Es una pregunta muy dificil

Miss Universe, Paulina Vega



It’s the Spanish for “the question is so difficult” and it has been making rounds within the Spanish speaking countries a few weeks back. Asked on what women can learn from men, Miss Colombia and now Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega replied in what could be a rough equivalent of “that’s a tough one” ala Miss Rhode Island of the famous film Miss Congeniality.

The counter question of Paulina Vega has been the subject of jokes around the Hispanidad. One Youtube video even dedicated a song for it with lyrics asking questions that are mostly political, social and economic issues and then followed by – you guessed it – es una pregunta muy dificil!

Joke if they must but the conclusion of Miss Universe 2014 suggests that the pageant is heading into a different direction. That no one in the top five nailed the two questions and with Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennel being the more acceptable one yet ranked the lowest, means the Miss Universe Q&A is no longer a deal breaker.

Of course, any decent missosologist can tell you that the importance of final Q&A had sailed a long time ago. Back in the 90s, the final question was the ultimate determinant on who wins the crown. That is why we have seen those witty quotable quotes of Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta, Wendy Fitzwilliam among others. It is also the reason why the likes of Miriam Quiambao settled for first runner-up. Well in fact, Miriam was consistently ranked higher than Mpule but the final Q&A changes all that. Compare that to the results of Miss Universe 2012 where Janine Tugonon gave the best final answer but she was relegated to the first runner-up position.

The judging rule to determine the winner is simple – it is about the final question plus everything that judges saw that night. But on which one will be given emphasis is a vague business and in the 90s the judges gave premium to witty answers but now, they don’t. Well in fact the 63rd Miss Universe saw the worst Q&A in recent memory. It was a painful realization how the priorities of Miss Universe have dramatically changed. The biggest question now is – will this mark the era where dumb beauties triumph and thus perpetuate the supposed wrong notions of beauty pageants? Well, as it seems es una pregunta muy dificil…


  1. looks like somebody still gets butthurt over this. if Kaci herself has already moved on then I don’t find any reason for the rest of the world to not to do the same thing.

  2. The final question has never been the thing making Miss Universe. The best answer doesn’t mean the victory and has never meant. It is there more for entertaining than for judging. Plus we have all different opinions as well as about beauty as well about the quality of the final answers. To me for example, Paulina Vega gave good answers and I prefer her before Kaci – both beauty-wise and by her answers. Kaci would still be happy and celebrate that short haired girl made it to the top 5. It is not a shame to be the 4th runner up.

  3. It was indeed a very difficult question. When you think about it, no matter what answer Colombia would have given, she would’ve been crucified for it: Should she had said that women could learn ‘strength’ from men, all feminist would have accused her or labeling women as ‘weak’. Should she had said that women can learn to be as ‘worldly’ or ‘experienced’ as men, she would’ve been accused of labeling women as ‘dependent’ and ‘house-bound’; the list goes on and on, and on….
    I actually think her answer wasn’t too bad, but I think she could have elaborated more: equality in the sense of aspiring to the same positions as men, not sabotaging themselves by selling themselves short, but going in to the business world with the same confidence of making as good or better job than a man. And even here, anyone could accused me of painting women as non-confident and unable to reach men’s positions…
    Indeed ‘una pregunta muy dificil’!! but always easier to judge from the comfort of your couch or days later, when you have all the time and resources to elaborate a pageant-worthy answer!
    Long live the Queen!! 🙂


    • Your analysis is perfectly right and well balanced. It’s so easy to make critics afterwards. I really think that it was a tricky question and her answer was interesting (not everybody understood it…) She was talking to all women in the world. Women’s condition is very different in every country. O one hand she was talking to men, saying “some men” that means not all…, beleieve in equality ! Then guys, you should… And it’s true that when a woman feels and believe herself to be in equal position or capacity, she struggles to get the goals or positions she deserves. It’s also a problem of education. Women have to believe in themselves and have faith to defend their rights. That doesn’t mean to imitate and copy all mistakes men can do, or to loos their great qualities given by their women nature. Without women, world wouldn’t exist. So yes, the first ones who need to belive in equality are women and unfortunately it doesn’t happen everywhere. (Exemple : countries where machism is present, sometimes it’s because women tolerate or don’t react against it, they can assume a passive or victim attitude, keeping silent or pasive). Paulina was right. Soory for those who couldn’t understand the extension of her analysis.

  4. She didn’t know what to say, no need to be smart to notice that. She began her answer by saying that women should learn …. and then said; “It’s a very difficult question”. Also, to say that some men believe in equality and women must learn that (she said nothing more & we shouldn’t assume more) is not a good answer! She should consider that most women in different situations call for equality.

    In this type of contests though many questions are straightforward the answer you should be general and neutral (not in favor of women or men). For example: “Human beings are constantly learning and regardless of race, sex, or age we learn from each other and this depends on the circumstances etc, etc…”

    Also, the candidates prepare for these questions and review questions from previous editions. So they work on their own answers or it may help answer a similar question if the nerves attack them. I guess she heard Dayana (MU-2008) answer (Colombian was 1sr runner up). It was similar question, she might have taken a bit of the idea of Dayana and say something like that: “Most men are simpler go straight to the point, most women go around curves from one point to another and looking at the details”. She might add; sometimes we need to be straightforward… Hey girls if you are in a hurry go straight to the point like a man but if you have time and want a thing well done going around curves and analyze the details like a woman.

  5. it doesn’t matter. Paulina’s win will be the shortest reign ever in history. can’t wait for her to be gone. besides her using an interpreter despite knowing how to speak english she’s still unable to answer the question in an acceptable manner. thus, making her a weak miss universe of all time.

  6. In 1999, Miss Spain actually ranked higher than everybody in swimsuit and gown, and yet she ended up 3rd place. If anybody who was robbed, it was her, not Miss Philippines.

  7. It was one of the worst Q&A because most of the judges cannot read and thus the contestants do not even comprehend the questions!