Despite the bravura and sophistication of the finale of Miss Universe 2011, politics sadly, had shaped the general outcome of the world’s most watched beauty pageant. Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 Deborah Henry, in a post-pageant interview, could be right in saying that the end results of the pageant were all politics. Why else all the Portuguese-speaking countries that participated in the pageant made it to the Top 10?
For those who had a chance to follow Missosology.Org in all these years, it is important to cite that the word missosology is defined as the study and analysis of beauty pageants and it began revolving around politics. It was about showing a plausible explanation about the outcome of what were then the Big3 pageants, based on the political developments around the world. For example, when applied these days, one can suggest that the victory of Angola at Miss Universe 2011 is greatly influenced by the fact that the country is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and because it is underdeveloped it has a great potential on areas such as real estate and petroleum.
However, because the analysis of beauty pageants based on a premise that politics has something to do with it is a rather hit and run methodology, missosology as a science has drifted away from such approach. It turns out though that it could be making a popular comeback.
Miss World 2010 Alexandria Mills
The victory of United States at Miss World 2010 ushered an era where a pageant is subtly using the results to make inroads into an untapped but large market. Alexandria Mills for example became a poster girl for a pageant that is described in the American market as older than Miss Universe. In 2011, Miss World made great success in making its pageant popular in a traditionally Miss Universe crazy nation and even got Ivian Sarcos hobnobbing with the country’s president.
It could be possible however, that all of these could be just mere coincidences. Or are they? Norway was thought to be left out from the prime spot in 2010 despite being a frontrunner because China was irked by a Nobel Prize being accorded to what it calls as a troublemaker. In 2011, thanks to the generous hosting of England and Scotland, Alize Mounter and Jennifer Reoch were on the Top 7 but no thanks to the whole Ireland and Wales such that the gorgeous Miss Ireland including her northern cousin and the Welsh rep are all out of the Top 15.
Meanwhile, in Brazil, as mentioned earlier, all Portuguese-speaking nations who participated made it to the Top 10. Which is probably why Cape Verde, Mozambique and East Timor are all regretting the fact that they did not send a representative at Miss Universe 2011. One may even suggest that the victory of Mexico in 2010 is meant to appease on what is perceived as American hostility to the Mexicans thanks to the Jan Brewer-led Arizona immigration law that had the Hispanics turn sour against the Republicans (And yes, Donald Trump is a Republican who at one time flirted about the idea to run as President).
And when it comes to politics, Miss Earth and Miss International are both good examples as well. Philippines is almost assured of a spot and politics went ballistic when Miss Philippines overshadowed the gorgeous Miss Venezuela at Miss Earth 2011. A Thai and a black semifinalist are all form of appeasement - the former to compensate Thailand’s effort to host the pageant, the latter to fend of accusations that the pageant is racist.
Miss International is learning a rope or two as well. For the first time ever a Trinidadian – a woman of color – was in the semis of a pageant that was accused two years earlier of being more racist than a Ku Klux Klan elder. There is no question that Miss International is laced with politics otherwise how can one explain the successive semifinals placement of Korea and Japan at the pageant?
Now that the idea that politics can influence pageants is gaining traction once again, expect some speculations from sensible to wild to come forward. For example, the Philippines can kiss goodbye to its chances at Miss World as the country locked horns with this year’s host in a territorial row. Bodine Koehler could be in a precarious situation because the National Director of Puerto Rico seems to be at odds with Trump over the Jenna Talackova issue while whoever wins the Miss Universe Australia pageant can expect good placement as MUA announced that it is open to Jenna wannabes.
The list of politically motivated variables can go on and on and part of the fun is trying to figure out if it would indeed materialize. It could be unfair and it should be that politics is always out of the picture but it is just the way it is. Politics as it seems will always be an integral part of beauty pageants and while the majority accepts the inevitable, some are unconvinced. As Deborah Henry puts it, “it shone a light to show how crappy and political it [Miss Universe] is...”