Strange Beauty Pageants Around The World


From Little Miss Sunshine to Miss World, pageants the world over are loved and derided in equal measure. When we hear the word pageant we think of the statuesque beauties in various stages of undress strutting down the catwalk at Miss Universe. However, you may be surprised to know that there are many pageants held around the world that have little in common with these over-the-top extravaganzas.

While some pageants are held as part of a local festival, many more take place to counter the most widely-accepted notions of beauty or to create publicity or awareness for a campaign or industry. Size zeros need not apply to the Miss Fat and Beautiful contest, a competition where to be bigger is definitely better. Or how about pageant contestants lining the catwalk wearing fabulous orange jumpsuits. No, it’s not a plot line in the latest episode of Orange Is the New Black; it’s a real thing: Miss Jail is a beauty contest for prison inmates. These are just some of the weirdest pageants held around the world.

Miss Fat and Beautiful

• Celebrating the ample lady, this contest is held each year in Israel

• The minimum weight requirement is 176 lbs

• Cellulite, rolls of flab and wobbly thighs are much sought after

Miss Landmine

• The contest was started by Norwegian artist Morten Traavik

• to raise awareness for land mine victims in Angola and Cambodia

• the controversy led to accusations of exploitation

Miss Drumstick

• It’s held as part of the annual Turkey Trot festival in Yellville, Arkansas

• Women show off their legs while hiding behind turkey masks

• The prize parade has featured on The Late Show with David Letterman

Miss Jail

• The winner of this contest at a prison in Recife in Brazil gets $1,000

• Contestants are judged on beauty, general knowledge and good behavior

• Convicted murderer Rebecca Guedesin was crowned Miss Jail in 2011

Miss Dairy Cow

• The bizarre pageant is held every year in Shuozhou, China

• The women strut around wearing bikinis, high heels and feathery masks

• Posing with cows in fields is the highlight of the show

Miss BumBum

• The cheeky competition elects Brazil’s ‘most beautiful bum’

• More than 500 women took part last year

• Contestants diet and exercise intensely in a bid to win the title