Written by R. Galvez [@the4ofustraveling]

The very existence of Miss Universe is under threat not from outside but rather from the inside. In its attempt to keep with the changing norms, the organization has recently informed its national directors that they will now allow mothers and married women to participate in the pageant. The message is clear: Miss Universe wants to “evolve with the changing of times to best represent and support women globally.”

With such drastic change comes a very huge risk. The ardent fans of Miss Universe – the very people who love and support the pageant – are clearly unhappy about the announcement. What really prompted this sudden change is still unknown. Unlike in 2013 when Jenna Talackova was at the center of a firestorm, there’s currently no known married and/or pregnant woman that is insisting to join a national pageant. It seems that this is more of a business move to appease the gods of political correctness. It is like those businesses that brandish rainbow flags to boost sales but not really doing anything substantial to help the plight of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Nine years ago, Miss Universe opened the pageant to transgenders but it didn’t open a floodgate that fans feared. The vast majority of those in the transgender community understood that there’s a separate pageant specifically organized for them. Today, there are numerous beauty pageants from across the world for married women and women who have children. It is highly doubtful that national organizations will fully adopt this new policy of Miss Universe and it is more likely that married women and women with children will shy away from this bait.

The Miss Universe Organization is inexplicably overeager to be inclusive without putting a finger on the pulse of its ardent fans and supporters. That is dangerous because by the end of the day, it is the fans and supporters that make the pageant marketable. Without their support, the pageant will cease to exist. Miss Universe should realize that it is now risking both its prestige and relevance all in the name of misguided inclusivity.