Iris Mittenaere was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday night in the Philippines, winning the honor on behalf of France for the first time since 1953.
“We need good news in France, and I think this is very good news,” Mittenaere told reporters after the show. She also predicted that her victory would make the competition more popular with her countrymen.
Mittenaere, who just turned 24, told reporters she’ll focus on helping children — especially girls — attend school. The Miss Universe website also said the dental-surgery student hopes to advocate for dental and oral hygiene.
“I think France and Europe really need a Miss Universe,” she said, according to the Associated Press. The Continent hadn’t seen a hometown winner since Amparo Muñoz of Spain was crowned in 1974.
Raquel Pelissier, Miss Haiti, was first runner-up, and Andrea Tovar, Miss Colombia, was second runner-up. Mary Were, Maxine Medina and Chalita Suansane, representing Kenya, the Philippines and Thailand, respectively, rounded out the top six.