Miss World

Miss World Australia

Sabrina Houssami

Erin McNaught

The Miss World pageant is an international beauty pageant created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951. Currently, Morley's wife, Julia Morley, co-chairs the pageant.

Miss World is the oldest, most widely attended and broadcasted international beauty pageant, with over fifty delegates from Asia and some parts of Europe. Miss World – The Final is the world's largest live annual television event with global viewers topping two billion[citation needed]in more than 200 countries.

The winner spends a year travelling to represent the Miss World Organization and its various causes. Traditionally, Miss World lives in London during her reign. The current Miss World is Zhang Zilin from PR of China.

Miss World 2007

Miss World 2007

The 57th Miss World pageant was held in Sanya, People's Republic of China on December 1, 2007. The winner was Zhang Zi Lin. See her pictures


Miss World started as the Festival Bikini Contest, in honor of the recently introduced swim wear of the time, but was called Miss World by the press. It was originally planned as a one-off event. Upon learning about the upcoming Miss Universe pageant, Morley decided to make the pageant an annual event.

Opposition to the wearing of bikinis led to their replacement with more modest swim wear after the first contest. In 1959, the BBC started broadcasting the competition. The pageant's popularity grew with the advent of television. By the 1990s, the pageant was reaching two billion viewers from almost every country in the world.

In the 1980s, the pageant repositioned itself with the slogan Beauty With a Purpose, with added tests of intelligence and personality[citation needed]. However, the competition has been seen as old-fashioned and rather politically incorrect in its native Britain. Despite the global appeal, the show was not broadcast on any major terrestrial British TV network for several years, until Channel 5 aired it in 1998.

21st century

Eric Morley died as the pageant entered the new century. His wife, Julia, succeeded as chairwoman of the Miss World Organization.

The century saw its first black African winner, Agbani Darego, in 2001. As part of its marketing strategy, Miss World came up with a "You Decide" 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 favorites. It also sells its Talent, "Beach Beauty" and Sports events as television specials to broadcasters.

In 2002 the competition was slated for choosing 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 Amina's plight (see Controversies section).

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 and most loved events[citation needed]. Since its launch in 1951, the Miss World Organization has raised more than £250 million for children’s charities[citation needed]. Miss World is franchised in more than 140 countries and commands the world’s largest annual live TV audience[citation needed]. Miss World, Limited is a privately held firm, and thus figures for its earnings, expenses and charitable contributions are not publicly available.

Aside from raising millions of pounds for charities around the globe under the banner of its 'Beauty with a Purpose' program, Miss World is also credited with directly influencing a dramatic increase in tourism in Sanya, China, host of the Miss World finals from 2003-05.[citation needed]

The pageant

The road to the Miss World crown is a long one. In the year preceding the global finals, each delegate must win her national title or a specially designated Miss World national preliminary. Miss World's national preliminaries are conducted by their license-holders, who hold the franchise to use the "Miss World" name in their country. The annual final is typically a month long extravaganza, with several preliminary events, galas, dinners, balls and activities, culminating in a globally telecast final show in which the field is narrowed to between 15-20 delegates.

Since 2003 Miss World pageant also features Fast Track events during the preliminary round. The winners of Fast Track events are automatically qualified to enter the final round. Fast Track events which have been used since 2003 are:

* Beach Beauty (2003-present)
* Miss Talent (2003-present)
* Miss Sport (2003-present)
* Beauty With A Purpose (2005-present)
* Top Model (2004, 2007)
* Personality (2003)
* People's Choice (2003)
* Contestant's Choice (2004)

Controversies surrounding the pageant

The Miss World pageant seems to have 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 scaring the host, Bob Hope[citation needed].
* The first winner from the United States, 1973's Marjorie Wallace, was forced to resign because of her high-profile serial dating. The duties, but not the title was offered to first-runner up, Evangeline Pascual of the Philippines, which she refused. The two girls were tied at the final tabulation of the pageant competition, but the Chairman of the Board of Judges, American actor, Gregory Peck, broke the tie in favor of Wallace. Evangeline Pascual should be the official Miss World 1973 because it was her right to take over the crown but the organization did not use the rule which states if the winner can't fulfill her duties the first runner-up will take over her place.Unlike the following year the title was offered to the first runner-up who was Anneline Kriel of South Africa after revealing that the reigning Miss World was an unwed mother who was Helen Morgan of United Kingdom. If the title was offered, the Philippines would be the first Asian country to win the two major titles in the same year and not India. The year 1973 was the most successful year for the Philippines after placing all the pageants and proved to the whole world that Philippines was a pageant superpowerhouse.[1][2][3][4]
* The 1974 winner Helen Morgan resigned four days later after it was discovered she was a single mother[citation needed].
* In 1976, several countries went on a boycott, because the pageant included both a Caucasian and African representative for South Africa[citation needed]. In yet another shut-out for the nation for its apartheid policy, South Africa competed for the last time in 1977, before it was welcomed back in 1991 as that policy disintegrated[citation needed].
* The 1980 winner Gabriela 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[citation needed].
* In 1996, wide-scale protests took place in Bangalore, India over the hosting of the beauty contest. The swimsuit shootings were moved to Seychelles, and heavy security was placed. Despite the chaos, the pageant's live telecast went on smoothly[citation needed].
* Just days after her 1998 crowning, Israel's Linor Abargil revealed that she had been raped only two months before the pageant. One of the highlights of her year was seeing her accused rapist convicted[citation needed].
* It was in 1998 Miss World Pageant when Miss Ghana unfortunately slipped in the middle of the stage, but was unharmed[citation needed].

