Logo of the Miss World event
|Key people||Eric Morley|
The Miss World pageant is the oldest surviving major international beauty pageant. It was created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951. Since his death in 2000, Morley's wife, Julia Morley, co-chairs the pageant. Alongside its rivals Miss Universe and Miss Earth, this pageant is one of the most publicised beauty contests in the world.
The winner spends a year travelling to represent the Miss World Organization and its various causes. The current Miss World is Megan Young of the Philippines. Traditionally, Miss World lives in London during her reign.
- 1 History
- 2 Miss World Organisation
- 3 The pageant
- 4 Titleholders
- 5 Continental queens of beauty
- 6 Pageant controversies
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Miss World started as the Festival Bikini Contest, in honour of the recently introduced swimwear of the time, but was called "Miss World" by the media. It was originally planned as a one-off event. Upon learning about the upcoming Miss Universe pageant, Morley decided to make the pageant an annual event.
Opposition to the wearing of bikinis led to their replacement with more modest swimwear after the first contest. The first Miss World Pageant event in 1951 was the first and the last event which crowned the winner in a bikini. In Miss World 2013 all participants will use one piece of swimsuit plus traditional sarong from the belly and below as a compromise with local culture.
In 1959, the BBC started broadcasting the competition. The pageant's popularity grew with the advent of television. During the 1960s and 1970s, Miss World would be among the most watched programmes of the year on British television. However, in 1970, the Miss World contest in London was disrupted by women's liberation protesters armed with flour bombs, stink bombs, and water pistols.
In the 1980s, the pageant repositioned itself with the slogan Beauty With a Purpose, with added tests of intelligence and personality. However, in the 1980s, the competition became seen as old-fashioned and politically incorrect in its native Britain, and despite its global appeal, stopped showing on British television until Channel 5 aired it briefly in 1998, then shifted between lesser-known satellite channels, and is now webcast only and little-known in Britain.
Eric Morley died as the pageant entered the new century. His wife, Julia, succeeded as chairwoman of the Miss World Organization.
The century saw its first black African winner, Agbani Darego of Nigeria, in 2001. As part of its marketing strategy, Miss World came up with a "Vote For Me" television special during that edition, featuring the delegates behind the scenes and on the beach, and allowing viewers to either phone in or vote online for their favourites. It also sells its Talent, Beach Beauty and Sports events as television specials to broadcasters.
In 2002 the pageant was slated for choosing Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria to host its final. This choice was controversial, as a northern Nigerian woman, Amina Lawal, was awaiting death by stoning for adultery under Sharia law there, but Miss World chose to use the publicity surrounding its presence to bring greater global awareness and action to Amina's plight (see Controversies section).
Miss World Organisation
The Miss World Organisation owns and manages the annual Miss World Finals, a competition that has grown into one of the world’s biggest. Since its launch in 1951, the Miss World Organization has raised more than £250 million for children’s charities. Miss World is franchised in more than 100 countries. Miss World, Limited is a privately held firm, and thus figures for its earnings, expenses and charitable contributions are not publicly available.
Aside from raising millions of pounds for charities around the globe under the banner of its "Beauty with a Purpose" program, Miss World is also credited with directly influencing a dramatic increase in tourism in Sanya, China, host city of the Miss World finals in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010.
In the year preceding the global finals, each delegate must win her national title or a specially designated Miss World national preliminary. Miss World's national preliminaries are conducted by their licence-holders, who hold the franchise to use the "Miss World" name in their country. The annual final is typically a month long event, with several preliminary galas, dinners, balls and activities, culminating in a globally telecast final show in which the field is narrowed to between 15–20 delegates.
- Venezuela has won the Miss Photogenic award four times (1984, 1990, 1995, 1996).
- Four Miss World winners were awarded Miss Photogenic: Astrid Carolina Herrera (Venezuela, 1984), Aishwarya Rai (India, 1994), Jacqueline Aguilera (Venezuela, 1995) and Diana Hayden (India, 1997).
- One Miss World winner was awarded Best World Dress Designer (Spectacular Evening Wear) : Azra Akin (Turkey, 2002).
