The history of Miss World contest

Miss World logo

Miss World is the oldest international beauty pageant. It started in 1951 in the UK and was created by Eric Morley. It’s one of the 3 major contests of this kind in the world. The other 2 are: Miss Universe and Miss Earth. The winner of the pageant spends the year travelling, representing and promoting the Miss World Organization and its causes. The current titleholder is ivian Sarcos from Venezuela.

The pageant started as a one-time-only bikini contest and received its name by the media. When Morley learned of the Miss Universe pageant he decided to make it an annual event.

The first broadcast of the competition was by BBC in 1959 and with that the popularity of the pageant started growing. In the 60’s and 70’s Miss World was the most viewed event of the year (in the UK) with an audience of around 30 million. In the 80’s the contest introduced tests of intelligence and personality and started using the slogan “Beauty with a purpose”. Also in the 80’s the contest suffered a downfall.  It was seen as old-fashioned and politically incorrect and was not aired in any of the major British TV networks for years, until 1998 when Channel  5 picked it up again.
When Eric Morley died his wife- Julia, became the new chairman. The new century brought many new things to the contest such as the first African and black winner- Agbani Dirego of Nigeria in 2001. The voting in the contest is done by the viewers, who can do this either online or with a phone.

Since it was created the Miss World pageant has raised around 250 million pounds for children charity and was franchised in more than 100 countries. Another interesting fact is that it dramatically increased tourism in Sanya, China in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010 since the pageant was hosted there.

Ivian Sarcos: Miss World 2011

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