She had come up just short of the honour in 2014 and persevered despite chatter in some corners that she should give up. "Because not yet have we had a curvy girl in Miss Universe or even in the Miss USA pageant".
Bennett placed third in the competition in which 92 countries competed.
The runner-up was Miss Colombia Laura Gonzalez, while Bennett finished as the second runner-up.
"As Miss Universe, you have to be confident in who you are as an individual", she said.
"I think that it's really important that we continue to show diversity of all sizes, ethnicities, backgrounds and religion", she said.
A South African pageant has been crowned the world's most attractive woman in 2017 after she beat some 92 hot and dashing finalists in the 2017 Miss Universe contest.More news: Massage Envy therapists accused of sexually assaulting over 180 women
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Grammy-Award victor Fergie performed her new song "A Little Work" while the contestants walked down the stage wearing evening gowns. This is the 66th edition of the world-renown beauty pageant, where India was represented by Miss Diva Shraddha Shashidhar, who didn't make it to the list of top 15 finalists. Nel-Peters slew the final question and answer portion who promoted the confidence and overcoming of fears especially for women.
She was held at gunpoint by three carjackers in June as she was driving through Johannesburg, about a month after she was crowned Miss South Africa.
In response, the South African beauty queen called for "equal work and equal pay" for women in the workplace, citing that women only get paid 75 percent of what men earn for doing the same job.
Miss USA Kára McCullough, Miss Canada Lauren Howe, Miss Spain Sofia del Prado and Miss Brazil Monalysa Alcântara also made the Top 10 list.
The Miss Universe Organization implemented a new mechanics for the coronation event, selecting the top 16 per continent. She was representing South Africa. This did very little, as more than half of undergraduate students take up to 6 years to graduate, leading us to age 24, and for a Ph.D or master's, the average graduating age is 33 (What is The Average Age of A Graduate Student, 2016). Named best in National Costume Contest was Japan's Momoko Abe.