- Two Miss World winner were awarded Miss World Continental Groups Northern Europe by SMS voting : Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir (Iceland, 2005), Taťána Kuchařová (Czech Republic,2006).
Challenge Events (Formerly known as Fast track awards)
Since 2003 Miss World pageant also features Fast Track events during the preliminary round. The winners of Fast Track events are automatically qualified to enter the final round.
Since 2011 winners of the challenge events are no longer automatically qualified to enter the final round. Instead, winners and finalists of these events will be awarded bonus points to their preliminary scores. Delegates with the highest points (bonus of challenge events included) are qualified to enter the final round.
Challenge (Fast Track) events which have been used since 2003 are:
- Beach Fashion (Formerly known as Beach Beauty) (2003–present)
- Miss Talent (2003–present)
- Miss Sports (2003–2004, 2006–present)
- Beauty with a Purpose (2005–present)
- Top Model (2004, 2007–present)
- Multimedia Award (2012–present)
- People's Choice (2003, 2008, 2013)
- Personality (2003)
- Contestant's Choice (2004)
- 1955: Susana Duijm was the first Latin-American to win Miss World Title.
- 1966: Reita Faria was the first Asian ever to win Miss World Title.
- 2001: Agbani Darego was the first Black African to win Miss World Title.
- Four Miss World Titlist were awarded Miss Photogenic:
- Two Miss World Titlist were awarded Miss World Beach Beauty:
- Three Miss World Titlist were awarded Miss World Top Model:
- One Miss World Titlist were awarded Spectacular Swimwear:
- One Miss World Titlist were awarded Best World Designer (Spectacular Evening Wear):
- One Miss World Titlist were awarded Miss World Talent:
- Longest Completed Reign
- Kerstin Håkansson reigns for 1 year, 3 months, 16 days or (1 year, 108 days). She was crowned on July 29, 1951 and crowned her successor on November 14, 1952.
- Taťána Kuchařová reigns for 1 year, 2 months, 2 days or (1 year, 62 days). She was crowned on September 30, 2006 and crowned her successor on Dec. 1, 2007.
- Shortest Completed Reign
- Shortest Reign: their first runner-ups were crowned later on
- The Longest Gap:
- Back-to-Back Win:
- Kerstin Håkansson crowned on July 29, 1951 ← → May-Louise Flodin crowned on November 14, 1952 (1 year, 108 days)
- Ann Sidney crowned on November 12, 1964 ← → Lesley Langley crowned on November 19, 1965 (1 year, 7 days)
- Yukta Mookhey crowned on December 4, 1999 ← → Priyanka Chopra crowned on November 30, 2000 (362 days)
- Oldest Winners
- Youngest Winners
- Wilnelia Merced, youngest winner at the age of 18 years 39 days when she was crowned on November 20, 1975. (age is verified)
- Lisa Hanna, second youngest winner at the age of 18 years 99 days when she was crowned on November 27, 1993.
- Antigone Costanda, born-circa 1935, crowned - Oct. 18, 1954 (she is 18 but exact birth date is unverified)
- Eva Rueber-Staier, born-circa 1951, crowned - November 27, 1969 (she is 18 but exact birth date is unverified)
- 1952: year with the least number of delegates with 11 to which the eventual winner was May Louise Flodin on November 14.
- 2013: year with the most number of delegates with 127 to which the eventual winner was Megan Young on September 28.
- Miss World remains the only one of the major international pageants with two winners resigned or dethroned: Miss World replaced Helen Morgan in 1974 and Gabriela Brum in 1980.
- Eight Miss World winners placed as runners-up or semi-finalists in the Miss Universe pageant:
- 1955: Susana Duijm, semi-finalist
- 1958: Corine Rottschäfer, semi-finalist
- 1961: Rosemarie Frankland, first runner-up
- 1966: Madeleine Hartog Bell, semi-finalist
- 1969: Eva Rueber-Staier, semi-finalist
- 1974: Helen Morgan, first runner-up (dethroned at Miss World 1974)
- 1979: Gina Swainson, first runner-up
- 2001: Agbani Darego, semi-finalist
- Three Miss World delegates placed as finalists/semi-finalists in the pageant prior to their win at Miss International:
- Two Miss World winners placed as runners-up in the Miss International pageant:
- One Miss World delegate placed as semi-finalists in the pageant prior to her win at Miss Grand International 2013, first edition of the Pageant:
- Delegates who didn't Place at Miss World / Miss Universe and later won the Miss International title:
For the full list of venues, see List of Miss World titleholders.
