The Story Behind Olivia Culpo's Time As Miss Universe


Engaging in pageantry wasn’t something Olivia Culpo had dreamed of when she was a kid, but she didn’t balk at the idea when a friend suggested that she enter the Miss Rhode Island contest in 2012. When she decided on going, her parents were the first ones to discourage her.

“I asked my parents if I could do it, and they thought it was a terrible idea,” she shared with The Arcadia in 2015, noting that she rebelled against them and took the plunge anyway. “I was just 18 years old at the time and I couldn’t afford to enter it really, but … I had nothing to lose.” In an interview with GQ, she also revealed that, back then, she even skimped on her dress. “Miss Rhode Island was my first [pageant] and I wore a $20 dress that I rented with a hole in the back. It still looked cute, but nobody would have known that I rented it for $20,” Culpo admitted.

Much to her surprise, her efforts paid off, and she jumped from Miss Rhode Island to Miss USA to Miss Universe. The beauty queen admitted that her life completely changed after that. She also said that her reign as Miss Universe wasn’t something she took lightly. “You have a duty to actually make an effort to influence people. The more you give yourself to others, the better you will be,” she told The Arcadia.

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