Lupita Jones, who won the Miss Universe pageant in 1991 and served as the national director of the Mexicana Universal franchise in Mexico, is currently in the news due to her decision to step down from her management position. Jones broke her silence and spoke about her differences with the new Miss Universe administration.
Right after Miss Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios became Miss Universe 2023 and Mexico was announced as the venue for the 2024 edition, Anne Jakrajutatip, owner of the franchise, confirmed the revocation of Lupita Jones as director of the franchise in the country.
What led to Lupita Jones’s removal from the Mexicana Universal franchise?
Jones shared with several media outlets that despite her journey as the manager is over, she feels good. “I feel at peace, calm. In recent years, there were already things that did not make me feel comfortable with Miss Universe,” she declared.
Lupita reminded everyone how committed she was to the Mexican franchise. “You are aware and have seen how many times I have risked my life to defend pageants, such as Miss Universe, and what they represent for young people. These platforms have faced numerous attacks, some of which have been very severe,” she told reporter Berenice Ortiz, “I have been at the foot of the canyon, so I cannot commit to doing that for something that I have stopped believing in.”
Why does Lupita Jones not believe in Miss Universe anymore?
The first Mexican woman to win Miss Universe also explained her disagreement with the new administration’s contestant selection criteria. “Something that I will always defend is that every competition must be fair and transparent, and there are several elements that, for me, must exist in a competition for it to happen that way,” she noted.
Lupita said she feels the contest’s quest for inclusivity is hurting contestants. “To begin with, the participants must share similar characteristics that can place them in a parameter in which all the rules apply equally,” she indicated, emphasizing the importance of equity.
“If you leave out some of the parameters or rules and apply the same ones for everyone, some may gain an advantage while others may be negatively impacted. This makes the competition unfair, like putting a featherweight boxer in the ring with a heavyweight,” she assured.
Jones also questioned the current regulations of Miss Universe, referring to the new changes. “When evaluating participants, it is important to consider their diverse characteristics, but that brings you to another point: there is no defined profile of what Miss Universe is,” she assures. “I think it’s important to set the bar equally for everyone, but it’s not always possible because people have different characteristics. Comparing a 40-year-old woman to an 18-year-old girl is not fair because there is no point of comparison. I didn’t feel comfortable with this.”
Lupita mentioned that the guidelines need more clarity, which can create distrust. “Otherwise, you may wonder if certain girls benefitted from condescension. I am not alleging any fraud,” she added. “It’s possible that some concessions were made to appear more inclusive, but let’s see: What is Miss Universe looking for? It is not clear to me.”
The new director of Miss Universe Mexico
Miss Universe announced the official appointment of Cynthia de la Vega as the new director of Miss Universe Mexico. Cynthia has extensive experience in beauty pageants, having participated in various editions, such as Elite Model Look Mexico in Sanya, China, in 2008. She also participated in Nuestra Belleza Mexico, where she was the first finalist in 2010.
In an interview with Telemundo’s Hoy Dia, she emphasized the significance of her role for herself and Mexico, underscoring the opportunity for the country to shine around the world.
“Very important challenges lie ahead, not only for me but also for the entire country, because we have to show what we are made of. We have to showcase our gastronomy, tourism, and all the incredible things we have to offer. But we will go through each stage together, starting with the state competitions, then the national, and finally the international.”
In the official press conference, De La Vega also said, “It fills me with joy to reach this moment in my life. Everyone knows my story and the effort I have dedicated to getting here. With this new organization, we seek excellence by forming a quality team with a solid structure. We will return to our roots as ‘Miss Universe Mexico,’ empowering the girls toward greatness.”