Top 10 Shocking Beauty Pageant Controversies

Beauty pageant is basically a very important part of societies across the world. In fact, there is several beauty pageant contests held every year across the world. When it comes to beauty pageant, people definitely think of glamour, dazzling smiles and gorgeous faces. However, only a few people know that these beauty queens are also centered on the controversies.

If you think that being a beauty pageant is all about good looks and smile and everything is merry here, have a look at these controversies around beauty pageants that shocked the world –

10. Resigning from Title

It was the 24th Edition of Miss World 1974 when Helen Morgan from UK won the title. Within just four days, she officially resigned from her crown and title on the grounds because she is a mom. She was the first holder of Miss World title who resigned officially. After her resignation, South Africa’s Anneline Kriel was crowned Miss World.

9. Dethroned for Being Pregnant

The world has seen a lot of title holders and winners who have been dethroned or resigned after winning. It was Miss Universe 2002 when another mysterious dethroning took place. Oxana Fedorova from Russia was crowned in 51st Edition of the pageant Miss Universe 2002. She won the Miss Universe contest and became first Miss Russia who won the same. Soon she was rumored to be pregnant. According to her, she gave up her crown voluntarily for her own reasons, especially because she had to finish her law degree. She was dethroned around 4 months later. The Miss Universe title had gone to Panama’s Justine Pasek, the first runner-up.

8. Refusing to Bathing Suit

Yolande Betbeze Fox, an eventual winner and contestant in Miss America 1951 refused to sport bathing suit in public and spoke over it in various civil rights demonstrations and public sit-ins. Her support was withdrawn by Catalina Swimwear as a major sponsor and founded two beauty pageants in competition, Miss Universe and Miss USA. Along with her reign, it was also the completion of her reign and she kept on to be outspoken.

7. Miss World’s Sexual Assault

Linor Abargil from Israel was crowned in 48th Edition of Miss World 1998. According to her, she was raped few months before the pageant as she told after the competition. Her travel agent Uri Shlomo Nur raped her at knifepoint in Milan, Italy. Because of lack of evidence, initially it was not possible to take action against him. Later on, he was sentenced to 16 years of imprisonment when strong evidence was found. She became the inspiration for other women and the global fame against sexual assault.

6. Miss Honduras’s Death

In April 2014, Maria Jose Alvarado was crowned Miss Honduras World in Miss World 2014 (64th Edition) to represent Honduras. Around two months before the event, she along with her sister Sofia Trinidad found dead on November 19, 2014 and buried in Cablotales village. As an honor and tribute to Maria Jose Alvarado, a 19 years old beauty queen, the organizers of Miss Honduras pageant will not replace her and the contest was withdrew officially that year.

5. Miss Universe Winner Slammed to Gain Weight

Alicia Machado from Venezuela was crowned at 45th Edition of the pageant, Miss Universe 1996. She made news for reportedly gaining a lot of weight during her reign and she was replaced with Taryn Mansell from Aruba by the Miss Universe Organization. Despite retaining her title, this decision by the organizer was criticized widely by the people across the world. They were seemed to be promoting nothing but body image. Her pictures working out for weight loss shared across the media and organizers were slammed badly for creating pressures.

4. Vanessa Williams – From Glory to Controversy

Vanessa Williams, a New York based contestant in Miss America 1984 won Miss America pageant in the year 1984. She was the first African-American woman who won this title. She relinquished the title in advance and succeeded against Suzette Charles from New Jersey, her first runner up when a scandal arose when her nude photographs were published in Penthouse Magazine. She faced everything from breaking racial boundaries to controversies overnight.

3. TS Controversy

Jenna Talackova, a transgender contestant, was disqualified during Miss Universe Canada 2012 just because she is not a naturally born female. It led significant criticism on the grounds about the organization and they ended up letting her to participate. She made it to Top 12 but couldn’t win. However, she still left her presence to break the gender stereotypes. Currently, she is the world’s most successful transgender models.

2. Refusing Same-Sex Marriage

California’s Carrie Prejean, a contestant and Miss USA 2009 and eventual runner-up received media attention for a sex tape scandal. She also told a judge that only a man and a woman should marry each other. When asked by Perez Hilton, a judge in the final round that whether every state must legalize same sex relationships and marriage and whether she believes on that, she said that it is best when Americans can choose any way. We live in a country where one can choose opposite sex marriage or same sex marriage. She further added that she believes marriage must be between opposite sex in her family and in her country, no offence to anyone. She raised a question by saying that she believe it must be between opposite sex. She gathered worldwide criticism and shocked the audience.

1. Hatred and Racial Message for Eventual Winner


New York’s Nina Davuluri was an eventual winner at Miss America 2014. She was crowned as the first Miss America who got xenophobic comments for being a Muslim extremist or terrorist. She belongs to Indian origin and got hatred racial message because of her proximity to the date of 9/11 anniversary (as the event was organized 4 days after 13th anniversary of 9/11 tragedy, on September 15, 2013, and American social media has got anti-Indian sentiment.

According to news agencies, she was misidentified as Arab or Muslim and their tweets associated her with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. She dealt with this horrible situation with much elegance and grace, for which she was respected a lot. She told that she must rise above it. She always viewed herself as American first. Most of these controversies are not going to be malicious but just a factor of understanding beliefs of everyone, ignorance and backgrounds and finding the common ground.  So, we must communicate in honest, open and respectful way. She has been promoting these beliefs in her whole life. Her statements led her to earn much respect.