This year marks the 70th Miss Universe pageant. It was held on December 12, 2021, crowning Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu the winner. Millions of people from hundreds of countries look forward to seeing the annual pageant on-screen. But did you know how the contestants are screened and how strict the rules are?
Aspiring contestants cannot qualify for Miss Universe if they have been pregnant or have ever been married. While contestants are allowed to have boyfriends, they are not allowed to be married or engaged. They are also not allowed to have given birth or parented a child.
Miss Universe Pageant History
The title Miss Universe has first been used by the International Pageant of Pulchritude in 1926. This beauty contest was held annually up until 1935, when the Great Depression and the Second World Ward led to its end.
The Pacific Knitting Mills founded the current Miss Universe pageant and organization in 1952. The company is a California-based clothing corporation that manufactured the Catalina Swimwear. They were the sponsor of the Miss America pageant until the 1951 winner Yolande Betbeze refused to pose for publicity wearing one of the swimsuits. The company organized the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants from 1952 and co-sponsored the following decades later.
The Miss Universe pageant was first televised in 1955. By 1960, CBS began broadcasting both the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. They were run as separate contests by 1965.
Donald J. Trump bought the pageant from ITT Corp in 1996 and had a broadcasting arrangement with CBS until 2002. In 1998, the name was changed from Miss Universe Incorporated to Miss Universe Organization. They also moved the organization’s headquarters from Los Angeles, California, to New Your City. After the deal with CBS, Trump entered a joint venture with NBC, which was set to broadcast the pageant from 2003 to 2014. NBC eventually canceled their deal with Trump and the Miss Universe Organization after controversial statements were said about illegal immigrants. Since 2015, the Miss Universe pageant has been televised by Fox and is hosted by Steve Harvey. (Source: Prestigious Beauty Pageants)
What Are the Qualifications to Be a Contestant at the Miss Universe Pageant?
Being the most prestigious of all beauty pageants, the Miss Universe qualification standards are pretty strict. Since its inception, the organization has strictly prohibited the fabrication of age. To qualify, you must be within 18 to 28 years old. This is a problem for European countries since they allow 17-year-old contestants to compete in their national pageants. In the event the titleholder is underage, the rule is that they must be replaced by their runner-up or another candidate who is within the age bracket.
Contestants are also forbidden to be pregnant during the competition and within their reign as the winner. They are also not allowed to have birthed or parented a child. While the contestants are allowed to have boyfriends or relationships while competing and during their reign, they are not allowed to be married or engaged. Women who had been married are also not allowed to compete.
They must not have ever been married, not had a marriage annulled nor given birth to, or parented a child.Miss Universe Organization
While these rules seem arbitrary and old-fashioned, people have been trying to get a comment from the Miss Universe Organization about the rules listed on their website. Still, the organization declined to comment about the issue. (Source: Asking Lot)