MISS UNIVERSE REMOVES AGE LIMIT
Reigning Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel announced that the pageant has removed their age limit. So, all women over the age of 18 can enter. The announcement was made during designer Tanner Fletcher’s 2023 New York Fashion Week show titled Beauty Pageant on Tuesday 12 September, according to Women’s Wear Daily.
Previously, the pageant was restricted to women between the ages of 18-28.
“What I love about the pageant is that they are always out first in line, looking for ways they can be more inclusive and better live up to the platform that they’ve designed for us,” said Gabriel according to Women’s Wear Daily.
“It’s a bold group of women in charge over here, and you know what, a lot of people tend to follow what we do. It’s nice to be a standard-bearer, and I’m proud that we get to do this,” she continued.
The international pageant thereafter announced that this will apply to the 2024 applicants.
SOUTH AFRICA’S HISTORY WITH THE PAGEANT
The 72nd Miss Universe Competition takes place in El Salvador on 18 November. The pageant was last held in the Central American country in 1975.
South Africa is one of the top pageant countries in the world and has had an impressive track record at the international pageant in the past few years:
- 2017 – Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters (Tebow) crowned Miss Universe
- 2018 – Tamaryn Green (Green-Nxumalo), first runner-up
- 2019 – Zozibini Tunzi, crowned Miss Universe
- 2021 – Lalela Mswane, second runner-up
Rikkie Kollé of The Netherlands will be the second transgender woman to compete at this year’s pageant after Ángela Ponce of Spain in 2018. Camila Avella of Colombia and Michelle Cohn of Guatemala become the first married women and mothers to compete in the competition after the Miss Universe Organisation lifted the rule of mothers not being eligible to compete.
The 2023 pageant also marks the debut of Pakistan and the returns of Bangladesh, Denmark, Egypt, Guyana, Hungary, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Norway and Zimbabwe (our neighbour last participated in the competition in 2001).