Miss Universe Thailand, 24, used to donate blood & collect trash to pay off school loans

She stunned the internet with her dress made of can tabs.

Fasiha Nazren |
January 16, 2023, 7:17 pm

We’re not starting a cult but some followers on Instagram would be nice. Thank you.

Miss Thailand took the entire internet by storm when she appeared in a stunning dress during the evening gown segment of the Miss Universe 2022 pageant.

Anna Sueangam-iam, 24, graced the stage in a dress made of metal can tabs and adorned with Swarovski crystals.

Named the “Hidden Precious Diamond Dress”, it was designed by Arif Jehwang, the founder of Thai fashion brand Manirat.

An Instagram post by Arif shows various sketches and the different types of can tabs tested before the final design was arrived at.


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A post shared by ARIFTINA 🖤 (@ariftina)

Although she did not win the competition (Miss USA, Filipino-American R’Bonney Gabriel, won first place), Anna won the hearts of many with her story of humble beginnings.

Humble beginnings

The contestant said that the dress was designed to pay homage to her parents.

She grew up in a temple and was brought up by her garbage collector father, street sweeper mother, and Buddhist nun great-grandmother.


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A post shared by Anna Sueangam-iam (@annasnga_1o)

In her Instagram post, she wrote:

“Growing up with garbage collector parents, my life as a child was among piles of garbage and recyclables. This unique gown was purposefully tailored-made with discarded and recycled materials, namely the ‘Can Tab’ to present to the UNIVERSE that what’s considered worthless by many actually possesses its own value and beauty.”

Anna grew up in poverty and had to work hard to get a degree, it was revealed during the pageant.

She majored in hotel and tourism management at Bangkok’s Kasetsart University.

To pay off her university loans, Anna took on multiple jobs including collecting garbage, becoming a school cleaner and even donating blood.

Dream big

Now, the part-time model-actress is also working with the Thai government to help solve the country’s waste management problem.


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A post shared by Anna Sueangam-iam (@annasnga_1o)

While Anna did not bring home the crown, she did get to inspire many individuals with her remarkable Miss Universe journey.

In her latest post on Jan. 16, the beauty contestant expressed that although she is sad over the results, she has no regrets.

She is also glad to be able to show that anyone can follow their dreams, no matter who they are, adding that she has a lot of things to look forward to in life as well.


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A post shared by Anna Sueangam-iam (@annasnga_1o)

Top image from @annasnga_1o on Instagram.

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