For the first time in history, the Miss Universe beauty pageant is expanding eligibility for its competition by allowing mothers and married women to enter. According to Fox News, marital status and parental status will no longer be a criterion for eligibility for pageant contestants starting in 2023.
The Miss Universe pageant’s regulations have always required that winners have to be single and maintain their status as such throughout their reign as the title winner. The organisation calls its decision a “natural next step” and states “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.”
Chief executive of Yugen Group and the national director of Miss Universe Bahrain, Josh Yugen has welcomed the decision with open hands. He said, “For me, this is aligned with what I have been fighting for: breaking stereotypes and unlearning the stigma that the old society has forced on us from many many decades ago.”
Miss Universe 2020 winner Andrea Meza of Mexico praised the rule change. “I honestly love that this is happening, 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,” She says.
“Few people are against these changes because they always wanted to see a single beautiful woman who is available for a relationship,” Meza further added. “They always wanted to see a woman that, from the outside, looks so perfect that she’s almost unreachable. The former is sexist and the latter is unrealistic.”
- Staff Reporter