The 2021 Miss Universe National Costume Show took place on Thursday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel.
The contestants modeled ensembles that celebrated their countries.
Some of the most daring costumes featured sheer fabric, feathered headpieces, and dramatic capes.
Miss Argentina, Alina Luz Akselrad, wore a bedazzled soccer uniform to the show.
Akselrad, 23, is a Harvard graduate, author, and runs an anti-bullying campaign.
She also hosts a radio show with her mother and co-hosts a style television show.
Helen Hernandez, Miss Aruba, wore a glittery, see-through bodysuit and clear headpiece that looked like water.
Richard Ramirez designed the "Goddess of the Sea" ensemble.
Hernandez, 20, is a college student and aspiring sommelier.
She can also speak four languages and volunteers for mental health advocacy.
Shauntae Miller, who represents the Bahamas, wore a bedazzled captain's uniform and walked with an intricate cruise setup behind her.
The 28-year-old Miss Bahamas is a student-coach for a nonprofit, using her master's degree in clinical mental health counseling.
Her costume was a tribute to Bahamasair, according to the Miss Bahamas Instagram.
Miss Barbados, Hillary-Ann Williams, wore a mesh, sequined bodice and headpiece with a feathered cape.
Williams, 25, became a "very vocal advocate in the fight to end the cycle of abuse for all women" after she experienced gender-based violence, according to the Miss Universe website.
"It represents the beauty and the warmth of our island and culture, from the crashing waves to the warmth of the sun," Williams told Insider of her costume. "I am the goddess of Barbados."
Lenka Nermer, Miss Bolivia, chose a layered, rainbow look that she paired with a matching headpiece.
Nemer performed a traditional Bolivian dance in her outfit, which had 42 skirts and was designed by QHAPAQ_ÑAN_ART, according to Nemer's Instagram.
Nemer, 24, works as an "advocate against hunger and violence around the world," according to the Miss Universe website.
She also founded "Huertos Urbanos Bolivia," an organization dedicated to educating people about food insecurity.
Miss Brazil's outfit was entirely sheer aside from glitter covering her bikini areas. She paired the daring bodysuit with a train made to look like cotton.
Julia Gama, 27, is an actress, making history as the first Brazilian actress to work in the Chinese film industry.
She also does volunteer work for children with cleft lips and palates.
Atelier Michelly designed Gama's costume.
Miss British Virgin Islands, Shabree Frett, dressed as a flamingo, wearing a feathered dress and headpiece, complete with flamingo head on it.
Frett, 24, studied communicative sciences and disorders at Alabama A&M University.
She founded "Lend A Hand BVI," an organization that helps families in need.
Miss Cameroon, Kossinda Angele, wore a two-piece with an elaborate cape and headpiece, both of which were adorned with lion faces.
Kennedy Jhon Gasper designed Angele's outfit, which she wore because lions are seen as the national animal of Cameroon, according to her Instagram.
Angele, 28, uses her master's in finance to give underprivileged children free math lessons.
She became an advocate for women after she watched girls from her tribe be married off at ages as young as 12.
Miss Canada, Nova Stevens, wore an armored bodysuit with a maple leaf on it and coordinating boots, and she carried a shield with a heart on it.
Stevens, 26, was born in Sudan but fled to Canada with her family when she was 6 years old.
She works as an actress and model, and she is the co-founder and spokesperson for both "Freedom March Vancouver" and "Black Freedom Society."
Miss Cayman Islands, Mariah Tibbetts, wore an orange-and-blue dress with a daring cutout. Her ombré, circular headpiece stole the show.
Danielle Alexis designed Tibbetts' "sunset story" outfit.
Tibbetts, 27, is a certified professional accountant, though she graduated with four degrees.
She's an avid volunteer and an ambassador for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.
Miss Chile, Daniela Nicolas, wore a see-through, sparkly dress with a feathered train that made her look like a mermaid.
Eduardo Cerda designed Nicolas' ensemble.
Nicolas, 28, is an actress and makeup artist, and she's currently studying journalism and sign language.
She also raises awareness for undifferentiated connective tissue disease, an autoimmune disorder she suffers from.
Miss Colombia, Laura Olascuaga, paired a textured orange bodice with an intricate purple-and-orange cape.
Olascuaga, 25, works in her state government's communications department to "aid in the development of vulnerable communities," as stated on the Miss Universe website.
She is also a freelance model and actress, as well as a mental health advocate.
Miss Denmark, Amanda Petri, wore a multicolored dress and headpiece with a massive, pink, floral backpiece.
Petri, 23, is pursuing her bachelor's in international business communication and hopes to get her master's in the subject too.
She advocates for gender equality.
