Beauty Pageants

Article By: Ayla Ahmed

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Did you know that the Miss Universe crown is made up of 500 diamonds, each measuring about 30 carat? Or that Megan Young, of the Philippines, winner of Miss World in 2013 has won both the title of Miss World as well as Miss Philippines? Let’s face it, we’ve all at least heard of these beauty pageants, but what do they actually aim to achieve? Often the purpose and central focus of such competitions can be overshadowed by the sheer glamour of the whole event.

First off, how exactly does one win the title of Miss Universe? Well, compared to Miss World, Miss Universe follows a more traditional beauty pageant structure. Candidates are shortlisted during the preliminary round and then further shortlisted through the swimsuit, evening gown and question and answer rounds. On the contrary, Miss World is known to have grown more complex, hence harder to follow. Candidates may earn points through various awards such as Top Model, Beach Talent and Miss Sports.

But it’s not all looks. In fact, according to the Miss World website, “These women are savvy, goal-oriented and aware. The delegates who become part of the Miss Universe Organization display those characteristics in their everyday lives, both as individuals, who compete with hope of advancing their careers, personal and humanitarian goals, and as women who seek to improve the lives of others.” Each contestant must enter the contest with a Beauty with a Purpose Project in mind. For example, our very own Megan Young won Miss World 2013 with many projects in the Philippines. Young still continues with her Beauty with a Purpose project and traveled to Haiti after her win to participate in service. When typhoon Haiyan struck, Young traveled back to the Philippines and, working together with the rest of the organization, managed to raise an amazing $2 million.

There are four major players in the pageant world; Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss Earth. The two biggest and most international, however, are Miss Universe and Miss World. But what makes them different? As mentioned before, Miss World has a more service oriented outlook, whereas in Miss Universe, the focus lies mainly on the models themselves. Also, Miss Universe is widely regarded as the bigger pageant. This is because it is run by the Trump Organization and receives great support from Donald Trump. Miss Universe, on the other hand, originated in the UK and is run by the Miss World Organization.

Despite their many differences, however, both pageants are incredible widespread in terms of contestants as well and audience. Both pageants also follow a similar route, in the sense that representatives from various countries fly in especially to take part in these world renowned competitions.