A former orphan who once dreamed of becoming a nun has won Miss World 2011. On Sunday, November 6, Miss Venezuela Ivian Lunasol Sarcos Colmenares beat other contestants from 122 countries as around 50 feminists protested the beauty pageant outside the Earls Court in west London.
Going into the final, the 21-year-old human resources graduate was the favorite for the title, but was still met with disbelief when she came triumphant over runner-up Miss Philippines, Gwendoline Ruais, and and third placer Miss Puerto Rico, Amanda Perez. Dressed in a crystal-encrusted baby pink gown, she was handed over the crown by last year's winner, Alexandra Mills.
"Winning means everything to me and I hope to take advantage of being a winner in a productive manner," said the brunette beauty. "I'm unbelievably happy to have won and there are some incredible girls. I first and foremost want to help people in need. I would like to help people like me. I am an orphan. I would also like to help the elderly and troubled teenagers. As many people as I can."
Ivian, who was brought up in a nunnery after being orphaned aged eight, works for a broadcasting company. Of her past, she said, "Unfortunately I lost both my parents at a very young age which led me to study for five years in a nunnery. I spent my five years in there and my dream was to become a nun."
Miss World returned to London where it all began in 1951 to celebrate its 60th anniversary, but still met with critics. Protesters gathering outside the Earls Court carried such placards that read, "Objectification won't achieve world peace", "Being a woman is not a competition" and "Sexism is pretty ugly".
The next Miss World pageant will be held in China's Inner Mongolia.