- 7 winners have been crowned Miss World on their home turf:
- 1961: Rosemarie Frankland was crowned in London, UK.
- 1964: Ann Sidney was crowned in London, UK.
- 1965: Lesley Langley was crowned in London, UK.
- 1974: Helen Morgan was crowned in London, UK. (dethroned)
- 1983: Sarah-Jane Hutt was crowned in London, UK.
- 2007: Zhang Zilin was crowned in Sanya, China.
- 2012: Yu Wenxia was crowned in Ordos City, China.
- 5 winners have crowned their successors on their home turf:
- 1961: Rosemarie Frankland crowned 1962: Catharina Lodders in London, UK.
- 1964: Ann Sidney crowned 1965: Lesley Langley in London, UK.
- 1965: Lesley Langley crowned 1966: Reita Faria in London, UK.
- 1983: Sarah-Jane Hutt crowned 1984: Astrid Carolina Herrera in London, UK.
- 1990: Gina Tolleson crowned 1991: Ninibeth Leal in Atlanta, USA.
- Outside United Kingdom, South Africa has hosted the most Miss World pageants, with seven. The various locations were:
- Apart from the United Kingdom and South Africa, the other states to host the pageant more than once are:
- The following is a list of winners from 2000 to 2013.
- For the full list of titleholders, see List of Miss World titleholders.
Miss World 2006
By number of wins
|Venezuela||6||1955, 1981, 1984, 1991, 1995, 2011|
|India||5||1966, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000|
|United Kingdom||1961, 1964, 1965, 1974 (resigned), 1983|
|United States||3||1973, 1990, 2010|
|Iceland||1985, 1988, 2005|
|Jamaica||1963, 1976, 1993|
|Sweden||1951, 1952, 1977|
|China PR||2||2007, 2012|
|Germany||1956, 1980 (resigned)|
|South Africa||1958, 1974 (took over title in November 1974)|
|Trinidad & Tobago||1986|
|Guam||1980 (took over title on 28 November 1980)|
Top 20 countries by tally
- For the full details, see Full Country Rankings for Miss World.
|Rank||Country/Territory||Miss World||1st Runner-up||2nd Runner-up||3rd Runner-up||4th Runner-up||5th Runner-up||6th Runner-up||Semifinalists||Total|
Number of titles by continental region
|Europe||28||United Kingdom* (5), Iceland and Sweden (3), Austria, Germany*, Netherlands and Russia (2), Czech Republic, Finland, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Poland and Turkey (1)|
|Americas||15||Venezuela (6), United States (3), Argentina and Peru (2), Bermuda and Brazil (1)|
|Asia||8||India (5), China (2), Philippines (1)|
|Oceania||3||Australia (2), Guam* (1)|
|Caribbean||7||Jamaica (3), Puerto Rico (2) Dominican Republic, Granade, and Trinidad and Tobago (1)|
|Africa||4||South Africa* (2), Egypt and Nigeria (1)|
- NOTE - Helen Morgan (United Kingdom) and Gabriella Brum (Germany) resigned and were replaced by their respective 1st runners-up: Anneline Kriel of South Africa in 1974 and Kimberley Santos of Guam in 1980.
