From the moment Miss Mexico Andrea Meza was crowned the next Miss Universe on Sunday, her name became known around the world.
But it also led pageant fans deep into her Instagram, and some said she had broken the rules.
They found a picture of Meza and a man on top of a cliff. He sported a tux, while she wore a gorgeous wedding gown with a flowing veil. The caption read “3-09-19,” followed by a wedding ring emoji.
Meza works as the official tourism brand ambassador for Chihuahua, where she lives in Mexico. Part of her job is to shine a spotlight on the city’s tourist attractions.
To promote Copper Canyon, a series of canyons in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains, which are known for their hiking trails and stunning views, the tourism office thought it would be fun to stage a fake wedding photo shoot, she said.
“It’s funny because the guy that is with me, he’s the youngest brother of one of my best friends,” Meza said. “He’s 21. He’s just a kid. And it’s funny because everyone is taking it very seriously.”
“Back then, I was not in any pageant. I just posted the picture making fun of the situation,” she added. “We thought it was funny to prank our friends by only writing the date on the caption.”
A spokesperson for Miss Universe said the organization had been flooded with messages about the photo.
“People often spread rumors about the winner after she is crowned, but this is definitely one of the crazier ones I have heard,” the spokesperson told Insider.
Meza, who took a break from software engineering three years ago to focus on her pageant and modeling career, said she was used to the gossip.
“People like to search on our pasts and try to find something to create scandal,” she said. “It happened when I won the state contests. It happened when I won the nationals, and I know it’s going to keep happening.”
But Meza remains unfazed. The beauty queen is already focused on her duties as Miss Universe.
“I started working since minute one,” she said.
“For me, it’s a realization of my dreams,” she added. “I have admired women in this position for a long time, and being here and having this opportunity means a lot to me because now I have the platform to inspire girls just like me 10 years ago.”
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