Miss Venezuela was crowned the winner of the Miss Universe pageant on Sunday.
Stefania Fernandez, 18, won the annual competition held this year in the Bahamas.
Dressed in a flowing red gown, Fernandez embraced runner-up Miss Dominican Republic, as the announcement was made.
"What do we Venezuelans have?" Fernandez, an international relations student, told reporters after the pageant. "That we are ourselves."
Fernandez said she believes women have overcome obstacles and beauty contests help to promote equality.
"We have quite a following worldwide," she said. "We are models to follow."
She received the crown from last year's winner, Dayana Mendoza, also from Venezuela.
Venezuela has won the Miss Universe pageant six times.