Continental queens of beauty
The following is a list of Continental Queens of Beauty winners since 2004.
|Year||Africa||Americas||Asia & Oceania||Caribbean||Europe|
Naa Okailey Shooter
Sophie Elizabeth Moulds
Alize Lily Mounter
Emma Britt Waldron
Maria Karla Bautista
Queens of beauty titles
These are the countries with the most Continental Queen of Beauty titles per continental group (region in bold) throughout the years:
|Country||Titles||Awarded as||Winning years|
|Americas||1981, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2008, 2011|
|Africa||1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2009, 2011|
|Caribbean||1990, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2013|
|Oceania||1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, 2013|
|Asia & Oceania||1991|
|Asia & Oceania||1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2008|
|Asia & Oceania||2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2012|
|Asia & Oceania||1993, 2004, 2011|
|Asia||1982, 1986, 2013|
|Asia||1983, 1984, 1985|
|Asia & Oceania||1988, 1995, 2005, 2009|
|Asia & Oceania||1989, 1992|
The Miss World pageant has been the target of many controversies since its inception.
- In 1970, feminist protesters threw flour bombs during the live event at London's Royal Albert Hall, momentarily scaring the host, Bob Hope.
- In 1973, the judges made their final rankings of the seven finalists by assessing each one's personality, stage presence and the ability to speak before an audience. The Majority Vote System determined the final rankings of the seven finalists. Odd numbers of judges were always used, to prevent ties from occurring. Chairman of the judges in 1973 was Peter Dimmock, Head of BBC Outside Broadcasts. The winner, Marjorie Wallace, was fired on 8 March 1974, because she had failed to live up to the "first-class public image" of the position. However, she is still the official titleholder, as the Miss World title was not offered to the runners-up.
- In 1976, several countries went on a boycott, because the pageant included both a Caucasian and African representative for South Africa. South Africa competed for the last time in 1977, before it was welcomed back in 1991 as Apartheid disintegrated.
- The 1980 winner Gabriella Brum of Germany resigned one day after winning, initially claiming her boyfriend disapproved. A few days later it emerged that she had been forced to resign after it was discovered that she posed naked for a magazine.
- In 1996, wide-scale protests took place in Bangalore, India, over the hosting of the beauty contest. The swimsuit shootings were moved to the Seychelles, and heavy security was placed. Despite the chaos, the pageant's live telecast went on smoothly.
The 2002 Nigeria contest
In the year leading up the finals in Nigeria, several European title holders lobbied their governments and the EU parliament to support Amina Lawal's cause. A number of contestants followed the lead of Kathrine Sørland of Norway in boycotting the contest (despite the controversy Sørland would go on to become a semifinalist in both the Miss World and Miss Universe contest), while others such as Costa Rica were instructed by their national governments and parliaments not to attend the contest. Among the other boycotting nations were Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Panama, Belgium and Kenya. There was further controversy over the possibly suspended participation of France and South Africa, which may or may not have been due to the boycott. For her part, Lawal asked that contestants not suspend their participation in the contest, saying that it was for the good of her country and that they could, as the representative of Sweden had earlier remarked, make a much stronger case for her on the ground in Nigeria.
Despite the increasing international profile the boycott was garnering in the world press, the contest went ahead in Nigeria after being rescheduled to avoid taking place during Ramadan, with many prominent nations sending delegates. Osmel Sousa of Venezuela, one of the world's most influential national directors, famously said "there is no question about it (the participation of Miss Venezuela in the contest)." The trouble did not end there, however. A ThisDay (Lagos, Nigeria) newspaper editorial suggesting that Muhammad would probably have chosen one of his wives from among the contestants had he been alive to see it (this suggestion would have been considered an insult to most Moslems because contestants bared themselves in bathing suits which is considered immoral by conservative Muslim standards), resulted in inter-religious riots that started on 22 November in which over 200 people were killed in the city of Kaduna, along with many houses of worship being burned by religious zealots. Because of these riots, the 2002 pageant was moved to London, following widely circulated reports that the representatives of Canada and Korea had withdrawn from the contest and returned to their respective countries out of safety concerns. A fatwa urging the beheading of the woman who wrote the offending words, Isioma Daniel, was issued in Nigeria, but was declared null and void by the relevant Saudi Arabian authorities. Upon the pageant's return to England, many of the boycotting contestants chose to attend, including Miss Norway, Kathrine Sørland, who was ironically tipped in the last few days as the number one favourite for the crown she had previously boycotted.
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