Before any beauty pageant hits the airwaves, some viewers may find themselves wondering: Is this Miss USA, Miss Universe, or Miss America? And what’s the difference between them anyway?
Although they’re all beauty pageants where the winner dons an extravagant tiara, they are three very different competitions.
We broke down some of the biggest differences between Miss USA, Miss Universe, and Miss America.
Miss America is a scholarship program as well as a pageant.
When Miss America was founded, it said the goal was to invest in the careers and lives of women. When it started, it only allowed white, unmarried women who had never had an abortion to compete. In 2018, it still has rigid guidelines about who can and can’t compete.
As of this year, Miss America is getting rid of its swimsuit competition and will no longer judge contestants based on their „outward physical appearance,“ the organization said.
Last year, according to Bustle, the winner received a $50,000 scholarship and a six-figure salary during her 365-day tenure with the title. But it’s worth noting that the extent of the scholarships have been called into question
Miss USA is a platform for Miss Universe.
According to the official website for Miss Universe, a former sponsor of Miss America (Catalina Swimsuits) founded Miss Universe and Miss USA in 1952 in Long Beach, California. Many women choose to compete in both Miss USA and Miss America, but the two organizations are completely separate.
Miss USA also has strict requirements for entry just like Miss America, and the show includes a swimsuit portion of the competition.
The winner of Miss USA advances to compete at Miss Universe against country winners from all over the world.
Miss Universe has no talent competition.
Unlike Miss America, which as of this year focuses 50% of contestant scores on the competition’s talent portion, Miss Universe does not host a talent competition.
Instead, according to Miss Universe’s website, „three days of preliminary interviews and a swimsuit and evening gown presentation show (streamed live prior to broadcast) help select the semi-finalists who will be named during the final night event and will go on to compete in Swimwear, Evening Gown, Final Question, and Final Look.“
85 contestants from countries around the world compete in Miss Universe.
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Source: Business insider