From the pageant stage to the jungle: Who is I’m A Celeb’s Maria Thattil?

Here's everything we know about the reality star.
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Maria Thattil has quickly captured hearts in the jungle on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia, both with her fellow celebs and with those watching at home.

WATCH: I’m A Celeb’s Maria Thattil and Joey Essex discuss their plans for kids

With her bubbly personality, selfless nature, and potential budding jungle romance with Joey Essex, the model has viewers well and truly gripped.

So just who is Maria Thattil for those who don’t know? We’ve done some digging below.

Here’s everything we know about Maria Thattil. (Credit: Instagram)

Why is Maria Thattil famous?

Unless you’re “The David”, in order to enter the hallowed I’m A Celeb jungle, you need to have some credentials to your name.

With her title as Miss Universe Australia 2020, Maria certainly fits the bill. After being crowned in October 2020, Maria revealed she was inspired to enter the pageant to challenge traditional perceptions of beauty.

“When applying, I was inspired by representation and challenging the norm. I knew that by participating, I would be challenging the ideas of the Australian national identity and what people think about beauty queens in terms of intelligence, capability and values,” the reality star told Nine Honey.

With a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a masters in human resources, Maria is now a speaker, opinion writer, digital creator, and founder of the self-empowerment Instagram series and podcast Mind With Me.

“I am many things – but first and foremost, I believe I am proof that ambition backed with intention, action, and conscious energy will enable you to soar,” Maria writes on her website.

“A firm believer in the power of diversity, inclusivity, equality and mastering the mind – I work to create space so that others too can become their most empowered self.”

Maria won Miss Universe Australia in 2020. (Credit: Instagram)

How tall is Maria Thattil?

Small but mighty, Maria was the shortest entrant for Miss Universe International, coming in at 5’3’’.

What is Maria Thattil’s nationality?

Maria is South-Asian Australian; her parents moved from India in the early 1990s.

Being a fan of Miss Universe from a young age, the I’m A Celeb star had her reservations about modelling as she had never seen herself represented. That was until Indian-born Priya Serraro won Miss Universe Australia in 2019.

“She looked like me. I thought, if she can do it, maybe I can too,” Maria told The Daily Mail in 2021.

Maria’s parents moved to Australia from India in the early 1990s. (Credit: Instagram)

While appearing in the pageant, Maria revealed she copped vitriolic abuse that claimed she wasn’t “Australian enough” to represent the country.

The star even shared an example to The Daily Mail of a comment which read: “I miss the days when Australia would send tall, white women to Miss Universe.”

Despite the vile abuse, Maria went on to deservedly claim the title of Miss Universe Australia, emphasising that her inclusion was a step towards better cultural representation.

“We have an opportunity to accurately represent Australia’s true identity,” she said. “I wanted to use the title responsibly, to challenge incorrect perceptions of what an ‘Australian’ actually looks like.”

The model, however, went on to disclaim that pageants have a long way to go in terms of fostering inclusivity for all, citing the need to further diversify the types of bodies we see, as well as include more transgender models.

“We have an of opportunity to accurately represent Australia’s true identity,” Maria said. (Credit: Instagram)

How old is Maria Thattil?

Born on February 4th 1993, Maria is currently 28 years old.

The opinion writer recently spoke candidly about how growing older has enabled her to foster self-confidence.

Taking to her Instagram, Maria confessed that eight years ago she felt “incapable of socialising without heavy, white makeup and blue eye contacts” and that her past self would be proud of her current ability to so effortlessly mingle in the jungle.

Which brings us to our next question…

Maria is currently appearing on I’m A Celebrity Australia. (Credit: Ten)

Is Maria Thattil single?

That said “mingling” is with none other than The Only Way Is Essex star Joey Essex. With some of their fellow celebs attempting to play matchmaker, sparks have no doubt flown between the jungle dwellers.

Despite “The David’s” efforts to get the two together, neither has confirmed a romance just yet.

Maria, however, recently spoke about “focusing on her career” and not allowing external pressures regarding marriage and kids to infiltrate her personal life.

“I am 28 and fulfilled focusing on my career without knowing IF marriage and kids are for me,” the digital creator wrote on Instagram.

“The timeline is arbitrary, and the things we think we “have to do” are a social construct. Do whatever makes you happy. I still get pressure from family and strangers, but I believe that if you’re ever going to disappoint anyone when it comes to your life – it shouldn’t be yourself.”

Want more I’m a Celebrity news and goss? Check out the links below!

A fake celebrity enters the jungle: Who *actually* is I’m A Celeb’s David?

All the clues for who will be entering the jungle on I’m a Celebrity 2022

Another jungle romance? Here is Joey Essex’s complete dating history

Fans are convinced they already know who wins I’m A Celebrity 

Get me out of here! All the stars who have withdrawn from I’m A Celeb

It’s a jungle out there! Where are the I’m A Celeb winners now?

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REVEALED: The I’m A Celebrity Australia contestants for 2022

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