Beauty pageants look like a cake walk and the event is carried out in so much poise and perfection that it’s hard to imagine anything could go wrong. However, over the years beauty pageant contestants have made headlines, with scandals that are still being talked about. Here is a look at the top 10 controversies that the world has seen:
1. Steve Harvey’s Colossal Mistake
Steve Harvey was the pageant host for Miss Universe 2015. He accidentally announced Miss Columbia the winner and later had to correct himself. Pia Alonzo Wurztbach, Miss Philippines, was the actual winner. Awkward!
2. Vanessa Williams and the Penthouse photos
Vanessa Williams is a common household name now – you must have seen her in multiple television series and movies. She had created headlines as the first African-American contestant to be awarded Miss America title, in 1983. However, this victory was overshadowed by the release of the Penthouse magazine’s September issue, which contained her nude photographs.
3. Party and Drugs – The downfall of Tara Conner
Tara Conner was crowned Miss USA in 2006. She racked up a lot of scandals due to her drug abuse, underage drinking and ditching her Miss USA responsibilities. Donald Trump, who was then the owner of the Miss USA Pageant decided to give her a second chance, if she went to rehab.
4. Destiny Velez, Miss Puerto Rico 2015, suspended for making anti-Muslim message
Destiny Velez posted anti-Muslim tweets on Twitter, which were derogatory and offensive. The Miss Puerto Rico Organization suspended Velez indefinitely and she offered a public apology for her thoughtless actions.
5. Transgender Contestant Banned
In the Miss Universe Canada pageant, Jenna Talackova was set to become one among the top 12 finalists. However, she was disqualified from the pageant after officials found out that she is transgender and all contestants had to be a “naturally born female”. This created a lot of scandal and the Miss Universe organization had to end its ban on contestants who are transgender.
6. Miss America 2014 sparks racist outrage
Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America 2014, but racist trolls soon sprung up questioning her nationality based on her skin color. They called her a terrorist and that the choice was unpatriotic since a brown woman was selected around the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
7. Nude photos leaked – Katie Rees loses her crown
Katie Rees was stripped off her crown when nude photos of her at a party were leaked into mainstream media. She further went along to make headlines with her meth charges as well as for assaulting a police officer.
8. The Selfie Scandal
Miss Israel Doron Matalon posted a selfie of her with Miss Lebanon and few other contestants during the Miss Universe 2014 campaign. Controversy ensued since Lebanon and Israel were having hostile relations and the Lebanese community chastised Saly Griege, the Lebanon candidate, for this misdemeanor.
9. Gaining weight can lead to candidate replacement
Alicia Machado was the Miss Venezuela candidate in 1996 Miss Universe pageant. The officials threatened to replace her with another candidate, Miss Aruba, due to the reason that she was gaining weight. Donald Trump further worsened matters on the Howard Stern Show, by calling her “an eating machine”. Despite all this, she won the Miss Universe title in 1996.
10. Stripped off the crown due to age
Amanda Longacre, who was Miss Delaware in 2014, had her crown removed owing to the fact that she was “too old to compete” in the pageant. The rule states that the contestants have to be aged between 17 years to 24 years and since Amanda was going to turn 25 the same year, the officials determined that she was not qualified.