Shanaelle Petty is the first mixed-raced competitor to represent Croatia at the beauty pageant.
Miss Universe Croatia Shanaelle Petty has been staying in Las Vegas for the last ten days, preparing for the grand finals of the Miss Universe 2017 competition, reports Index.hr on November 21, 2017.
Since arriving in Las Vegas, Shanaelle has participated in numerous photo sessions, events and an auction of national gifts, where she donated earrings with the motif of “the Šibenik buttons.” Together with other competitors from around the world, she took part in a national costumes competition, where she wore a dress by ethnographic designer Mina Petra, who made a dress with motifs of Lepoglava lace, additionally painted by Davor Vuković. The dress is so rich in ornaments that it took 45 days to create it.
A preliminary competition involving interviews with jury members and a swimsuit and evening dresses competition was held last night as an introduction to the 26 November grand finals, which will take place at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
The most successful competitors in the preliminary competition among 92 candidates will be invited to participate in the Top 16 event, as part of the glamorous finals of the 66th Miss Universe competition, hosted by Steve Harvey and Ashley Graham.
On Sunday, the last year’s winner Iris Mittenaere from France will hand over the crown to her successor.
“It means a lot to me that I am the first mixed-race person representing Croatia. When I was a young girl, I felt like a Croat, but some people were telling me I did not look like one. Today I know it does not matter how you look. You should accept what you are,” she said.
Petty was born in Germany to an American father of African American origin and a Croatian mother. She spent part of her youth in Slavonski Brod.
Translated from Index.hr.