Miss Universe is no longer only for misses — wives and mothers can now compete in the more inclusive pageant

Published 10 Aug, 2022 04:17pm

Images Staff

Previously, only single women, aged between 18 and 28 who have never been married and were child-less were allowed to apply.

<p>Photo: Miss Universe/Instagram</p>

Photo: Miss Universe/Instagram

After over seven decades, Miss Universe is expanding its pool of contestants. Women who are married and have children can compete in the more inclusive pageant after a historic change.

2022 is the last year of limitations for women who see themselves as the next Miss Universe — starting next year, the 72nd pageant will no longer allow only single women, aged between 18 and 28, who have never been married or had children to apply. There are no clarifications on the age bracket changing just yet.

In an internal memo seen by The National, the organisation said it has always strived to evolve with the times and the latest decision was the natural next step. “We all believe that women should have agency over their lives and that a human’s personal decisions should not be a barrier to their success,” the memo read.

Josh Yugen, the national director of Miss Universe Bahrain, also issued a comment on the matter saying, “The Miss Universe Organisation is always the greatest and most innovative platform of its kind and now it will be more inclusive and welcoming to mothers and married women. For me, this is aligned with what I have been fighting for — breaking stereotypes and unlearning the stigma that the old society has forced on us from many many decades ago.”

The contest has been evolving — last year, Miss Bahrain Manar Nadeem Deyani made history by choosing to walk the swimsuit round in fully-covered sportswear. The crown, however, went to Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu, 21, at the event held in Eilat in Israel.

Preliminary pageants have already taken place for Miss Universe 2022 and it is scheduled for later this year.