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World Pageant Day – April 8, 2023

International Pageant Day has been celebrated on April 8 every year since 2018. It recognizes the dedication of all the women around the world who compete in pageants. It’s also a day to encourage young women to consider joining pageants for their numerous benefits. This day also helps us recognize the importance of pageants as a place where contestants can showcase not just their beauty but also their personality, their strengths, and their intelligence. Whoever thinks beauty and brains do not mix has clearly never been to a pageant.

History of World Pageant Day

Before he established the Barnum and Bailey Circus in 1871, Phineas Taylor Barnum staged the first modern American pageant in 1854. Unfortunately, the prizes of a dowry or a tiara weren’t enough to lure Victorian women to display themselves in public. Instead, he used photographs that were displayed in his museum to vote on. It was short-lived, but it was a way that modern technology and commercial entertainment could be combined to kickstart the industry of beauty pageants. In 1888, a Creole contestant was awarded the title of ‘beauty queen’ in Belgium, using a similar entry of a photograph with a short description of themselves as a part of a final selection for a panel of judges.

Beauty pageants were only considered respectable after the first Miss America came about in 1921. Organized as a means to entice tourists to Atlantic City, New Jersey, it’s the oldest pageant still in existence that featured women aged between 17 and 25 competing in bathing suits. In the early 1920s, Galveston, Texas also organized the Galveston Bathing Girl Revue to kick off the summer tourist season and featured contestants from the U.S. In 1926, it evolved into the International Pageant of Pulchritude with participants coming from various countries like Mexico, Canada, England, Russia, and Turkey. This was later believed to be the inspiration for modern beauty pageants, like Miss Universe.

The enduring popularity of the Miss America pageant prompted other organizations to establish other pageants like the Miss World in 1951, Miss United States and Miss Universe in 1952, Miss International in 1960, Miss Asia Pacific International in 1968, and Miss Earth in 2001.

World Pageant Day timeline

1839
The Queen of Beauty

The first known beauty pageant is held as part of a medieval joust re-enactment in Scotland.

1951
The First International Beauty Pageant

The Miss World pageant is created in the U.K. by Eric Morely.

1954
Miss America is Broadcast Live

The ABC Network airs the first live broadcast of Miss America on television, seen by over 27 million viewers in the U.S.

1968
Miss Black America Starts

This pageant aims to challenge negative stereotypes of black women in the U.S.

1968
The Miss America Protests

Women protesters in Atlantic City, New Jersey, throw mops, bras, lipsticks, and high heels into a “Freedom Trash Can.”

World Pageant Day FAQs

What are the four biggest pageants in the world?

The four major international beauty pageants are Miss World, Miss International, Miss Earth, and Miss Universe.

How do pageants work?

The contestants are scored based on their beauty, grace, poise, personality, talent, and eloquence. The winners are determined by the total scores given by the panel of judges.

What’s the first step in joining a pageant?

An aspiring contestant first submits an application, which can either be hand-written or sent online. It’s typically made up of the submission form, platform statement, and pageant resume. This will also include a photo or a headshot and a corresponding entry fee.

World Pageant Day Activities

  1. Hold a pageant film festival

    Get a glimpse into the world of pageantry through the lens of Hollywood. “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Miss Congeniality,” and “Miss Firecracker” are some movies with pageants as an integral part of their story.

  2. Watch pageants bloopers

    Pageants are serious competitions, so instances that show their silly side is refreshing. The internet is forever, so you’ll be able to find these funny, or embarrassing, clips online.

  3. Learn more about the current Miss Universe

    How much do you know about the most beautiful woman in the universe? Today is the best day to start that deep dive.

5 Intriguing Facts About Joining Pageants

  1. It develops confidence

    Learning to speak in front of a crowd, answer questions, and walk gracefully in heels are just some of the ways pageants help confidence blossom in contestants.

  2. It promotes social connections

    Meeting people from different walks of life, not to mention getting to know fellow candidates, widens the social and career network for most candidates.

  3. It encourages self-discipline

    In order to succeed, contestants need to train to not only look good but to sound good as well.

  4. It can lead to other job opportunities

    Scholarships, modeling, and apprenticeships are just some of the benefits of joining pageants.

  5. It can be a platform for advocacies

    Contestants have causes they hold dear, and the winners’ have the chance for their chosen advocacies to garner more support.

Why We Love World Pageant Day

  1. It encourages charitable work

    Contestants each have their advocacies. Pageants allow them to raise awareness and funds for a charity of their choice.

  2. It’s a way to win scholarships

    Scholarships are usually one of the prizes in most beauty pageants. Large ones may also give an annual salary or additional career-building options that allow the winners to carve out their own paths afterward.

  3. It improves the local economy

    Pageants create tourism opportunities, whether they’re held in counties or countries. Businesses like hospitality, retail, and food also benefit from having these kinds of events.

World Pageant Day dates

YearDateDay
2023April 8Saturday
2024April 8Monday
2025April 8Tuesday
2026April 8Wednesday
2027April 8Thursday

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