Miss Universe Pageant Expands Eligibility To Mothers And Married Women

by | August 22, 2022, 13:46 IST


Image: Instagram


In a historic change, the ever popular Miss Universe beauty pageant has made the decision to expand competition eligibility by allowing mothers and married women to enter! Yes, you read that right, starting 2023, marital and parental status will not be an eligibility criteria for pageant contestants.

The annual international beauty pageant serves as a platform for hundreds of women from across the globe to not just showcase their talent, but prove themselves worthy and influential to support the betterment of society. That being said, the Miss Universe pageant has always had a tough eligibility criteria – participants had to be between the age of 18 and 28, unmarried and with no children. That’s not all, the pageant winners were also expected to stay unmarried and not have children through the time they held the pageant title.

Well, putting an end to the archaic rule couldn’t have come at a better time! As per reports, an internal memo of the Miss Universe pageant reads, “We all believe that women should have agency over their lives and that a human’s personal decisions should not be a barrier to their success.” And we totally support this; after all, there’s no stopping women from bringing about a positive change irrespective of their personal life.

Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Meza of Mexico, who was alleged to be married right after she won the title, also welcomed this change. In an interview, she said she loved that this was happening. She added that as society changes and women have gone on to occupy leadership positions that only men could in the past, it was time for beauty pageants too, to change and open up to women with families. Further, she criticised the previous guidelines as being sexist and unrealistic to serve to choose a winner appealing to a larger audience. “A few people are against these changes because they always wanted to see a single beautiful woman who is available for a relationship. They always wanted to see a woman that, from the outside, looks so perfect that she’s almost unreachable,” she added.

The Miss Universe pageant, which is broadcast in over 160 territories and countries worldwide, has seen three Indian beauties bring home the title do far. After Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000, Punjab’s Harnaaz Sandhu recently won the Miss Universe 2021 pageant. We hope that this change will prove to be a step towards betterment for women and the world.

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