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What sets Miss World apart from other major global pageants?


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What sets Miss World apart from other major international pageants?.Reigning Miss World Karolina Bielawska/MISS WORLD FACEBOOK PHOTO

Reigning Miss World Karolina Bielawska/MISS WORLD FACEBOOK PHOTO

There is no denying that the Philippines is a “Miss Universe country.” But far more peoples from many countries around the globe are more familiar with the international pageant’s “older sister,” the Miss World competition.

The London-based international tilt is the longest-running global contest, established by the late Eric Morley in the United Kingdom in 1951, a year before the birth of the Miss Universe pageant. His wife Julia has taken over the reins after his passing.

The Miss World pageant has now also become the most participated one among the major international pageants, gathering more than 100 delegates in every edition. The Miss Universe contest, on the other hand, usually has around 90 candidates per year.

Perhaps the popularity of the Miss Universe pageant among Filipinos may be attributed to the country’s performance in the New York-based competition compared to the Miss World contest. The Philippines has already posted four victories in the earlier, courtesy of Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), and Catriona Gray (2018), whereas Megan Young remains to be the lone Filipino woman to capture the “blue crown” from the latter, accomplishing the long-awaited feat in 2013.

But the differences between the two international competitions go beyond the Philippine connection. Generally, the two tilts are pretty much unlike each other. For one, the Miss World pageant no longer has a swimsuit competition. Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Earth, and Miss Supranational candidates still compete in swimsuits.

When Young participated in the 63rd Miss World pageant in the conservative Islamic country of Indonesia, the participants did not parade in their swimsuits on stage, and the bathing suits were reserved only for the preliminary “Beach Beauty” fast-track event. And in 2014, the international competition officially discontinued the practice of letting women parade in swimwear during the final show, citing its focus on “brains and personality” instead of just physical beauty.

The Miss World pageant also imposes age restrictions, where participants must be between 17 and 27 years old, similar to Miss International. The Miss Universe pageant has already scrapped its maximum age limit beginning in its 73rd edition this year. The Manila-based Miss Earth contest accepts ladies between 18 and 28 years old, while the Miss Supranational tilt can accommodate women up to 32 years old.

Reigning Miss World Karolina Bielawska/MISS WORLD FACEBOOK PHOTO

Reigning Miss World Karolina Bielawska/MISS WORLD FACEBOOK PHOTO

What is also worth noting about the Miss World pageant is the conduct of having “fast-track” events, a series of preliminary competitions where the winners earn guaranteed spots in the quarterfinals during the coronation show. These events are the “head-to-head,” “sports,” “top model,” “talent,” “multimedia,” and “beauty with a purpose.”

The initial elimination in the Miss World pageant is also less brutal than the other international pageants. The first cut will still have 40 candidates remaining onstage, far more than those who hurdle the first elimination in the Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Earth, and Miss Supranational competitions.

The 71st Miss World Festival will hold its final show at the Jio World Convention Center in Mumbai, India, on March 9. Reigning Polish queen Karolina Bielawska will relinquish her title to her successor, who will be chosen among the 112 ladies competing this year. Gwendolyne Fourniol is representing the Philippines.



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