By allowing moms and married women to compete, the Miss Universe beauty pageant is expanding the competition's eligibility. This is definitely a historic decision. According to Fox News, marital status and parental status will no longer be criteria for eligibility for pageant contestants starting in 2023. The Miss Universe pageant's regulations have always required that winners be single and maintain their status as such throughout their reign as the title winner.
The annual international beauty pageant gives hundreds of women, from around the world, a stage to not only display their skill but also establish their value and influence in society. The Miss Universe pageant has traditionally had strict rules for entry, including that contestants be between the ages of 18 and 28, single, and without children. Not only that, but during their reign as pageant winners, the winners were also obliged to refrain from getting married and bearing children as long as they held the title.
Image Courtesy : Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu/ Instagram
Well, putting an end to this archaic rule couldn’t have come at a better time! As per reports, an internal memo of the Miss Universe pageant reads, “We all believe that women should have agency over their lives and that a human’s personal decisions should not be a barrier to their success.” This will surely encourage women to excel more and more, there’s no stopping women from bringing about a positive change irrespective of their personal life.
Miss Universe 2020 winner Andrea Meza of Mexico praised the rule change. She labelled established rules that exist as 'unrealistic.' "I honestly love that this is happening," Meza said in an interview with Insider. "Just like society changes and women are now occupying leadership positions where in the past only men could, it was about time pageants changed and opened up to women with families."
Three Indian beauty queens have won the Miss Universe pageant so far; the show is aired in more than 160 territories and nations worldwide. Following Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Duttain 2000, Harnaaz Sandhu of Punjab brought home the title of Miss Universe in 2021.
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