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|Formation||29 July 1951 (1951-07-29)|
Miss World is the oldest-running international beauty pageant. It was created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951. Since his death in 2000, Morley's widow, Julia Morley, has co-chaired the pageant. Along with Miss Universe, Miss International, and Miss Earth, this pageant is one of the Big Four international beauty pageants.
In 1951, Eric Morley organised a bikini contest as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations that he called the Festival Bikini Contest. The event was popular with the press, and was dubbed "Miss World" by the media. The swimsuit competition was intended as a promotion for the bikini which had only recently been introduced onto the market, and which was still widely regarded as immodest. When the 1951 Miss World pageant winner, Kerstin "Kiki" Hakansson from Sweden, was crowned in a bikini, it added to the controversy.
The pageant was originally planned as a Pageant for the Festival of Britain, but Eric Morley decided to make the Miss World pageant an annual event. Morley registered the "Miss World" name as a trademark, and all future pageants were held under that name. However, because of the controversy arising from Håkansson's crowning in a bikini, countries with religious traditions threatened not to send delegates to future events, and the bikini was condemned by the Pope. Objection to the bikini led to its replacement in all future pageants with what was accepted as more modest swimwear, and from 1976 swimsuits were replaced by evening gowns for the crowning. Håkansson remains the only Miss World crowned in a bikini. In Miss World 2013 all participants wore a one-piece swimsuit plus a traditional sarong below the waist as a compromise with local culture.
Morley announced the Miss World winners in the order No. 3, No. 2 and No. 1. This keeps the tension up and avoids the anticlimax if Nos. 2 and 3 are announced after the winner.
In 1959, the BBC started broadcasting the pageant. The pageant's popularity grew with the advent of television. During the 1960s and 1970s, Miss World would be among the most watched programs 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. More than 18 million people watched the pageant at its peak during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In the 1980s, the pageant repositioned itself with the slogan Beauty With a Purpose, with added tests of intelligence and personality. However, there have been various objections to the contest. Although it still "enjoys success worldwide", it was no longer broadcast on BBC with the last mainstream broadcast on UK television in 1988. ITV's Thames Television took over the UK broadcasting rights between 1980 and 1988. During the early 1990s, there was a decline in the popularity of mainstream television broadcasts of the event after it became "increasingly unfashionable" in the late 1980s. The pageant returned on satellite channel Sky One in 1997, before moving to Channel 5 for three years (1998–2000).
Eric Morley died in 2000, and his wife, Julia, succeeded as chairwoman of the Miss World organisation.
The first black African Miss World winner, Agbani Darego of Nigeria, was crowned 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. ITV broadcast the 2001 pageant from South Africa on digital channel ITV2, with the special airing a week earlier on the main ITV channel.
In 2002 the pageant was slated for 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 Lawal's plight. No British channel agreed to broadcast the event.
In the Miss World 2014 ceremony, Aishwarya Rai the most successful crowned Miss World by the Miss World Organization attended the celebration with her husband Abhishek Bachchan, daughter Aaradhya and mother Brinda Rai. It has been broadcast on local TV channel London Live since 2014.
Miss World Organization
The Miss World Organization 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 organisation has raised more than £250 million for children's charities that help disabled and underprivileged children. 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.
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 alarming the host, Bob Hope.
- The 1973 winner, Marjorie Wallace, was stripped of her title on 8 March 1974, because she had failed to fulfill the basic requirements of the job. The Miss World organizers did not elect someone to serve in her place.
- 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 returning 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 segments were moved to the Seychelles, and heavy security was in place. Despite the chaos, the pageant's live broadcast went smoothly.
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 semi-finalist 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 might or might 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, 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 Britain, 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.
Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada, was not given a visa to travel in China and hence missed the official deadline of 20 November 2015 for entry to the Miss World 2015 pageant, and was declared persona non grata by the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa since she openly criticized China's human rights violations. She was later allowed by the Miss World Organization to compete at Miss World 2016.
|Edition||Country||Name||National Title||Location||Number of Entrants|
|2019||Jamaica||Toni-Ann Singh||Miss Jamaica World||London, England||111|
|2018||Mexico||Vanessa Ponce||Miss Mexico||Sanya, China||118|
|2017||India||Manushi Chhillar||Femina Miss India|
|2016||Puerto Rico||Stephanie Del Valle||Miss World Puerto Rico||Oxon Hill, Maryland, United States||117|
|2015||Spain||Mireia Lalaguna||Miss Spain||Sanya, China||114|
Fast track events
The winner of these events, called "fast track" competitions, automatically make it into the quarter or semifinals of Miss World. The fast track categories are Miss World Beach Beauty, Beauty With a Purpose, Sports Challenge, Talent and Top Model. Miss World Beach Beauty, replacing Miss World Best in Swimsuit, and Miss World Sports were added in 2003. Miss World Top Model was added in 2004. Miss World Multimedia was added in 2012.