Miss Dominican, Kimberly Jiménez, wore a gold two-piece with gold boots, and a gold cape with a trim made of sunflowers.
Jiménez, 24, is a model and stage actress who is studying forensic science and business administration.
She does volunteer work at a local orphanage and at the Dominican Republic Women's Club, a club that helps women with breast cancer that Jiménez helped fund.
Miss Ecuador, Leyla Espinoza Calvache, wore an outfit inspired by an ancient Incan festival.
Calvache, 24, is a model and accounting assistant studying international business. She volunteers with women who have survived abuse and people with disabilities.
Miss El Salvador, Vanessa Velásquez, wore a floral-inspired outfit with a bedazzled top, tights, and massive flower headpiece.
Francisco Guerrero designed Velásquez's outfit.
Velásquez, 25, is a model, brand ambassador, and influencer.
She founded the charity Angel Hands by Vane to "provide aid to children in hospitals, provide food to low-income communities, and support people who've suffered after natural disasters," according to the Miss Universe website.
Miss Finland, Viivi Altonen, wore a white dress that literally glowed in the dark.
Viivi Altonen, 24, is a model and scuba diving instructor who studies social psychology and anthropology.
She volunteers for UN Women.
Miss Great Britain, Jeanette Akua, channeled "Bridgerton" with her royal ensemble, complete with a glittering tiara and extravagant cape.
Akua, 29, is a manager for a leading economic consultancy, where she's addressed CEOs and world leaders at global conferences, according to the Miss Universe website.
She was also a top 10 finalist in "The X Factor UK" and her music has received more than a million streams.
Eden Berandoive, who is representing Haiti, paid tribute to the Citadelle Laferrière - a mountain fortress on the northern coast of the island - with her costume.
Berandoive, 24, is a sexual assault survivor who now advocates for victims of rape and abuse and "hopes to give others the courage to break free from their solitude," according to he Miss Universe website.
She also helps teach adults how to read and works to provide education to children who live in the countryside.
Miss Honduras, Cecilia Rossell, wore a shimmering gold two-piece with a dramatic feather headdress that paid tribute to the Jaguar Moon Goddess from ancient Mayan culture.
Rossell, 25, works with an organization of Yale students to help "educate people living in underdeveloped countries about health and nutrition," according to the Miss Universe website.
She also spends much of her time visiting cancer patients.
Miss Iceland, Elísabet Hulda Snorradóttir, told Insider that her glittering black gown represents the famous Northern Lights.
"The dress is completely black, but all the glitter represents the night sky," she said. "I have a lot of experience seeing the Northern Lights and I was so proud to bring them to the stage at Miss Universe."
Snorradóttir volunteers with a program that teaches immigrants the Icelandic language "so they can successfully enter the job markets and educational systems," according to the Miss Universe website.
Nadia Sayers, who is representing Ireland, wore a fairy costume that featured 700 hand-painted butterflies and dragonflies.
Sayers, 26, is a mental health intervention worker in suicide prevention, according to the Miss Universe website.
She also works with a mental health charity to create comic books based on the stories of young survivors. She hopes to one day make mental health check-ups "as common as dental."
Viviana Vizzini, Miss Italy, sported beautiful turquoise butterfly wings to go with her glittering green bodice and metallic rose-and-silver skirt.
Vizzini, 27, is an ambassador for the Italian Red Cross and volunteers with a safe house for women in need, according to the Miss Universe website.
She also works for Smile Train, which provides corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates.
Miss Jamaica, Miqueal-Symone Williams, carried huge lilac blooms that paid tribute to Lignum vitae, her country's national flower.
Williams, 24, is an international model who has worked with brands like Valentino and L'Oréal, according to the Miss Universe website.
She also recently created "The Bloom Initiative," which provides internet access to children in Jamaica so that they can attend school.
Francisca Luhong James, Miss Malaysia, felt right at home on stage with her costume, which was inspired by the traditional houses found in the country's rural villages.
James, 25, is "the first woman with full native heritage to win Miss Universe Malaysia," according to the Miss Universe website.
Through volunteer work, she's raised money for children with special needs, helped gather food for Malaysia's indigenous people, and supported refugees.
Miss Mauritius, Vandana Jeetah, brought the sea to Miss Universe with her hand-painted ocean gown and her bright-orange headdress, which represented the sun.
Jeetah, 29, has a master's degree in law and currently works as an in-house barrister, according to the Miss Universe website.
She's visited 33 countries so far and can speak four different languages.
Andrea Meza, who is representing Mexico, dazzled in a multicolored bodysuit complete with wings and a headdress that were both adorned with pink, blue, green, and purple feathers.
Meza, 26, graduated with a degree in software engineering and is "proud to be a woman" in a "male-dominated field," according to the Miss Universe website.
