A rather muted homecoming for Miss World 2015 Mireia Lalaguna


The new Miss World Mireia Lalaguna finally came home to her native Spain but it seems no one cares except for her immediate family members. The 23 year old beauty was not welcomed with the same fanfare that greeted last year’s winner Rolene Strauss. Why, even this year’s second runner-up Maria Harfanti was far more warmly welcomed when she returned to her home country of Indonesia!


So what went wrong? First of all, politically, it is not good for a Catalan woman like Mireia to represent Spain in the international stage. The region of Catalonia with Barcelona as its capital voted overwhelmingly recently to secede from the rest of Spain. There is a strong nationalist movement within the home region of Mireia so much so that they preferred to be called as Catalans rather than being called as Spanish. Could it be possible that the Catalans do not like Mireia wearing the Miss Spain sash while the rest of Spain doesn’t like a Catalan woman wearing their country’s sash?


Second, Spain is drifting towards a more liberal direction. It is beginning to scorn the world of pageantry and the belief that pageants like Miss World are demeaning to women is gaining traction. The interest towards pageants in Spain is slowly waning. That is why the victory of Mireia at Miss World barely registered in the national headlines.


There is some hope though. It’s still the holidays so maybe a parade or a homecoming party is still being planned. But it is rather uncomfortable to see a Miss World winner with no raucous welcome party at the airport like what we’ve seen with the homecomings of Ivian Sarcos, Megan Young or Rolene Strauss. It’s not really good for the Miss World brand especially since everyone is talking about Miss Universe – albeit about the scandal – nowadays. Still, let’s just pray that a proper welcome will be accorded to Mireia.


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