Ximena Navarrete is 22 years old and hails from Guadalajara, Jalisco. She won the Nuestra Belleza Mexico pageant, in Mérida, Yucatán, in September, 2009, in order to take the international stage as Miss Mexico. Before her modelling career so spectacularly took off, she was studying nutrition, at Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (University of the Valley of Atemajac), in Zapopan, Mexico.
The beauty queen's real name is Jimena Navarrete Rosete, but she prefers to render it in the Maya spelling of Ximena. She is one of two children of dentists, Carlos Navarrete and Gabriela Rosete. After being crowned, she told reporters, ""I imagine that they're all going crazy in Mexico right now. I'm extremely proud and I'm sure they're very proud, too."
It would seem that she was right as, within minutes of her win, the Mexican president, Felipe Calderon, tweeted that 'her victory would help Mexico's image as a country.' He later commented, ""Her triumph is a source of pride and satisfaction for all Mexicans, who see in her the fruits of perseverance."
Ximena Navarrete in National Dress
Miss Universe is in its 59th year and it is watched by 600 million viewers worldwide. It is organized by New York's NBC and American tycoon, Donald Trump. Contestants parade or dance in national costume, evening dress and swimsuits, with the top placed ladies from each category moving onto the next, until an ultimate winner is announced. The rules demand that contestants are intelligent, well-mannered, and cultured, with applicants, in previous pageants, often failing in the interview rounds. Commentators for this year's Miss Universe have remarked that Miss Philippines failed to win outright, despite being the favorite to do so, because her responses to questions were a little banal.
The next year promises to be arduous for Ximena Navarrete. Alongside her tiara, she has now taken on the mantle of ambassador for a host of causes. In appearances organized by Miss Universe Organization, she will be travelling the world to spread messages about peace, promote disease control and raise public awareness of AIDS. In the process, she will visit some of the most poverty stricken nations and will talk with hard-to-reach groups, like sex workers in India.
Throughout her travels, the onus will be upon Señorita Navarrete to remain flawlessly beautiful, charming and well-mannered. A gaff could haunt her, and her nation, for decades. 41 years after holding the Miss Universe title, Filipino Gloria Diaz is still facing criticism after implying that Cebuano people could not speak articulately in English. As late as yesterday (Sept 1st, 2010), the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines-Cebu passed a resolution declaring Ms Diaz to be a persona non grata.
Ximena Navarrete also earned an undisclosed salary; the use of a Trump appartment in New York; a one year scholarship to New York Film Academy (along with housing and expenses) for after her reign; and an array of clothes, jewelry and accessories appropriate for Miss Universe.