The 2002 Nigeria contest

In the year leading up the finals in Nigeria, several European title holders lobbied their governments and the EU parliament to support Amina's cause[citation needed]. 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 semifinalist 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[citation needed]. Among the other boycotting nations were Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Panama, Belgium and Kenya[citation needed]. There was further controversy over the possibly suspended participation of France and South Africa, which may or may 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[citation needed]. Osmel Sousa of Venezuela, one of the world's most influential national directors[citation needed], 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 November 22 in which over 200 people were killed in the city of Kaduna, along with many houses of worship being burned by religious zealots[citation needed]. 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 England, 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 favorite for the crown she had previously boycotted.

The eventual winner of the pageant was Azra Akin of Turkey, the first predominantly Muslim country to hold the title since Egypt in 1954[citation needed].

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* Aishwarya Rai was again crowned as the Most Beautiful Miss World of All Time in 2000. As she scored highest points in all former misses world from 1951 to 1999[citation needed].
* Aishwarya Rai is the only Miss World to have a wax statue at Madam Tussads Wax Museum[citation needed], and was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in Times Magazine[citation needed]
* Miss World remains the only major beauty pageant where a country successfully held the title for consecutive years: Sweden (1951-52), United Kingdom (1964-65), and India (1999-2000)[citation needed].
* India is the only country to have both Miss Universe and Miss World crowns in the same year twice- 1994 (Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai) and 2000 (Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra). France, Australia and Venezuela have won both Miss World and Miss Universe crowns in the same year once: 1953, 1972 and 1981 respectively[citation needed].
* Australia and India has both won Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific all in the same year - 1972 and 2000 respectively[citation needed].
* Though unplaced in Miss World, contestants Georgina Rizk (Miss Universe 1971), Angela Visser (Miss Universe 1989), and Mpule Kwelagobe (Miss Universe 1999) were all Miss Universe title holders. Michelle McLean (Miss Universe 1992) from Namibia was a finalist at the 1991 Miss World pageant in Atlanta and went on to win the 1992 Miss Universe crown in Bangkok.
* Miss World has title holders who placed as finalist or runners-up in Miss Universe. They were Carmen Duijm Zubillaga (Miss World 1955), Corinne Rottschafer (Miss World 1959), Rosemarie Frankland (Miss World 1961), Madeline Hartog-Bel Houghton (Miss World 1967), Eva Rueber-Staier (Miss World 1969), Helen Morgan (Miss World 1974) (dethroned), Gina Ann Swainson (Miss World 1979), Agbani Darego (Miss World 2001).
* The longest reign by any Miss World titleholder belongs to the first winner, Kiki Håkansson, which lasted for 475 days (almost 16 months)[citation needed]. The shortest reign was that of Gabriella Brum, which lasted just 18 hours before she resigned in 1980[citation needed]. Officially, the shortest reign, from the time of her crowning until she passes the title to her successor, belongs to 2005 winner Unnur Birna of Iceland, who reigned for just 294 days (less than 10 months) by the time she crowned Tatána Kucharová of the Czech Republic on September 30, 2006[citation needed].
* Several Miss World alumnae have been cast as Bond girls or made appearances in the Bond movies:
o Dr. No - Michelle Mok (Hong Kong, 1958).
o Thunderball - Claudine Auger (France, first runner-up 1958).
o Diamonds Are Forever - Denise Perrier (France, Miss World 1953).
o The Spy Who Loved Me - Eva Rueber-Staier (Austria, Miss World 1969); she would go on to reprise her role in For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy).
o Octopussy - Mary Stavin (Sweden, Miss World 1977) and Carolyn Seaward (United Kingdom, first runner-up 1979).
o A View to a Kill - Lou-Anne Ronchi (Australia, second runner-up 1984) and Mary Stavin (Sweden, Miss World 1977)
o The Living Daylights - Ruddy Rodriguez (Venezuela, finalist 1985).
o Tomorrow Never Dies - Michelle Yeoh (Malaysia, 1983).
o Die Another Day - Halle Berry (USA, finalist 1986).
* Other notable contestants who made impacts in the show business on an international level are Lynda Carter (USA, semi-finalist, 1972) know as Wonder Woman and Maggie Cheung (Hong Kong, semi-finalist, 1983).
* Miss World 2004 had the whole world voting for the new Miss World. It was for the first time that a major international event had popular votes were considered for choosing the winner.
* Miss World chairperson Julia Morley scrapped the swimsuit competition from the finals from the year 1998. She said that beachwears must be worn on beaches only. However, she contradicted herself from the year 2004 because from that year all the contestants present themselves in bikinis on the stage during the finals.
* The 55th staging of Miss World in Sanya, China in 2005 meant that for the first time, all the major beauty pageants were staged in the same continent (Asia): Miss Universe in Thailand, Miss Earth in the Philippines, and Miss International in Japan. (Credit: Wikipedia).


Beauty Pageants


The 2007 Miss World Australia was crowned on the 4th April 2007

Media Man is delighted to have assisted Miss World Australia in a media, publicity and new media capacity