She also currently works with the Municipal Institute for Women to help end gender-based violence.
Miss Myanmar's original costume was lost in shipping. But she still had a powerful moment on stage as she addressed her country's current political crisis.
Myanmar's military overthrew the country's democracy in February and detained its leader Aung San Suu Kyi. More than 700 people have since been killed in protests across the region.
Thuzar Wint Lwin, 22, is a breast cancer survivor. She now works with local breast cancer foundations "to support patients and bring awareness to the cause."
Miss Nepal, Anshika Sharma, sported a white jacket to pay tribute to her country's legendary Sherpas, who regularly serve as guides for Mount Everest expeditions. Her costume also featured prayer flags, which can be found at the Everest base camp.
Sharma, 24, currently "advocates for the importance of children receiving a quality education," according to the Miss Universe website.
She also created an organization that supports 24 students who were on the verge of dropping out of school.
Ana Marcelo, Miss Nicaragua, looked like the queen of the jungle in her stunning costume titled "La Gritería en León" - the yelling of the lion.
Marcelo, 24, is an agroindustrial engineer who previously created a social campaign that helped medical professionals create biosecurity kits, according to the Miss Universe website.
She advocates for Nicaraguan youth and inclusivity within the Latin American pageant community.
Miss Panama, Carmen Jaramillo, covered herself in sparkling shells and netting for her costume called "La Niña, La Pinta, y La Santa María," named after the ships of Christopher Columbus.
Jaramillo, 26, is the first member of her family to attend college and is currently pursuing degrees in journalism and psychology, according to the Miss Universe website.
She has rescued more than 400 strays and had more than 50 dogs at one point.
Vanessa Castro Guillén, who is representing Paraguay, wore a silver-and-red bodysuit and headpiece that sparkled with more than 22 pounds of iron and stones.
Castro Guillén, 28, currently designs buildings for a living, according to the Miss Universe website.
She's also passionate about women's empowerment and is a strong supporter of women entering male-dominated industries.
Miss Peru, Janick Maceta Del Castillo, spread her wings on the Miss Universe stage with a stunning silver costume inspired by the parihuana bird, also known as the Andean flamingo.
Maceta Del Castillo, 27, is an audio engineer who's worked with some of the biggest names in the music business, including Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, according to the Miss Universe website.
She also created an organization to provide legal and psychological help to children who have been sexually abused.
Estefanía Natalia Soto Torres, Miss Puerto Rico, channeled the zodiac signs with her national costume, which featured a metallic purple gown, gold cape, and sparkling tights.
Soto Torres, 29, has lived in seven countries and can speak four languages.
She's also a mental health advocate, which she discusses on her podcast "Voces de Reinas," according to the Miss Universe website.
Miss Singapore, Bernadette Belle Ong, told Insider that she wanted to make a statement with her national costume, which featured a cape emblazoned with the words "Stop Asian Hate."
"I wanted to make sure that representation for Asians will be brought to light, especially given the situation," Ong said. "It's difficult now with the prejudice and the violence. I wanted to be able to shake up the movement by putting it in my dress."
Ong has worked as a DJ, model, and actress, according to the Miss Universe website. She also advocates for equal pay and fair treatment of migrant workers.
Amanda Obdam, Miss Thailand, paid tribute to the Siamese Fighting Fish, the country's national aquatic animal. Her costume was specifically inspired by the "Tri Rong," a fish that was bred to resemble the colors of the Thailand flag.
Obdam, 27, has been competing in pageants since she was 10 years old, according to the Miss Universe website.
She recently founded a sustainable fashion brand that honors traditional batik art, and launched a campaign to help teach English to children impacted by a local tsunami.
Miss Uruguay, Tania Lola De Los Santos, who identifies as lesbian, told Insider that she wanted to celebrate her country's LGBTQ+ community.
"It's important for me to use this platform for my message and not only to look beautiful," she said. "We need more equality, not more hate and discrimination."
De Los Santos, 23, overcame bullying as a child and now volunteers with anti-bullying organizations, according to the Miss Universe website.
Asya Branch, Miss USA, sparkled in red, orange, and black wings that paid homage to the mockingbird, Mississippi's state bird, to symbolize "strength, passion, and liberation."
Branch became the first woman from Mississippi to be crowned Miss USA.
She has used her platform to fight for criminal-justice reform and support people with disabilities, according to the Miss Universe website.
Mariangel Villasmil, Miss Venezuela, wore a blue-and-silver gown inspired by the lightning phenomenon that occurs over the country's Catatumbo river.
Villasmil, 25, is a psychology student, certified pastry chef, and small-business owner, according to the Miss Universe website.
She donates cakes she's made to nursing homes and children's hospitals.
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