Woman dubbed ‘Miss Garbage’ wins Miss Universe Thailand 2022

  • Anna Sueangam-iam, a 23-year-old woman known as “Miss Garbage” due to her being the daughter of former garbage collectors, was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2022 on Saturday night.
  • As this year's Miss Universe Thailand, Sueangam-iam received the new "Power of Resilience" crown by renowned jeweler Mouawad and several prizes including 1 million baht (approximately $27,663), a condominium and a new car.
  • Born in Bangkok, she reportedly played with toys her parents found in the trash while working for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

A woman dubbed “Miss Garbage” for being the daughter of former garbage collectors is set to represent Thailand in the Miss Universe 2022 pageant. 

Anna Sueangam-iam, 23, was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2022 on Saturday night, besting 28 other women vying for the title.

For the final Q&A session of the competition, Sueangam-iam was asked what she would do to empower people around the world who “feel hopeless.”

“You’re not the only ones facing despair,” she responded. “I used to be in despair too. We learn from our troubles to adapt and survive. I would call on all of you to have confidence in yourselves and rise to fight again. If I can, so can you.”

Despite winning the coveted title, Sueangam-iam was reportedly not popular among viewers and came in sixth with just 3.2 percent of public votes on the Miss Universe Thailand website. Thai Italian contestant Renita Veronica Pagano, who was the fourth runner-up, received 28.1 percent of public votes while Thai American contestant Nicolene Limsnukan, who was the first runner-up, got 25.2 percent.

Prior to Sueangam-iam’s win, social media users cast doubts about her chances as she “does not have a foreign parent” unlike other contestants who are “luk khrueng,” a colloquial Thai term that refers to a person of mixed heritage.

“I think I will do my best,” she told local platform Komchadluek Online in an earlier interview. “I think being luk khrueng or not is not the main criteria to being chosen as Miss Thailand Universe.” 

On top of the new “Power of Resilience” crown crafted by luxury jeweler Mouawad, the new Miss Universe Thailand also received several prizes including 1 million baht (approximately $27, 663), a condominium and a new car.

Born on November 10, 1998, Sueangam-iam grew up in Bangkok in poverty and was was bullied by classmates who would call her “Miss Garbage.” She reportedly played with toys her parents found in the trash while they worked for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

Through hard work and determination, Sueangam-iam was able to study hotel and tourism management at Bangkok’s Kasetsart University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree.

She is now hoping to obtain Thailand’s third Miss Universe crown after Porntip Nakhirunkanok who won the title in 1988 and Apasra Hongsakula who won it in 1965. 

Featured Image via TPING

 

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