The Miss World is one of the oldest beauty pageants amongst the Big 4 (four) international beauty pageants. The Miss World beauty pageant started in the year 1951, the idea of Miss World beauty pageant was conceptualized by late Eric Morley, the first edition of the Miss World beauty pageant was held in United Kingdom. Miss World is one of the most publicized beauty pageants alongside Miss Universe and Miss Earth pageants.
The Miss World originally started as the Festival Bikini Contest, but an embarrassed British media decided to call it with a more modest name, ‘Miss World’. The pageant was met with a lot of criticism in the beginning, so much so that the swim suit was replaced with more modest swim suits after the first contest. The first Miss World (originally Festival Bikini Contest) was Kerstin "Kiki" Håkansson from Stockholm, Sweden. She was the first and last winner to be crowned while wearing a bikini.
The Miss World was first aired in 1959 by BBC, it gained popularity there after and has grown manifolds. In the year 1980, the pageant adopted the slogan Beauty With a Purpose and added tests of intelligence and personality in order to avoid criticism of objectifying women. The Miss World has seen it’s share of controversies, In the year 1970, feminist protestors disrupted the pageant by throwing flour bombs on the ongoing live pageant. In 1976 the pageant included both a Caucasian and African representative for South Africa which lead to a huge furore and many participating countries decided to boycot the pageant.
Miss World pageant has grown manifolds, to enter the Miss World the contestant should be the winner of the national title in their respective home nation.Those chosen to represent their nation then compete in the Miss World Final. The Miss World is no longer just a beauty pageant, it has emerged as a platform for young women from across the globe to showcase their talent, intelligence and work towards a greater good. Miss World pageant provides these contestants to display their culture and raise awareness towards various humanitarian causes, every year the pageant raises millions of pounds for charitable work under the banner of “Beauty with a Purpose” program.
The annual final is typically a month long event, with several preliminary galas, dinners, balls and activities, culminating in a globally telecast final show in which the field is narrowed to between 15–20 delegates. Since 2011, winners and finalists of various group and talent events will be awarded bonus points to their preliminary scores. Delegates with the highest points (bonus of challenge events included) are qualified to the final round.
Venezuela has dominated the Miss World pageant, Venezuela has won the coveted title six times so far, followed by India with five wins and United Kingdom with four title winners so far.
Rolene Strauss from South Africa was crowned the Miss World 2014.
Mireia Lalaguna from Spain was crowned the Miss World 2015.