It is also embellished with Swarovski diamonds called the 'Hidden Precious Diamond Dress.'
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 13, 2023. It has since been updated.
The Miss Universe pageant is something that people look forward to every year for the glamour and glitz. The beautiful gowns and dresses worn by the contestants are always a big draw. This time, however, there was a very special surprise from Miss Universe Thailand during the 2022 preliminary competition. Anna Sueangam amazed everyone with her bedazzling evening gown made of upcycled aluminum pull tabs of drinking cans which were covered in Swarovski diamonds called the "Hidden Precious Diamond Dress." The garment actually holds a very deeper meaning, given that both her mother and father work as street sweepers and garbage collectors. Miss Universe Thailand stated that despite being branded as a "garbage beauty queen," “It never stopped her from shining bright as a precious gem.” Her dress was designed by a Thai designer called Manirat, reports Republic World.
“You must not get stuck with murky surroundings you were born into, but do believe you have the power to change your own life for the better,” the inspirational quote by Anna Sueangam-iam, Miss Universe Thailand 2022, precisely reflects and self-defines her own significant characteristic, read the Instagram which showcased the dress and its true significance. It wrote, "Persistence, tenaciousness and optimism within her have led her to great success in life. It is the result of being brought up by a father who is a garbage collector, a street-sweeper mother, and a virtuous nun who was Anna’s great-grandmother. Although she was called by some as 'The garbage beauty queen,' that never stops her from shining bright as a precious gem."Now, whether she wins or not, her dress and candor won the hearts of millions.
"Miss Ma'am, Miss Universe Thailand's evening gown is made of can pull tabs as a homage to her garbage collector dad and street sweeper mom Thailand is back in their A-game", wrote @thekimrlln. "Miss Thailand’s gown is made of recycled can pieces to honor her parents who worked as garbage collectors that’s it give HER the crown!!!" tweeted @Iovemeharder. The crowning night for the Miss Universe will be held on Saturday evening, January 14 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. There might be a little locking of the horns on Saturday by Miss Ukraine and Russia. Before fighting for the jeweled crown at the pageant, Miss Russia Anna Linnikova and Miss Ukraine Viktoria Apanasenko recently presented a little sneak peek of their colorful outfits, according to the New York Post.
Apanasenko chose the Warrior of Light costume for the competition, which, as per her Instagram caption, "symbolizes our nation's war against darkness," and consisted of a long, flowing jumpsuit with extravagant wings and gold headpiece. “Like Archangel Michael, who defends Ukraine with a sword, it protects us,” she wrote, adding that the costume “carries light through the darkness that came to our peaceful lands with the aggressor.” Linnikova of Russia, on the other hand, went with a dark red velvet gown with a pearled dress to signify the Russian Empire's Crown. Lesia Patoka, the designer of Apanasenko’s costume said that it was made to “show the world that Ukraine is strong, brave, unbreakable. We are ready to fight for our freedom because we know its price.” The dress took four months to be completed because only candles were used as a source of light due to the electricity shortages in war-torn Ukraine.
The whole essence of Miss Universe pageants is to showcase and appreciate the many cultures and traditions around the world. It acts as a platform to make people aware of the prejudices, disparities, discriminations and hate that many countries face, or have been facing. From Miss Thailand's upcycled dress to Russia and Ukraine's attire to signify the war situation happening right now, people are finding new ways to show what Miss Universe is and should be about.