First crowned Asian queens at Big 4 major beauty pageants in the decade (2011 – 2020)

31 Mar 2020 | Priya Bhardwaj

Asian delegates at the major Big four beauty pageants have always made their respective countries proud with their scintillating performances. They have not only excelled in performing on-stage during their respective pageants but also post their reign too mesmerizing everyone with their beauty and intelligence.

In this decade as well, the continent has produced multiple winners at the major international pageants; Miss World witnessed three crowning of Asian beauties from 2011 till now while Miss Universe saw two winners from Asia (both from Philippines). Miss International crowned five winners from Asia where two were from the Philippines and Miss Earth witnessed four winners where three were from Philippines. The pageant also witnessed a back to back win in 2014 and 2015. Philippines sure performed quite well through the decade; however, here are the winners who opened Asia’s account in the four major pageants –

Yu Wenxia from China was crowned Miss World 2012 on 18th August 2012 at Dongsheng Fitness Center Stadium in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China as she became the first Miss World to be crowned in this decade. Yu is a Chinese actress, television host, singer, model and a beauty pageant title holder. She was the second Chinese delegate to win the title after Zhang Zilin was crowned Miss World 2007.


Yu Wenxia from China Miss World 2012


Yu has always been passionate about her music and wanted to pursue the same in future. Her specialties include singing and playing the piano, and she is also known for her opera talents as well. She is also known for the Miss World with the most trips during her year of reign. Yu after winning the crown pledged to help the children around the world lucky by helping them out with food, education and basic amenities.

Pia Wurtzbach from Philippines was crowned Miss Universe 2015 on 20th December 2015 at The AXIS in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States opening Asia’s account in Miss Universe. With Pia winning the crown, a history was made as she became the third woman from Philippines to hold the title. Pia’s crowning moment is still one of the most talked about moment as she was announced as the first runner-up before and then the host Steve Harvey corrected his mistake and finally announced Pia as the winner of the competition.


Pia Wurtzbach from Philippines Miss Universe 2015


Her journey to the crown wasn’t an easy one as she previously participated in Binbining Pilipinas 2013 where she was the 1st runner-up and then participated in Binbining Pilipinas 2014 where she was placed at Top 15. Pia finally participated in Binbining Pilipinas 2015 where she was crowned as the winner and earned her chance to represent Philippines at Miss Universe stage. Pia continues to champion in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Philippines, an issue that is a growing problem in the country and one that is just beginning to receive national recognition for the severity of the disease. Pia was appointed the UNAIDS Ambassador for Asia and The Pacific and continues to travel and speak out lending her voice and bringing awareness to the continue fight against this deadly disease.

Ikumi Yoshimatsu from Japan was crowned Miss International 2012 on 21st October 2012 at Okinawa Prefectural Budokan Arena Building in Okinawa, Japan becoming the first Asian beauty to win Miss International. Ikumi is a Japanese actress, stunt woman, author, opinion leader, social activist and a beauty queen. With Ikumi’s crowning, it was the first ever win for Japan at Miss International beauty pageant. The diva started the “Stalker-Zero” campign to introduce strict new laws to protect victims of stalking and intimidation in Japan.


Ikumi Yoshimatsu from Japan Miss International 2012


The diva who was featured as a presenter at TED Talk where she advocated for stronger laws to protecting women in Japan also started Global Student Diplomacy Network in 2015. It was founded in order to connect elementary and middle school classrooms from various countries with each other by skype for cultural exchange. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Ikumi Yoshimatsu was dethroned from her crown but wasn’t replaced by anyone. She surly did a lot for the women in Japan. 

Jamie Herrell from Philippines was crowned Miss Earth 2014 on 29th November 2014 at the University of the Philippines Quezon City, Philippines. Jamie is a Filipino-American actress, TV host, news anchor, dancer and a beauty queen. Jamie was a recipient of the Outstanding Individual Award during the 80th Cebu City Charter Day Awarding Ceremony for her environmental advocacies. After winning the title, Jamie joined the members of the EcoWaste Coalition at a school in Paco Manila to campaign against the use of firecrackers to void injuries and pollution during the New Year revelries. With Jamie’s win, Philippines bagged it’s second Miss Earth crown. Today, she is a successful entrepreneur, running a footwear business that specializes in slippers promoting ecotourism in the country.


Jamie Herrell from Philippines Miss Earth 2014