauty pageant, held on October 28 in Melbourne, Victoria.

This is for the second year in a row that an Indian-origin woman took home the Miss Universe Australia crown. In 2019, another India-born Priya Serrao won the top stop. In 2020, it is Maria Thattil, who is a model and a makeup artist, based in Victoria.

“I’m a little bit chuffed to be honest, I’m a little bit lost for words,” Maria told the Herald Sun after winning the crown. “Winning this title to me is an example. There are a number of norms that have been challenged and broken in order for me to sit here in front of you as your Miss Universe Australia today,” she added.

Also taking to Instagram earlier, Thattil wrote about how grateful she is for “this privileged opportunity”.

“As a woman who prides herself on belonging to a multicultural society enriched by our powerful, rich First Nations history and culture – I cannot express the pride I feel wearing a Crown that honours the traditional owners of the land we live on,” Thattil wrote.

Who is Maria Thattil?

  • She is a fashion influencer and has more than 62,000 followers on Instagram.
  • The 27-year-old winner of Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil works with the Victorian government and has studied psychology and management.
  •  Thattil also has a YouTube channel called ‘Maria Thattil’ where she posts lifestyle and makeup videos.
  • Her parents migrated from India in the early 90s. Thattil is, however, born and raised in Melbourne. “My dad is from Kerala. He still has family there and I have travelled to India to visit my dad’s side of the family. My mom is from Kolkata. When she migrated, her entire family migrated too. So I grew up with a large family of uncles and aunts and lots of cousins in Melbourne,” she told SBS Hindi.
  • Thattil is proud of her Indian roots in Western society. “I belong here and at the same time, I strongly resonate with my Indian roots. I have found a balance between the two. It is not either-or for me. This is who I am and it is very unique,” she claimed.
  • She is an advocate of inclusion and diversity. “I have always championed inclusion and not just limited it to ethnicity but also sexuality, gender, ability. I strongly believe representation matters. A society where every voice can thrive. We need to make space for people to express themselves irrespective of their background,” she expressed.

Also Read: Ek Thi Sherni, Tweets Kangana Ranaut After Javed Akhtar Files Defamation Case Against Her

Feature Image Credit: Yahoo News New Zealand/Outlook

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