BU's Olivia Culpo Is 'Miss Universe'

Photo Credit: Miss Universe Organization

Affirming Boston’s rightful place at the center of the known world, Boston University sophomore Olivia Culpo won the Miss Universe pageant Wednesday night. In a coup for Earth, the next 88 runners-up in the pageant also all called our small planet home. (To be fair, Miss Pluto wasn’t invited.) She’s actually America’s first winner since 1997.

“What an honor! This night was a dream come true. Thank you everyone for your support tonight!! USA finally did it!” she tweeted after winning.

Competing as Miss USA, Culpo defeated 88 other women in what’s become one of the more campy televised beauty pageants of our age. (Just check out Miss Bolivia’s get-up. The competition is owned by Donald Trump and NBC, so what do you expect?) Originally from Rhode Island, Culpo is a cellist who has played at Symphony Hall (and Carnegie Hall, which is cool too, we guess.) Her brother (probably still feeling a little uncomfortable with the whole “bathing suit competition” thing) helpfully tells the A.P. that his sister was “really chubby and sort of weird when she was younger.”

And in case all this beauty pageant stuff makes you feel a little … unmodern, you can note that in an earlier round, when asked whether she’d support the crowning of a transgendered contestant she answered in the affirmative. “Today where there are so many surgeries and so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life, I do accept that because I believe it’s a free country,” she said. That’s about as progressive as it gets for a contest that involves strutting in a purple and blue bikini for Donald Trump.