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Miss Universe
Beauty Pageants

The Miss Universe contest has been taking place for over five decades now. Know all about the history and origin of the Miss Universe beauty pageant.


The Miss Universe contest, as we all know, is the most prestigious beauty pageant of the world. The beauty pageant has been taking place for over five decades. Here, we have provided you with the information spanning over 50 years about the history and origins of the Miss Universe event. The annual international beauty contest is organized by the Miss Universe Organization. The coveted event began in the year 1952 and was founded back then by the California clothing company Pacific Mills. Amongst those who acquired the rights of the event were Kayser-Roth and Gulf and Western Industries. Finally it came to be acquired by Donald Trump in 1996. The Miss Universe Organization is currently jointly owned by Donald Trump and National Broadcasting Company (NBC).

The Miss Universe beauty pageant owes its genesis to the winner of Miss America 1951 beauty pageant, Yoland Betbeze. Ms Betbeze refused to pose for its major sponsor, Catalina Swimwear. The brand’s manufacturer, Pacific Mills as a result withdrew from Miss America and set up the Miss USA and Miss Universe contests. Long Beach, California was the first destination where the Miss Universe 1952 was held. The first Miss Universe title was won by Armi Kuusela of Finland. The young lady however gave up her title to get married to a Filipino tycoon, Virgilio Hilario, shortly before her year as Miss Universe was to get complete.

The main Miss Universe pageant from 1952 to 1971 was held in the United States of America. Since 1971, the coveted event is being hosted across the globe in various Asian, European, African and Australian cities. The event is keenly awaited by people across the globe and enjoys millions of viewership.

The Miss Universe beauty pageant was first televised in 1955. From 1960 onwards, CBS began nationally broadcasting combined Miss USA and Miss Universe contests and from 1965 began separately broadcasting it. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) in 2003 took the television rights of the event. The current President of the Miss Universe Organization is Paula Shugart.

As of 2005, only four countries have been represented at the Miss Universe since 1952. These are USA, Germany, Canada and France. The crown of the Miss Universe is designed by Mikimoto, the official jewellery sponsor of the Miss Universe Organization. The crown is valued at $250,000 and boasts of having 18 carat 800 diamonds, 120 pearls. The beautiful crown has been in use for the event since Miss Universe 2002 and is used for crowning the Miss Universe every year. The unique design of the crown depicts the phoenix rising, which signifies status, power and beauty. For Miss Universe 2008, Vietnam’s Phu Nhuan Jewellery Joint Stock Company has been given the task to design the crown. The estimated expense for the crown is going to be 200,000 – 250,000 US dollars.

The Miss Universe beauty pageant has come a long way, but what has not changed are the ethos the organizers believe in finding the most beautiful lady of the Universe over the years.

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