Wednesday, January 16, 2013
UNPLACED – The Wallflowers of Miss Universe
“…I never surrendered and I think that is very important don’t surrender what you have and just go ahead and take hold of what you want..” – Cynthia Olavarria, Miss Universe 2005 1st Runner-up.
Despite the existence of other big pageants, Miss Universe is still the grandest and most exciting beauty pageant in the world. Since its inception in 1952, it has been the objective of every participating country to get its representative to place in the semifinals and get a chance to compete for the crown during the finals. International prestige, honor and worldwide recognition which could be a platform into a lucrative career are just several reasons why the world’s “Beauty Superbowl” is still relevant in many countries.
Many countries have been successful more than once in winning the crown, others just have to contend themselves with runner-ups. Still, some were able to perform good enough for a semifinal slot. Whether their placement is recent or far back in history, these countries have already proven that at least once, their delegate is “one of the most beautiful in the world”.
Not all countries are just as lucky. Whereas some of us pageant fans are busy griping about the last time our delegate placed or won, we forget that some countries are still dreaming, wishing and hoping for their first placement in Miss Universe.
This British territory is one of the few countries in the Caribbean that’s not an island and the only South American Nation with English as its national language. At one time enjoying one of the region’s highest literacy rates at 90%, this nation has never experienced success in pageantry, especially in Miss Universe. Since it debuted in 1956, it has never placed.
A country made up of a group of islands in the Caribbean, The Bahamas were the site of Columbus' first landfall in the New World in 1492. Being surrounded by water, it does not have an army or an air force, but a full navy equipped to defend its shores. A top tourist attraction, in terms of GDP it is the 3rd richest country in the Americas, next to the United States and Canada. However, when it comes to beauty titles, especially Miss Universe, for all its enthusiastic participation since 1963 it has gotten nothing.
I don’t believe that Bahamian girls are not beautiful enough. Maybe they should reassess their selection process, and make bold adjustments that would entice better contestants. 2012’s Celeste Marshall is a good example of a very promising delegate and I wouldn’t mind if she placed, and if Bahamas gets contestants with the same or better beauty, determination and skills, they will get their placement very soon.
This beautiful island nation in the Indian Ocean has recently received acclaim as the World’s Best Beach at the World Travel Awards in January 2012. Mauritius has also one of the highest rates of returning tourism visitors in the world. It’s surprising that a country of acclaimed natural beauty has not received appreciation for the beauty of its women, especially in the biggest beauty pageant of all, the Miss Universe.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The country is nicknamed "Land of 365 Beaches" due to the many pristine beaches surrounding the islands. However, its track record is Miss Universe has been so far, nil.
British Virgin Islands
This British overseas territory is located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. It’s ironic that the official currency of the British Virgin Islands has been the US dollar since 1959, a currency also used by the United States Virgin Islands.
St. Lucia is a sovereign island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Also known as the "Helen of the West Indies" for its natural beauty the island has been sending delegates to the Miss Universe which, so far has been ending up as clappers.
This British Overseas Territory located in the western Caribbean Sea is a major world offshore financial centre. No direct taxation is imposed on residents and Cayman Islands companies. Since 1980 it has been trying its luck in Miss Universe, but, so far with no success.
Who doesn’t know Egypt, it’s glorious history, its colossal pyramids and it’s legendary ruler Cleopatra known not just for her intelligence but her beauty as well? Like their Arab counterparts, Egyptian women have a distinct beauty, a legacy of the many ethnicities which have come and gone when it was once a great empire.
This country in Southeastern Europe is bordered by several countries and since ancient times has been the crossroads of many civilizations. Their scholars claim that the number of archaeological sites is the third-largest in Europe after Italy and Greece. During its socialist republic days it has gained more acclaim as a sporting nation, notably in rhythmic gymnastics. As a new democracy, it started sending delegates to Miss Universe in 1991. It’s 2013 and they still haven’t sent a delegate who has entered the semifinals.
Also a former socialist republic and located at the intersection of Central and Southeastern Europe, bordering on the Black Sea, this gymnastics superpower produced sports icon Nadia Comaneci who was the first to get a perfect 10 score. However, their performance in Miss Universe has never been close to a perfect ten.
Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, where, approximately 87% of the population is Christian. The official language is English, which is used to conduct official business and is the medium of instruction in schools. Sending of delegates to Miss Universe since 1995 has been unsuccessful to this African country. No Zambian beauty has been a semifinalist.
If a wallflower acknowledges and fixes what makes her unattractive, eventually some guy would get up and ask her to dance.
Thank you for reading.