How much does it cost to be a Miss Universe?

11 May 2021 | Priya Bhardwaj

Miss Universe is one of the most recognized and prestigious international beauty pageants. Along with the Miss World, Miss Earth and Miss International contests, Miss Universe is one of the four largest beauty pageants in the world in terms of the number of national-level competitions.

Being one of the most valued titles in the world, it takes up a lot of preparations for delegates and franchises to represent the countries at the platform, be it physical, mental or financial. One thing that many of us would be surprised to find out is that being a contestant in one of the world's most esteemed pageants is by no means cheap. With a series of outfits required from swimsuits, athletic wear, evening gowns and attired linked to your home country, a wardrobe alone can cost thousands of dollars.



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According to a study, the average evening gown dress worn on stage costs nearly $3,000, which is often only ever worn that one time! In addition to the glitz and glam, additional costs of hair, makeup, accessories, coaches, instructors, and so on, pageants are surely an investment.

It is said that the Miss Universe pageant franchise varies from country to country. Smaller countries who have little competition in their hometown for a rival pageant could pay around US$ 10,000 for the annual fee. And if a country wins the MU title, they are exempt from paying the franchise fee the subsequent year.

The pursuit of a title and a crown has grown into a $5 billion-a-year industry, according to the sources. An estimated 3,000 pageants draw 250,000 entrants a year, and delegates spend thousands of dollars on pageants. Some want to gain extra poise; others hope that they will become the next supermodel or a movie star.



Pageant entry fees run from $25 to more than $500. Many pageants also have optionals, which are the sub-contests within the contest for titles such as ‘Most Photogenic’ or ‘Best Costume,’ which tack on even more to the bill. And before you get to the pageant, there are clothes, hair and makeup costs — and for the serious competitors, professional coaching. One former pageant contestant, Jennifer Makris Hill, now coaches girls. A week of her training costs $5,000; a day goes for $1,000.

The higher the level of competition, the higher the costs. The money goes to wardrobe consultants, physical fitness trainers, speech coaches, voice coaches, etiquette lessons, salon services, talent coaches, resume writing, tanning, evening gown, rehearsal attire, bathing suits, opening-number outfit, interview suit, talent costume, accessories, and many, many more things. Sometimes big spending doesn’t always win the crown. However, there are girls who have won spending as little as $100.



Money pressures often cause a strain, which is why it is very important to know where to spend and not spend your money, which in turns makes the point of knowing ‘what the pageant judges want and look for’ more important. All in all, if you want to represent and win at a beauty pageant, you’d better be prepared to spend a tidy sum.