We have been off the pageant beat for a while, since I boycotted Miss World this year after pageant authorities canceled the swimsuit competition in a pre-emptive surrender to Islamic radicals. But that is about to change: the Miss Universe competition is in full swing. Contestants have gathered in Moscow, and the Miss Universe site finally has some good photography. The preliminary round will be held on November 5 and the finale will be on Monday, November 11, two weeks from tonight.
Somehow, controversy always seems to dog the premier beauty pageants. Protests have been mounted against Miss Universe being held in Russia, not because that country is more or less ruled by the KGB, or murders dissidents, bars free speech, and so on. No–you guessed it–the controversy is because Russia discriminates against homosexuals! You might think that there is little or no connection between beauty pageants and homosexuals, but you would be wrong. One gay man who was slated to co-host the event has resigned because of the controversy, while another gay host has vowed to soldier on. There is a certain irony here: no one protested against the Miss World pageant being held in Indonesia, even though that country is manifestly more anti-homosexual than Russia. Go figure.
Nor is that all: a minor tempest has broken out over Missology’s selection of the top 16 contestants, which some have branded as racist–no Asians or Africans were included.
OK, now that the redeeming social value is out of the way, let’s get on to the contestants. This year’s field looks pretty strong to me. Betting odds have not yet shaped up, so we don’t know who the favorites are–and in pageantry, it doesn’t much matter; upsets are the rule, not the exception. So here is a totally subjective selection of a few contestants. First, Miss Angola. Just two years ago Miss Angola, Leila Lopes, won the pageant. It is probably too soon for another Miss Angola to win the title, but here she is. Not sure why Missology overlooked Vaumara Rebelo:
When you think of Latin American pageant contestants, Paraguay doesn’t immediately come to mind. But why not?
Pageantry has made a major comeback in Europe; Miss Germany, Anne Hagen, exemplifies the trend:
Miss Brazil, Jakelyne Oliveira, is one of Missology’s top three favorites:
What can you say? She’s Miss Brazil and no doubt will be a contender. My early favorite, however, is Miss Hungary, Rebeka Karpati. She would be the girl next door, if the girl next door were a lot better looking:
Here’s another thing I like about Miss Hungary, from the pageant’s web site:
Upon winning Miss Universe Hungary, Rebeka donated her prize, a breast operation, to a woman diagnosed with breast cancer.
Nice. In case you were unaware, the major pageants are neutral on the subject of surgical enhancement. See, e.g, Miss Brazil. No pretense of neutrality here; let’s see Miss Hungary one more time:
You won’t want to miss Power Line over the next two weeks, as there will be much more to come!