Jennifer Hawkins (born 22 December 1983) is an Australian beauty queen, model and television presenter best known as Miss Universe 2004 and the face of Australian department store Myer.
Hawkins was born in Holmesville, New South Wales, Australia and currently resides in Sydney. She attended West Wallsend High School. She is one of four children, and her parents are of Australian heritage. Hawkins was a former cheerleader for the Newcastle Knights rugby league team, and the Hunter Pirates basketball team and also worked as a model. It was as a model that she was cast as Miss Australia for the Miss Universe competition. Hawkins also worked as a choreographer for a dance team that toured Australia specialising in Hip-Hop and Ballet.
After being selected to represent Australia in the internationally televised Miss Universe 2004, Hawkins sought advice from previous titleholder Ashlea Talbot, and learned basic Spanish prior to travelling to Ecuador.
The Miss Universe pageant was held in Quito, Ecuador on 1 June 2004. A week prior to the event, Hawkins was ranked sixth favourite to win the crown. During the final competition, Hawkins became the first Australian to make the semi-finals since Voni Delfos in 1993. She then proceeded to the top ten after competing in the evening gown competition, where she wore an unusual vintage copper gown that was designed by Bora and cost AU$25,000. After the swimsuit competition, Hawkins advanced to the top five, and eventually won the Miss Universe title. The remaining top five were all delegates from the Americas and Caribbean, including Shandi Finnessey of the USA (1st runner-up), Alba Reyes of Puerto Rico (2nd runner-up), Yanina Gonzalez of Paraguay (3rd runner-up) and Danielle Jones of Trinidad and Tobago (4th runner-up). Hawkins was the first winner from Oceania since Lorraine Downes of New Zealand held the title in 1983, and the first Australian since Kerry Anne Wells in 1972.
Hawkins was crowned by outgoing titleholder Amelia Vega from the Dominican Republic, after famously being announced by host Billy Bush as the "thunder from down under". Pageant co-owner Donald Trump described Hawkins as "the most beautiful Miss Universe I have seen in many, many years".
Hawkins received an elaborate Mikimoto pearl encrusted crown, worth $250,000 as well as an extensive prize package. Hawkins was the first blonde haired woman to win the title since Angela Visser of the Netherlands in 1989.
As Miss Universe, Hawkins represented the Miss Universe Organization. Her "sister" 2004 titleholders were Shelley Hennig (Miss Teen USA, of Louisiana) and Shandi Finnessey (Miss USA, of Missouri). During her reign, Hawkins travelled to Korea, The Bahamas, Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Singapore, Indonesia, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, India, Ecuador, Mexico, Puerto Rico, had multiple trips to Thailand, the host of Miss Universe 2005, and her home country of Australia. As part of her year-long reign as Miss Universe, she resided in New York City in a riverside apartment provided by the Miss Universe Organization. Also during her reign as Miss Universe, Hawkins stated that her wish was to continue modelling and become a television presenter.
Shortly after being crowned Miss Universe in 2004, Hawkins created news during a fashion show at Westfield Miranda, an Australian shopping centre, when she tripped on the hem of her dress, which fell to the floor. Hawkins was left scantily clad in her red thong in front of a surprised crowd. Hawkins later apologized, laughingly adding she "wished she wore better underwear". The incident received the dubious distinction of being named "The most embarrassing moment ever shown on Australian television" by Australia's Nine Network. The "Wardrobe malfunction" was widely circulated through news outlets and according to Google, caused a sharp increase in internet searches for "Jennifer Hawkins".
Hawkins served as a judge for the Miss Universe 2008 finals in Vietnam.
Hawkins signed a contract with the Seven Network at the 2004 Melbourne Cup Carnival. Her first appearances were as a guest presenter on the network's travel show, The Great Outdoors, where she took viewers on tours throughout the world. When she ended her reign as Miss Universe, she became a regular presenter on the show, which resulted in a 2006 Logie nomination for Most Popular New Female Talent. The series may be cancelled in 2009 due to its high budget and because of the ecenomic crisis.
Hawkins is served as the host and one of the judges for Australia's Make Me a Supermodel, which debuted 6 August 2008 on the Seven Network. The series is yet to be announced for a second season.
Hawkins was one of the participants in the fourth season of Australia's Dancing with the Stars and was the fifth celebrity eliminated. On 15 February 2006 she was in a celebrity version of Deal or No Deal called Dancing with the Deal which featured celebrities from Dancing with the Stars. She won $2,000 after refusing every deal.
Hawkins is featured as the love interest of Australian artist, Guy Sebastian in the music video for the second single "Elevator Love" off his third album, "Closer To The Sun". She has made cameo appearances in multiple episodes of The Apprentice with Donald Trump. Hawkins turned down the role of Sophie Solandres in the Pink Panther 2 due to scheduling conflicts, which was eventually given to Former Miss World and Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai.