There was once a time when the winners of the major international beauty pageants never had to worry about their advocacies. That is because they never had one. As the beauty pageant community became more socially aware/responsible, there was some sort of realization that without any meaningful purpose, the reign of a beauty queen will be as boring as watching the paint dry.
And so Miss Earth was born with environmental issues in mind, Miss World switched from fighting global warming to vast array of charity projects and Miss Universe decided to champion AIDS awareness. Miss Supranational was slow to adapt and while they have an advocacy in principle, the pageant can’t concretely spell out what their queen needs to pursue during her reign.
Miss International on the other hand has ties to UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) but their winners are not really that active other than donating funds days after they are crowned. That is why the personal initiative of Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa to champion mental health awareness is a wake up call to major international beauty pageants who half-heartedly embraced the idea of an advocacy. Kylie showed that the reign of a Miss International need not to be boring and she chose to be active rather than sitting on the sidelines.
Recently, Kylie went to Brunei Darussalam to pursue another personal advocacy – accessible formal education for kids. Such advocacies being pursued by Big5 beauty queens are not just PR stunts rather it allows them to be more engaged in the community and it makes their reign meaningful. It is time for major international beauty pageants to step up and fully embrace their advocacies whatever they may be.