Miss Colombia is now in control of our universe. Congratulations, Paulina Vega.
We all know It’s not an easy task for a woman to become Miss Universe. Along with Miss World, Miss Universe is one of the two largest beauty pageants in the world in terms of the number of national-level competitions.
If you compare the Miss Universe vs. Miss World Beauty Pageants, you’ll find some differences between the the two most-watched beauty pageants in the world:
1. The Owners
The Miss World competition is owned and managed by the Miss World Organization. Julia Morley (left) is its president.
The Miss Universe pageant is run by the Miss Universe Organization, which is currently owned by business tycoon Donald Trump in a joint venture with broadcaster NBC.
2. The Beginnings
While the Miss Universe pageant was created in 1952 by clothing company Pacific Mills in the United States, Miss World was a brainchild of Englishman Eric Morley.
Recognized as the longest running of the pageants, Morley began Miss World in 1951 to promote the latest swimwear at the time and to entice audiences into the Mecca dance halls, for which he worked.
3. The First Winners
Beauties from Scandinavian countries were the first winners.
17-year-old Armi Kuusela of Finland (pictured left, being crowned by actress Piper Laurie) was named Miss Universe in 1952, while Kiki Håkansson (right, center) from Sweden took home the crown of first Miss World the previous year.
4. The Residence
Traditionally, Miss Universe lives in New York City during her reign, whereas Miss World lives in London.
5. The Most Wins
With eight wins so far, the USA boasts the highest number of Miss Universe wins.
Venezuela tops the list of clinching the maximum number of Miss World crowns with six wins.
6. The Participants
In the first ever contest of Miss Universe, 30 contestants competed for the crown, whereas 26 participants vied for the Miss World title.
7. The Scandals
These contests have seen their share of scandals and controversies.
While Miss Colombia 2010 Catalina Tobayo was accused of making official appearances without wearing any underwear, former Miss USA Rima Fakih (pictured left) who competed in Miss Universe, made headlines in 2012 for her arrest on suspicion of drunk driving.
Miss World 1974 – UK’s Helen Morgan (right) – had to resign days after her win when it was discovered that she had a child. The next such incident came in 1980, when Germany’s Gabriella Brum (Miss World 1980) resigned after 18 hours of her reign, citing her boyfriend’s disapproval as one of the reasons.
8. After Their Reign
Over the years a number of the winners have gone on to prove there is a lot more to them than just their looks.
Miss Universe 1981, Irene Sáez (left) made a transition from pageants to politics. She also ran for presidential elections in Venezuela in 1998.
Aishwarya Rai, Miss World 1994 (right), went on to become a successful actress and an UN ambassador. In 2014, she was also presented with the award for outstanding contribution for ‘Beauty with Purpose’ by the Miss World Organisztion, in recognition of her commitment to humanitarian causes.
9. The Double Crown
While no one woman has ever claimed both titles, there have been five instances when both the Miss Universe crown and Miss World title were claimed by the same country in the same year.
The double win was first achieved by France in 1953 and then by Australia in 1972. In 1981 it was Venezuelan’s turn when Irene Saez (top left) was named Miss Universe the same year that compatriot Pilín León (top right) won Miss World.
The most recent two occurrences both fall to India, first in 1994 when Sushmita Sen (bottom left) took Miss Universe while fellow countrywoman Aishwarya Rai was crowned Miss World and again in 2000.