Activist and actress Domitila Barros has been crowned the new Miss Germany on Saturday evening. The 37-year-old, who is from Brazil and lives in Berlin, was competing for the title against ten other contestants during the event at the Europa-Park Arena in Rust, Baden. Barros grew up in a favela in northern Brazil, where she worked with street children from an early age, teaching them to read and write using acting and dancing. She received a "Millennium Dreamer Award" from the United Nations in New York for the street children project. Barros later moved to Berlin and got a master's degree in politics and social sciences.
Social entrepreneur and 'greenfluencer'
Barros' commitment to sustainability, environmental protection and social justice also played a role in earning her the title of Miss Germany. In her work as a "social media greenfluencer," Barros has campaigned online for sustainable living. "We all live on Mother Earth. And she needs us very much at the moment," she said on stage at Europa-Park.
She wants to make her cause "cooler, maybe even a little sexier," and she tries to do so through social media. "The people I want to reach don't read all the newspaper articles — but they scroll," Barros said. She is also a socially committed entrepreneur since 2017 as the founder of a swimwear brand that generates jobs for mothers in Brazil. "Growing up in a less privileged part of this planet, I witnessed firsthand the effects of unsustainable, environmentally harmful and inhumane actions," Barros said, according to the Miss Germany website. That's why the values of sustainability, environmental protection and social justice are so important to me."
Changes in 'Miss Germany'
The Miss Germany competition has sought to separate itself from the stereotypical objectification of women in the last two years. Organizers have said that the contestants are no longer judged solely on their looks, but also on their character and "missions." One of the participants advocated for victims of child sexual abuse, while another contestant urged women, in particular, to take care of their own finances.
The contest has also tried to have more diverse candidates and more. One of the finalists in this year's competition is active in the Black Lives Matter movement. It was also the first time the pageant saw a transgender woman reaching the finals.