Mareeya Poonlertlarp, a 25-year-old half-Thai, half-Swedish model, was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2017 on Saturday night at Siam Paragon Hall.
The 183-centimetre-tall beauty queen, a postgraduate in marketing from the Stockholm Business School, won Bt1 million in cash, a diamond tiara, a trophy and a car. She will represent Thailand at the international Miss Universe 2017 beauty pageant in Las Vegas, US, in November.
Mareeya can speak four languages fluently – Thai, Swedish, English and Mandarin – and has been on the catwalk since she was 13.
“I want to do good for the society at large and the status of Miss Universe Thailand allows me to follow my passion efficiently. This beauty stage is powerful to speak and to do something for the society. The rights of women in Thailand, their education and premature pregnancy of teenagers are three key issues I want to draw people’s attention to,” said Mareeya.
Her decade-long career as a model, Mareeya accepted, helped boost her confidence on stage.
“Being a model allows me to know my best camera angle for the natural and best look and how to walk or stand with good posture. I joined this contest with full confidence and I truly believe that I fit in with this beauty pageant. My family members and friends all support me,” she added.
The first runner-up was Supaporn Litiphruek who was awarded Bt500,000 in cash, while Suraphuen Artkongharn, Ratchanok Nawaset and Paweensuda Du-uen were joint second runners-up and they received Bt150,000 each.
Miss Universe Thailand 2016 Chalita Suansane was also present on stage. She did Thailand proud at the Miss Universe last year, winning an online fan vote that secured her a place in the top 13, and eventually finished among the top six. It was the highest placement for a Thai in 28 years after Porntip Nakhirankanok won the Miss Universe title in 1988.