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Early morning today, the social media is full of buzz and it’s raining hashtags as the International beauty pageant, Miss Universe, just crowned this year’s winner, Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. 

Founded in 1952, Miss Universe is one of the most recognized and publicized beauty contests in the world. When watching a pageant like this, most of us don’t think about how these women have arrived at such a position. Generally, a country’s candidate selection involves pageants in major cities, whose winners compete in a national pageant. The effort that the contestants have to put in order to get into Miss Universe is real, and undoubtedly about so much more than simply being beautiful or wearing an expensive gown.  So, what does it take to qualify for the title?

Meet the age requirements. Miss Universe contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 27 as of Jan. 1 in the year of they compete.

Wait to get married. Contestants may not be married or pregnant, have ever been married, had a marriage annulled or given birth to or parented a child. These rules might seem extreme, but they’re arguably there to ensure the woman crowned Miss Universe is readily available for the many appearances she’ll be expected to make in the following 12 months. Of course, the first ever Miss Universe in 1952, Armi Kuusela, gave up her title a month before finishing her reign in order to get married.

Know your competition. Contestants are judged in three categories: evening gown, swimsuit, and a personality interview. There is no talent competition.

Enter the pageant. Potential contestants must apply to enter the Miss Universe pageant by applying through the national director in their respective countries.

Stay in shape. Exercise and eat healthy. Remember, Miss Universe contestants are judged on their appearance wearing a bathing suit.

Pamper your skin. Don’t be afraid to splurge on products that bring out the beauty of your skin, including acne-fighting cleansers and moisturizer. Avoid sun damage by applying sun screen any time you are outdoors.

Remove unwanted body hair. Most Miss Universe contestants choose waxing, as the results last for several days. You should wax several days before the pageant, but not so close to the day of the event that your skin is still visibly irritated or red from the waxing. Wax the bikini lines, armpits, legs and mustache (if you have one). 

Work with a pageant coach. A coach can teach you skills and ways to walk, act and look throughout a pageant. Ask your friends and fellow pageant participants for recommendations. You can also search online at pageant sites to find coaches. Many contestants even enroll in modeling classes to work on their walk and posing.

Prepare for your interview. Educate yourself and form opinions of current and recent events around the world. Determine your platform, the cause you care most about that you will work toward during your reign should you win the pageant.

  • Certain types of questions commonly recur in pageant interviews. Research the most common interview questions and prepare answers for them at places like Pageant Answers.
  • Expect to be asked questions such as, “Who is your greatest influence?” “What is the greatest environmental issue facing the world today?” and “What constitutes true beauty?”

These preparations are just for the initial parts of the competition. Our very own, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach said the work is not just a walk in the park and if you really aim on getting the crown, it entails one’s energy, dedication and passion in serving others. “Someone who is ready to take on the job for a year. You have to commit to it. It has to be something you really want to do not just for the moment because it’s fun or it will make you popular.”

Joining a pageant like this is similar to looking for a job because it takes an over-all personality and attitude. It’s not going to end during the pageant night. It actually starts there.


About The Author

Andrea is a full time home maker. When she is not busy taking care of her husband and kids, she goes out giving financial management talks. She is a proud breastfeeding mom for four years running and an avid Oleia Topical Oil user.