Steve Harvey's screw-up in announcing the new Miss Universe was not the only controversy from the competition. Many people also called out Canada's Paola Nunez for her "national outfit."
Nunez's outfit included totem pole imagery hanging from a belt around her waist. She also wore a hawk headdress as part of the "Totem Goddess" theme.
Nunez is originally from the Dominican Republic. She moved to Canada when she was 10 years old. Her Miss Universe profile does not cite any Indigenous heritage.
Here are some previous examples of national outfits worn by Miss Universe Canada contestants.
Mrs. Universe Ashley Callingbull-Burnham also weighed in on Facebook, saying that national outfits are often designed with shock value in mind.
The Miss Universe Canada organization responded to the uproar on Instagram, saying people simply misunderstood the outfit. Nunez wasn't representing Canada's Indigenous culture, but rather "embracing her ethnic heritage of being a Dominican-born Canadian."
Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.
Contact Ishmael N. Daro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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