In one seriously awkward misstep, Miss Universe Canada crowned the wrong winner this past weekend after a scoring mistake — and this isn't the first time the Miss Universe organization has found itself immersed in controversy. Earlier this year, Miss Delaware Teen USA Melissa King resigned after a pornographic movie surfaced that allegedly features Melissa just months after she turned 18. And last year, the Miss Universe Canada pageant was in hot water for disqualifying transgender beauty queen Jenna Talackova for not being born a woman. After a huge backlash from Jenna's supporters, the Miss Universe organization reversed its decision.
The beauty pageant world has been riddled with scandals, missteps, and fallen-from-grace pageant royalty, as the somewhat sexualized nature of the competition seems at odds with the strict rules (you can be penalized for playing beer pong, for goodness sake). So click on to learn some of the scandalous and sexy moments in the 60-year history of the emotional and bikini-filled Miss Universe beauty pageant.
Miss Mexico won the Miss Universe crown last night, but what does 22-year-old Jimena Navarrete get for her stellar bikini strutting and question answering besides a morning in the spotlight? Considering Donald Trump owns the pageant, the prizes have his touch. When you think of The Donald, you think money. So Miss Mexico will get an undisclosed salary. You might also think luxury NYC apartments. She'll get one of those too, for a year at least. Throw in living expenses, a film school scholarship, some clothes, jewelry, and shoes, and the winning woman gets to live like a (beauty) queen during her reign. Which prize do you covet?
This news had me thinking about how a dedication to pageantry could prepare you for politics. I mean, we all know the reasons they shouldn't go the White House route — e.g. lack of geography skills (although there was that Russia incident . . .) — but maybe these two seemingly opposite worlds are more alike than we thought?
For my five reasons why pageant royalty would make good political princesses, keep reading.
After Katrina Hodge — a soldier in the British army — won the title of Miss England last year, the pageant decided to ditch the sexy portion after 50 years. She's encouraging the move, saying: "I think it's nerve-racking enough for girls to get up on a stage and speak, let alone appear in a swimsuit." Katrina, who is sometimes called Army Barbie, will oversee the sports competition that will replace it.
Does this pageant progress surprise you?
Good genes and two hours at the gym every day helped Bolivia's 20-year-old Bruno Kettels win an international contest to find the world's most handsome man. The grueling two-week long male beauty pageant took place in Taiwan and came down to a battle between Mr. Spain, Mr. Lebanon, and the eventually victorious Mr. Bolivia. The pageant included a question portion, a native costume segment, and of course a swimsuit competition. We usually see women walking the pageant runway and crying tears of joy as they're crowned, so watching men in these roles is unexpected and perhaps a little refreshing if you can get past the fact that it's objectifying these men. Check out the video and tell me if Mr. Bolivia rocks your world.
Perky contestants vied for the crown of Miss Plastic Hungary this week. Only women who have gone under the knife were invited to participate in the artificial-beauty pageant held in Budapest. Botox wouldn't qualify you, but one contestant's surgically adjusted toes did get her included. Reka Urban, 22, won the (plastic?) crown, and she received an apartment in Budapest as her prize. Check out this video from the contest, and tell me what you make of such an unabashedly fake beauty pageant!
Carrie claims she was fired as Miss California because she voiced her faith-based opinion that gay marriage should not be legal. Apparently, Carrie sees nothing ironic about using her religious beliefs as rationale for voicing antigay sentiments, and then claiming to be a victim of discrimination herself.
The lawsuit names director Keith Lewis and Shanna Moaklar as defendants, and also claims that the pair improperly revealed that they paid for Carrie's breast implants. Shanna's attorney had some strong things to say about the suit. He countered, "Ms. Prejean's unfortunate and bigoted statements are responsible for any public humiliation or damages to her reputation that she has claimed to have suffered." As for whether she was fired for her religion, officials cite her unwillingness to make appearances as the basis for her dethroning.
Regardless of whether you agree with Carrie, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does prohibit employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring or firing. Do you think Carrie has a case?