Recently when Aishwarya congratulated Miss World for scrapping out swimsuit round, this idea struck us then. Even we agree with Aishwarya ‘coz the swimsuit rounds don’t really make much sense. Adversaries of such pageants ask such contest makers to judge the beauty not merely on the basis of physical beauty. Although these pageants incorporate intelligence, talent and personality while selecting the winner yet the pressure on The contestants doesn’t lessen. They are compelled to undergo knives, have to spend time, money and effort on maintaining their physique, and spend lavishly on cosmetics and styling which in our view might turn out to be futile if you aren’t even considered in the rat race! However, the news of the swimsuit round being scrapped was ‘the’ news because the round had been there in the contest ever since the inception of the contest. But then how did these beauty pageants really start? Don’t you too wonder about it often?
Well, the first beauty contest was held in 1859 by Archibald Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton and it was won by Georgiana Seymour, Duchess of Somerset. Primarily these contests were run for elite class alone where the “beauty queen” was chosen irrespective of her marital status. Many such contests had met with public protests and were usually judged on the basis of daguerreotype, a photograph made on the piece of silver or copper. Newspapers adapted this trick and this helped magazines like Filmfare to pick out the eligible actors to star in films during one time in India. In 1880s the popularity of such pageants increased and many pageants did their preliminary selections through the newspapers. Looking at the popularity of such pageants Miss America was started in 1921 following this there were pageants held all over the world be it Britain or Germany!
During this time another pageant became known, International Pageant of Pulchritude, was organized by C.E. Barfield as a part of an event called as Splash Day. Splash Day also featured something called as “Bathing Girl Revue.” This competition was superhit amongst the audience and was then held annually. Since its popularity reached far and wide, by 1926 it was held on an international scale. Entries from across the world reached Texas and the title awarded for this contest was called as “Miss Universe.” This contest died down only because of Great Depression. But it had left its impressions and so in 1951 “Miss World” was born in heart of United Kingdom by Eric Morley.
Miss World started as a Festival Bikini Contest to honour recently introduced swimsuits. It wasn’t called as Miss World then. Miss World was a name given to the contest by media. Upon learning about upcoming Miss Universe pageant, Miss World became an annual event. With the advent of television it only grew leaps and bounds. BBC broadcasted it in 1959.
The current Miss Universe was set up in 1952 and is founded by Pacific Mills, a California based clothing company.
At present we have four major Beauty pageants Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss Earth out of which Miss Earth was founded in 2001 and Miss International in 1960.
If the rumours are to be believed the beauty pageants picked pace in India especially during 90s only because of the liberal economy policies India adopted. The western countries aimed India as a market for their beauty products and that’s how it started. During 1990s we have had Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai, Diana Hayden, Yukta Mookhey, Priyanka Chopra gracing the international beauty pageants’ esteemed crowns.