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The Big 5 International Beauty Pageants


You might be wondering what comprised the Big 5 International Beauty Pageants.

By consensus of the pageant community and fans from all over the world, there are four major beauty pageants which are clearly the oldest, most popular, most followed and most prestigious. But there is a trend in the pageant community to include one more pageant to make a Top 5 List.



There are several contenders for pageant number five measuring up to a complex combination of criteria. By theory, these pageants are equally important but quite similar. They only differ in staging, causes, style and traits being looked for in a winner.

Distinguishing these pageants from one another would be a bit difficult, but one pageant undeniably stands out from the rest due to its innovative system, transparent scoring structure and high level of competence; but most importantly, because their format is unique and not a replica of the big 4. Even a non-pageant fan can clearly perceive those differences. Based on recognizing such features, this pageant is here listed as number 5.

The unpredictability brought by these distinctions and differences makes pageants more exciting than ever. LatestPageantNews.com will try to explain in this post the so-called Big 5 international beauty pageants, their origins, and the traits that make them different from the other.

Miss Universe is by far the most popular in the world. Many little girls would dream of someday wearing the country’s sash and wear the crown and become the Miss Universe. The love for Miss Universe can be attributed to two factors: it got the most exciting finals night and that it’s American-owned, which easily equates to being an entertainment extravaganza.

Miss Universe boasts the biggest following among the Big 5 pageants in terms of TV viewership, media coverage, and social media presence. In fact, it has larger number of Facebook likes than the rest of the Big 5, combined. It is not surprising considering that Miss Universe Finals is the most entertaining and most exciting.

Miss World, on the other hand, is the oldest international beauty pageant. It is based in the United Kingdom and boasts the biggest number of participants annually. While Miss Universe usually have 80 to 90 delegates, Miss World surpasses the 100-mark every year. While this can be attributed to the participation of many territories that are part of larger countries which are not allowed to compete in Miss Universe. Nevertheless, Miss World sets itself apart from other pageants through its active charity and humanitarian works.

Miss World participants are usually topnotch delegates and are crowned winners due to the refusal of Miss World Organization for countries to send delegates who were runner-ups to girls sent for Miss Universe. While it pales in comparison with Miss Universe in its following, Miss World still ranks second in television viewing, media coverage and social media presence.

Miss Earth is the Philippine-based pageant which rocked the international pageant scene upon its inception with its unique and very relevant cause. It is a pageant where girls talk and discuss climate change, water conservation, and protecting the wildlife. Due to its environmental message, the second youngest among the Big 5 is also second in terms of participating countries next to Miss World.

Despite its infancy, Miss Earth was able to overcome the odds and was able to secure respected national organizations such as Miss France and Miss Venezuela to include a delegate for Miss Earth among its winners. Personally, I view Miss Earth as a pageant bringing beauty tilts to a whole new level. It is because candidates in Miss Earth are not only expected to be physically beautiful and fit but they must also be well-spoken and very bright to serve as the ambassador and spokesperson for the fight against climate change and other environmental issues.

Miss International, the Japanese-owned pageant, is the the third oldest international beauty pageant next to Miss World and Miss Universe. It is also the most traditional among the Big 5 and is being held annually despite the absence of an international TV telecast. It is very traditional at a point that it is the only major international pageant without a winner eventually dethroned and it crowns ladies who are indisputably beautiful.

It has the smallest number of participants among the Big 5 and has the least social media following. However, it still ranks third next to Miss Universe and Miss World in terms of global media coverage. Due to its age and reputation of being fair, Miss International is still being considered as an important crown by many countries even though it is no longer being broadcast. I personally love Miss International for its strong adherence to tradition and it is very refreshing to have a pageant which remains relevant even without giving in to changes brought by modern times.

Miss Multiverse 2018
Miss Multiverse 2018

And the youngest among the Big 5 is Miss Multiverse. The organizers, recognized the difficulty of organizing a pageant that would be completely different but equally prestigious as the more established ones. To accomplish this, they focused on the production of challenges that scientifically measures mental and physical qualities to deliver unmistakably transparent scores; testing character, endurance, drive, intellect and substance in addition to documenting the entire process in a reality TV format.

Miss Multiverse is is the newest but most adventurous & Innovative competition. It has become more of a TV reality personality contest that has redefined pageantry with features never seen before in the international pageant scene. The most noticeable is the elimination rounds where contestants with the lowest scores are eliminated and send home. Another feature is the transparent scoring system where the outcome is displayed for contestants to see after each challenge, IQ test or timed physical activity. But the pinnacle of innovation is the last woman standing system where contestants that fail to rise to the occasion tap-out and quit on their own. No judges, no scores, no favoritism just tap-out and quit. The competition is transparent and literally does NOT end until the last woman is standing.

The title awarded is regarded as the next level, the PHD title in pageantry. Mostly because of the requirements to participate. The contestants can be single or married as long as they have previously won a beauty pageant title in a mayor competition or have proven model experience or professional back ground. Contestants need to provide an official health test and university level education. The competition only takes 30 contestants.

The contest is centered on achievement beyond beauty and seeks to find the most the most amazing woman on earth, she has to be multi-talented and capable. The contestants speak in a boardroom for a major company, compete in political debates, put on a stage performance and raise funds for good cause.

Ranking pageants is a controversial and sensitive topic. Some Pageantry fans are divided with some claiming that there is only a top 4 but this classification depends on the ranking criteria. In Wikipedia you will only see top 4 beauty pageants. However this was first coined by the China Daily newspaper in 2004 with no pageant fans voting system and main criteria of how long the pageant has been in existence. If the main benchmark is how long the pageant has existed then it will be literally impossible for any pageant to ever measure up, or for any of the top 4 to rank down when they under-perform and this would be greatly unfair in any ranking system.

Many great pageant systems have evolved since that 2004 article by the China Daily Newspaper; such as, Miss Multiverse, Miss Supranational, Miss Grand International, Miss Globe, Miss Intercontinental and Miss Asia Pacific. These are exiting times in pageantry.