Miss World Beach Beauty
Miss World Beach Beauty was a swimsuit or fast track competition in the Miss World pageant. The Beach Beauty event first started in 2003, when the Miss World Organization decided to have preliminary or fast track events to automatically give a semifinal spot to some of the delegates. This event allowed the Miss World delegates (over 100) to have a chance of being in the semifinals. The winner goes on to make the semifinals automatically. The Beach Beauty event showcased different swimsuits designed by Miss World 1975, Wilnelia Merced. From 2015, the organisation officially eliminated the swimsuit competition from the pageant.
|Year||Winner||Represented||Placement at Miss World|
|2003||Rosanna Davison||Ireland||Miss World 2003|
|2004||Nancy Randall||United States||2nd Runner-up|
|2005||Yulia Ivanova||Russia||Top 15 semifinalist|
|2006||Federica Guzmán||Venezuela||Top 17 semifinalist|
|2007||Ada De La Cruz||Dominican Republic||Top 16 semifinalist|
|2008||Anagabriela Espinoza||Mexico||Top 15 semifinalist|
|2009||Kaiane Aldorino||Gibraltar||Miss World 2009|
|2010||Yara Lasanta||Puerto Rico||Top 20 semifinalist|
|2011||Alize Lily Mounter||England||Top 7 finalist|
|2012||Sophie Moulds||Wales||1st Runner-up|
|2013||Sancler Frantz||Brazil||Top 6 finalist|
|2014||Olivia Asplund||Sweden||Top 25 semifinalist|
Miss World Beauty With a Purpose
The Beauty with a Purpose is an event established in 1972 that is celebrated during the activities prior to the Miss World pageant. It awards the contestant with the most relevant and important charity project in her nation. Since 2005 the winner automatically makes the quarter finals. Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar from India is the first and only Beauty With a Purpose recipient to eventually win the Miss World crown.
Miss World Talent
Miss World Talent is a talent or fast track competition in the Miss World pageant, in which a number of contestants show their abilities in singing, dancing, poetry, etc. Introduced in Miss World 1978, the winner of the event automatically makes it into the semifinals starting 2003. The award returned at Miss World 2001.Being a Miss World doesn't just require a person to be beautiful, but also exceptionally smart and a good human being.
Miss World Top Model
The Miss World Top Model is a modeling fast track competition at the Miss World Pageant. The competition was first held in 2004, but not in 2005–2006. It has been held since 2007; the winner of the competition automatically qualifies for the semifinals.
|Year||Winner||Represented||Placement at Miss World|
|2004||Yessica Ramírez||Mexico||Top 15|
|2007||Zhang Zilin||China||Miss World 2007|
|2008||Ksenia Sukhinova||Russia||Miss World 2008|
|2009||Perla Beltrán||Mexico||1st Runner-up|
|2010||Mariann Birkedal||Norway||Top 7|
|2011||Zhanna Zhumaliyeva||Kazakhstan||Top 15|
|2012||Atong Demach||South Sudan||Top 7|
|2013||Megan Young||Philippines||Miss World 2013|
|2014||Isidora Borovčanin||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Unplaced|
|2015||Mireia Lalaguna||Spain||Miss World 2015|
|2016||Jing Kong||China||Top 11|
|2017||Ugochi Ihezue||Nigeria||Top 15|
|2018||Maëva Coucke||France||Top 12|
|2019||Nyekachi Douglas||Nigeria||Top 5|
Miss World Sports Challenge
Miss World Sports or Sportswoman is a title and award given to the winner of a sports event at Miss World. It is a fast track or preliminary event, giving the winner automatic entry into the semifinals. So far there are 5 Miss World Sports winners starting at 2003. In 2005, there was no Miss Sports winner because it wasn't held as an individual fast track event, but rather a continental team competition. Starting in 2006, the individual competition was back again.
|Year||Winner||Represented||Placement at Miss World\|
|2003||Nazanin Afshin-Jam||Canada||1st Runner Up|
|2004||Amy Guy||Wales||Top 15|
|2006||Malgosia Majewska||Canada||Top 17|
|2007||Abigail "Abby" McCarry||United States||Top 15|
|2008||Alexandra Ívarsdóttir+||Iceland+||Top 15|
|2009||Erusa Sasaki||Japan||Top 16|
|2010+||Lori Moore+||Northern Ireland+||Top 25|
|2011||Marianly Tejeda||Dominican Republic||Unplaced|
|2012||Sanna Jinnedal||Sweden||Top 30|
|2013||Jacqueline Steenbeek+||Netherlands+||Top 20|
|2014+||Krista Haapalainen+||Finland+||Top 25|
|2015||Steffi Van Wyk+||Namibia+||Unplaced|
|2016||Natalia Short||Cook Islands||Top 20|
|2017||Aletxa Mueses||Dominican Republic||Top 40|
|2018||Marisa Butler||United States||Top 30|
|2019||Rikkiya Brathwaite||British Virgin Islands||Top 40|
Miss World hosts and artists
The following is a list Miss World hosts and invited artists through the years.
- Beauty with a Purpose – a registered charity and a non-profit organisation associated with Miss World that raises money and participates in humanitarian projects across the world
- Беларуская (тарашкевіца)
- Bahasa Indonesia
- Bahasa Melayu
- Norsk bokmål
- Norsk nynorsk
- Simple English
- Српски / srpski
- Srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски
- Tiếng Việt
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