Miss Universe is an international beauty contest of an annual type. It started out as a local “bathing beauty” competition in California in 1952. It was founded by the company Pacific Mills to sell their Catalina swimwear brand. Then it slowly grew into a bigger pageant and became part first of Kayser-Roth (an intimate apparel and hosiery manufacturer) and then of Gulf and Western Industries (an American conglomerate). After which the rights to the contest were acquired by Donald Trump in 1966. In 1988 Miss Universe Inc. became Miss Universe Organization. Its headquarters were moved from Los Angeles to New York. Trump then decided to further the revitalization of the beauty pageant and appointed a new CEO-Molly Miles and a new president –Maureen Reidy. “Redefined for today’ was the new slogan of the contest with which the pageants were promoted.
The first airing of the pageant on television was in 1955. CBS started broadcasting it from 1960 and in 2003 NBC took over the TV rights. Starting 2012 Xbox Live will also be streaming the pageants, online.
Nowadays the Miss Universe Organization is a partnership between Donald Trump and NBC which sells TV rights in other countries and produces two more pageants- Miss USA(where the winner represents the United States in Miss Universe) and Miss Teen USA.
The Miss Universe pageant is held over a two week period in May and July and according to the organizers it’s more than a beauty pageant. Women who aim for the crown must be intelligent, cultured and well-mannered. Having good answers to the questions is very important (although this part is nowadays of less importance than it was back in the twentieth century). The swimsuit and evening gown competitions are especially important.
The competitors are ranked by votes from the judges and the one with the most votes wins, if there is a tie the girl with the higher semifinal score wins.
The current Miss Universe is Leila Lopes from Angola, Africa.