To all those who think that beauty pageant is all smile and good looks and everything merry, take a look at the following 10 Beauty pageant controversies that stirred the world.
Top 10 Beauty Pageant Controversies/Scandals.
10. Dethroned After Crowning
It was Miss Universe 2002 – We have seen several winners who have resigned or have been dethroned after winning. But one of the most mysterious dethroning happened in 2002. Russia’s Oxana Fedorova was crowned Miss Universe 2002 (51st Edition). Fedorova became the first Miss Russia to win the Miss Universe contest. Soon rumours spread that she is pregnant. She stated that she voluntarily gave up her crown for personal reasons, mainly because she wanted to finish her law degree. Fedorova was dethroned four months later and first runner-up Justine Pasek of Panama took over the Miss Universe title.
9. Resigning For Being A Mom
It was Miss World 1974 – The 24th Edition of the pageant. UK’s Helen Morgan was announced the winner. But within four days of her crowning, she resigned her title and crown on the groundsthat she has a son. Thus, she became the first Miss World titleholder to officially resign. Anneline Kriel of South Africa was crowned the new Miss World after Morgan’s resignation.
8. No To Bathing Suit
It was Miss America 1951 – Eventual winner Alabama contestant Yolande Betbeze Fox shocked the world when she refused to wear bathing suit in public and spoke in various public sit-ins and civil rights demonstrations against it. Catalina Swimwear withdrew its support as a major sponsor, and founded two rival beauty pageants, Miss USA and Miss Universe. It was not only during her reign, but also her completion of her reign, she continued to be outspoken.
7. Sexual Assault of Miss World
It was Miss World 1998 –Israel’s Linor Abargil was crowned Miss World 1998 (48th Edition). Abargail revealed few days after the competition that she was raped months before the pageant. She was raped at knifepoint by her travel agent, Uri Shlomo Nur, in Milan, Italy. Initially, due to lack of evidence, no action could be taken against him, but later on with strong evidence found, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Abargil called for other women to follow her example. Since then, she has become a global advocate in the fight against sexual violence.
6. Death Of Miss Honduras
It was Miss World 2014 – Maria Jose Alvarado was crowned Miss Honduras World in April, 2014 and was all set represent Honduras in Miss World 2014 (64th Edition), the 64th edition of the pageant. But on November 19, 2014,wo months prior to the event, she and her sister Sofia Trinidad were found murdered and then buried in the village of Cablotales. As a tribute and honour to the 19 year old beauty queen, Miss Honduras pageant organizers decided not to replace Alvarado and therefore Honduras officially withdrew from the contest that year.
5. Winner Slammed For Gaining Weight
It was Miss Universe 1996 – Venezuela’s Alicia Machado was crowned Miss Universe 1996 (45th Edition). During her reign as Miss Universe, Machado made headlines when it was reported that she gained too much weight and the Miss Universe Organization was considering replacing her with her runner-up, Taryn Mansell of Aruba. Although Machado retained her title, this move by the pageant organizer was heavily criticised by people all over the world. IT was seen that they are promoting a body image. Machado’s pictures of her working out to lose weight surfaced in newspapers and the pressures created by the organizers was heavily slammed.
4. From Glory To Controversy
It was Miss America 1984 – New York contestant Vanessa Williams became the first African-American woman to win the Miss America pageant in 1984. she relinquished her title early and was succeeded by the first runner-up, Suzette Charles of New Jersey, when a scandal arose when Penthouse magazine bought and published nude photographs of her. So, from being the pride of breaking racial barriers to overnight controversy, she faced it all.
3. No To Same-Sex Marriage
It was Miss USA 2009 – Eventual runner–up California contestant Carrie Prejean received national attention in 2009 for a confirmed sex tape scandal and when she told a pageant judge that marriage should be between a man and a woman. When asked by judge Perez Hilton in the final question round that whether she believe she believed every state should legalize same-sex marriage, Carrie replied, “Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And, you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that, I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman”, getting boos from the audience and worldwide criticism.
2. Transgender Debate
It was Miss Universe Canada 2012 – Controversy arose when transgender contestant, Jenna Talackova was disqualified from the competition on the grounds of not being a “naturally born female”. This led to huge criticism of the organization and they eventually let her participate. Although Talackova made it till Top 12 and didn’t win, she left a mark of her own for braking gender stereotypes. She is now one of the most successful transgender models in the world.
1. Racial Hate Message For Winner
It was Miss America 2014 – Eventual winner Nina Davuluri from New York, moment after her crowning the first Miss America to receive xenophobic comments about being a terrorist or Muslim extremist. Davuluri, who is of India heritage, saw racial hate messages against her due to the proximity of the event date to the nine-eleven anniversary (since the event took place on 15th September, 2013; 4 days after the 13th anniversary of the tragedy) and to anti-Indian sentiment appeared in American social media. News agencies cited tweets that misidentified her as Muslim or Arab, associated her with groups such as Al-Qaeda. Davuluri dealt with the situation with much grace and elegance, which sprouted more respect for her. She said “I have to rise above that. I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.” The biggest thing I realized is that many of these remarks aren’t necessarily meant to be malicious but are simply a factor of ignorance, understanding everyone’s beliefs and backgrounds and finding that common ground so we can all communicate in an open, honest and respectful manner ,is something I’ve essentially been promoting my entire life.”