Maria Thattil talks about impact of inclusivity in beauty pageants in her series ‘Mind with Me’

25 Jan 2021 | Angelique Reyes

Maria Thattil was crowned Miss Universe Australia 2020 on 28th October 2020 at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne, and succeeded Miss Universe Australia 2019 Priya Serrao. The diva who is 27-years-old and stands 160 cm tall works in People and Culture for the Victorian government and is also a digital creator and brand ambassador in the beauty, fashion, lifestyle, and empowerment arenas. She mentions, “As an Indian Australian, it is with pride that I represent one of the most multicultural societies on Earth & do it to break down Anglo Celtic perceptions of my country. With a multi-hyphen career, it is with pride that I can’t be boxed in to one “job” - because what I do is fuelled by PURPOSE.”



The diva is using the platform to champion inclusion, equality, and empowerment as she has started public speaking, writing, and coaching to enable the inclusion of equality and empowerment. She has started her own empowerment series; ‘Mind with Me’, where she includes topic that challenges the set notions of beauty in beauty pageant world. She recently took to her social media to talk about how limiting beliefs about physical attributes have perpetuated unrealistic standards of beauty, worth and value and how beyond this, as a society, we are so used to judging people on social/physical factors.

Maria started by saying that she is very excited to talk about such topics as she has been listening and reading to some dialogues, posts, etc., about inclusivity, talking about people’s bodies, and everything. She mentioned that she is starting the episode/live ‘I am More Than’ from the height perspective. Maria added that this conversation is important and for everyone as it talks about how to internalize inadequacy.



The diva shared that with a height of 160 cm tall, she is the shortest Miss Universe this year and she is very grateful for the pageant community for being supportive and motivational towards the delegates who don’t just fit the beauty standards. Maria further discussed that she has come across a topic online; ‘Does height matter?’. She also shared that she might be the shortest delegate but there are few more who come close to her height and in 2021 why are people still questioning that whether someone will be impactful and strong on-stage or not?

Maria shared her own experience by sharing that she always thought that for being a beauty queen or a model one needs to be of a certain height and physical stature but she signed up an agency in 2019 which helped her gain more confidence and strength to keep going. She also shared that she hopes things were different but she believes that if she wasn’t Miss Universe Australia 2020, she won’t be getting opportunities she is getting right now.



The determination and dedication of Maria towards being the best version of herself drove her towards working on herself and participating at Miss Universe Australia 2020 competition. The diva mentioned it is so important to transcend the messages and to be yourself; creating a space, so that you can get the job you want, you can be the change you want to see, and it is only with a mindset that doesn’t internalise inadequacy. You can watch her live here: