Home News Miss Universe Scraps Upper Age Limit, A Game-Changing Move For Pageants

Miss Universe Scraps Upper Age Limit, A Game-Changing Move For Pageants


Miss Universe removes upper age restriction

In a revelation that shook the beauty pageant world, R’Bonney Gabriel, the current Miss Universe on Thursday, September 15th, 2023 announced that any females above the age of 28 will now be able to participate in the Miss Universe pageant. Earlier the age limit for entering this beauty pageant was 18 to 28 years only. R’Bonney Gabriel made this announcement at designer Tanner Fletcher’s “Beauty Pageant” show during New York Fashion Week. Ever since the Miss Universe pageant started in 1952 the age limit for the participants has been 18 to 28 years. R’Bonney, who is now 29 years old, set a new record of her own as the oldest contestant to be crowned Miss Universe when she won the pageant in 2022.

Also Read: Miss Italy Beauty Pageant Says No To Transgender Contestant Entries

Miss Universe’s Instagram handle put up a post captioned, “Limitless @rbonneynola closed out Tanner Fletcher’s stunning NYFW show as the MISS UNIVERSE Organization announced the elimination of age limits across all MISS UNIVERSE and associated pageants.”

According to the reports, while making the announcement, R’Bonney said, “What I love about Miss Universe is that they are always at the forefront, seeking ways to be more inclusive and fulfill the platform they’ve designed for us. There’s a bold, forward-thinking team leading the way here, and many tend to follow our lead. It’s an honor to set the standard, and I’m proud that we are making this change.”

With this path-breaking move, Miss Universe will at once become more inclusive and likely change the pageant game for good. Here’s how.

  1. While the current age limit for Miss Universe is 28, it is 27 for Miss Word and 25 for Femina Miss India, the latter with a height restriction of 5 foot 3 and above. For older contestants, there is a Mrs Universe pageant for which the age limit is much higher at 55 but contestants have to be married to enter to be able to participate. 
  2. With this announcement, traditional beauty standards are being challenged. In its 72-year history, Miss Universe crowned 40 young women between the ages of 17 to 20 years. Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu was 21 when she won the crown, one among 3 in the last 5 years who were under 25. It’s no wonder, then, that R’Bonney, the oldest to win the title at 28, is all for breaking the age barriers for the pageant. 
  3. What’s more, until last year Miss Universe contents had to be unmarried to qualify and mothers were restricted from participating too. However, according to reports released last year, the pageant will also be revising those rules this year, opening the pageant up like never before. 

With so many big moves to shake the foundations of conventional beauty standards that have driven decision-making in the pageant world and the beauty industry for decades, it’s safe to say that the Miss Universe contest to begin in November, is a much-anticipated event. 

Also Read: Breaking Beauty Pageant Stereotypes, Rikkie Kolle Becomes The Second Transgender Model To Be Crowned At A National Beauty Pageant

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