In the world of pageants, Miss World is arguably the most popular one. It has a long history, which has seen women from many parts of the world participating for winning the glittering crown. While beauty is loaded with subjectivity, Miss World is said to be a global standard for what true beauty is all about.
I think most of you reading this post already know a few things about Miss World, but there are plenty of interesting facts which are often overlooked. In this post, you will find brief information about them. I have kept the number of these facts at 5, and hence it will take only some time of yours and will provide you with an insight into the world of one of the most competitive events in the world.
- The Oldest In The World
In the year 1951, the founder of the Pageant, Eric Morley, organized a bikini contest to commemorate the Festival of Britain. The event amassed a lot of media coverage, with the media dubbing it as “Miss World”. The event featured a swimsuit competition, which was won by Kerstin “Kiki” Hakansson from Sweden. She was crowned while in a bikini, and this created a lot of controversies.
The success of the media-dubbed “Miss World” convinced Eric to take the event to another level and make it an annual event instead. He got the “Miss World: registered as a trademark, and the rest is history!
- Most Title Holders
Two countries, namely India and Venezuela hold the maximum number of Miss World titles—both tied at 6.
From India, Reita Faria became the first Indian to win the title in 1966. Manushi Chillar is the latest Miss World from the country who won the title in 2017. In Venezuela, on the other side, the first Miss World was Susana Duijm in 1955 and the latest Miss World, Ivian Sarcos who won the title in 2011.
- The Big Four
There is a high chance you know about this already, but I will talk about it anyway. Aside from Miss World, there are three other beauty pageants which enjoy international recognition and fame.
These three pageants are Miss Universe, Miss Earth, and Miss International. All these four together are called “The Big Four”.
Now you know why these pageants are such a great deal!
- Filled With Controversies
Of course, for an event as huge as Miss World, there will be no dearth of controversies. Miss World has had its own share of controversies so let us take a look at a few of them.
In 1980, Gabriella Brum, from Germany, was crowned in the event but had to abdicate her crown when it was revealed that she had appeared nude on a magazine cover. A similar fate awaited Helen Morgan of the United Kingdom who had to resign a few days after being crowned in 1971 as it was found that she had a child.
A major controversy which affected the pageant for years was its practice of allowing two separate categories from Africa: one being Miss Africa South (black participant) and Miss South Africa (white participant). This practice was carried out until 1976.
Another controversy concerned protest marking the 1996 Miss World pageant. India was the host country, and many of its people protested against the organization of the event because it was felt to be against Indian culture. The event was, however, successfully organized with the aid of the well-acclaimed actor, Amitabh Bachchan, and the local government.
- Making Records
The wonderful women who participate in the pageant have set many records. These women have broken all kinds of barriers to reach to the top, and I have quite a few examples to give.
The first winner of the pageant, Kerstin “Kiki” Hakansson was the first European women to be crowned Miss World.
Carole Joan Crawford, from Jamaica, became the first women from the Caribbean region to win the pageant.
Zhang Zilin, from China, became the first women of East Asian origin to win the pageant.
Reita Faria, from India, was the first women from Asia to win the prestigious title.
Agbani Darego, from Nigeria, is the first ever Black African woman to emerge as a victor of the event.
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