Does height matter at Miss Universe?

07 Jan 2021 | Priya Bhardwaj

Miss Universe, through the years since its inception, has evoked the standards of beauty and pageantry across the globe. The Miss Universe queen not only has to live up to the expectations of beauty and sincerity that people expect form her but along with that, she also must advocate for humanitarian causes during her reign. 

Over the years, the organization, which was previously based solely on the physical beauty, has now evolved as body image awareness has begun in the pageantry. The delegates now use the platform to normalize social issues and issue related to gender, color, and race. The format has evolved in a way that the delegates now go through physical and intellectual activities before the finale night as the decision in now made on the basis of overall development of beauty queens instead of just focusing on their physical appearance.

At Miss Universe, height has always been a major criterion where the organization of most of the countries usually send representatives with a minimum height of 172 cm (5’8’’). But, with changing times, one can obviously see the criteria of height requirements for Miss Universe competition has seen a few changes.

Miss Universe now focuses the background, knowledge, social activities, communication, and authentic representation of one’s country on stage rather than focusing on just the height and weight requirements.

One primary example in the recent times is of Demi-Leigh Nel Peters, standing 170 cm tall, who represented South Africa at Miss Universe 2017. She was one of the shortest delegates in that edition but was also crowned as the winner at the end of the event finale because she impressed the jury with her idiosyncrasy.


Demi-Leigh Tebow Miss Universe 2017

(Photo Credit: Demi-Leigh Tebow Instagram)

Since then, the national editions have also started giving a chance to those delegates who portray confidence and a strong personality on-stage assuring authenticity in representing their respective countries on an international stage.

In the 2020 edition of Miss Universe as well, the height seemed not to be an issue as many front-runners for the crown. Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria Thattil stands 165 cm tall, Miss Universe Cambodia 2020 Sarita Reth stands 165 cm tall, Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo stands 170 cm tall, Miss Universe Thailand 2020 Amanda Obdam stands 170 cm tall, Miss Universe India 2020 Adline Castelino stands 168 cm tall while Miss USA 2020 Asya Branch stands 165 cm tall.


Does height matter at Miss Universe?


On the contrary, Miss Universe Vietnam 2020 Nguyen Tren Khánh Vân stood 175 cm tall as the Miss Universe Vietnam organization has a strict height and weight requirement. Moreover, Miss Universe Canada 2020 Nova Stevens stands 183 cm tall while Miss Universe Mexico 2020 Andrea Meza stands 180 cm tall. They were the tallest contenders at Miss Universe 2020. 


Andrea Meza Novs Stevens Nguy?n Tr?n Khánh Vân


There is a tie between two beauty queens for being the shortest winner - Luz Marina Zuluaga Miss Universe 1958 and Apasra Hongsakula Miss Universe 1965 both measured 5'4". What are your views? Do you think height is a requirement to compete at Miss Universe?