During last weekend’s Miss Universe Pageant in New Orleans, Miss USA, R’Bonney Gabriel who went on to win the competition, appeared on stage wearing a huge costume described as an homage to NASA’s Apollo 11 moon landing and the current Artemis program.
Gabriel carried to American flags and above her head was a large moon.
In addition to getting roundly mocked on social media, Gabriel’s costume became a source of criticism by a Russian state media anchor who claimed it was a symbol of American hegemony.
During the program “Time Will Tell” on Russia’s First Channel, anchor Anatoly Kuzichev introduced the clip of Gabriel’s entrance by taking a sarcastic tone. He suggested that her costume represented how the United States harbors ideas above its station.
Kuzichev said Gabriel’s costume was a symbol of the might of the US and its claim on not only the Earth but also the “entire universe.” Her costume included the moon. Since when is going to the moon a claim on the entire universe?
Kuzichev also claimed that Gabriel’s costume was a symbol of America’s “arrogance and pride” and mocked the beauty queen for having “the entire universe on her shoulders.” Again, it was the moon, not the whole universe.
Naturally, Kuzichev compared Gabriel’s costume to that worn by Miss Russia Anna Linikova whom he described as “our contestant and our ambitions.” He said Linikova’s costume was “quite elegant” and was called “the crown of the Russian empire.”
The 28-year-old Gabriel is a fashion designer, model, and sewing instructor from Texas. She is the first Filipino American to win the Miss USA crown. In an Instagram post, Gabriel said her outfit was inspired by the women who are involved in NASA’s Artemis program which is aimed at sending Americans back to the moon.
During the pageant, Gabriel beat out first runner-up Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel for the Miss Universe crown, becoming the first Miss USA to win since Olivia Culpo in 2012.