How to Be Miss Universe

Five Parts:Qualifying for Miss UniversePreparing to Compete for Miss UniversePurchasing Pageant GearBehaving During the PageantCompeting in the Pageant

Founded in 1952, Miss Universe is one of the most recognized and publicized beauty contests in the world, consisting of national pageant winners from across the globe. Generally, a country's candidate selection involves pageants in major cities, whose winners compete in a national pageant. Women can take appropriate steps to ensure they qualify and are suited to win Miss Universe.

Part 1
Qualifying for Miss Universe

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    Meet the age requirements. Miss Universe contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 27 as of Jan. 1 in the year of they compete. [1]
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    Wait to get married. Contestants may not be married or pregnant, have ever been married, had a marriage annulled or given birth to or parented a child.
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    Know your competition. Contestants are judged in three categories: evening gown, swimsuit, and a personality interview. There is no talent competition.
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    Enter the pageant. Potential contestants must apply to enter the Miss Universe pageant by applying through the national director in their respective countries.[2] In the United States, potential contestants must first qualify for the Miss USA pageant by contacting their local state directors.[3]

Part 2
Preparing to Compete for Miss Universe

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    Stay in shape. Exercise and eat healthy. Remember, Miss Universe contestants are judged on their appearance wearing a bathing suit.
    • While it's not a requirement to enter, most Miss USA contestants are at least 5-feet, 4-inches tall.
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    Pamper your skin. Don't be afraid to splurge on products that bring out the beauty of your skin, including acne-fighting cleansers and moisturizer. Avoid sun damage by applying sun screen any time you are outdoors.
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    Remove unwanted body hair. Most Miss Universe contestants choose waxing, as the results last for several days.[4] You should wax several days before the pageant, but not so close to the day of the event that your skin is still visibly irritated or red from the waxing. Wax the bikini lines, armpits, legs and mustache (if you have one).
    • If you have never waxed before, make an appointment at least a week before the big event to see how your skin reacts to it. You can always book a follow-up appointment or shave any stubble.[5]
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    Work with a pageant coach. A coach can teach you skills and ways to walk, act and look throughout a pageant. Ask your friends and fellow pageant participants for recommendations. You can also search online at pageant sites to find coaches.
    • Many contestants even enroll in modeling classes to work on their walk and posing.
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    Prepare for your interview. Educate yourself and form opinions of current and recent events around the world. Determine your platform, the cause you care most about that you will work toward during your reign should you win the pageant.
    • Certain types of questions commonly recur in pageant interviews. Research the most common interview questions and prepare answers for them at places like Pageant Answers.[6]
    • Expect to be asked questions such as, "Who is your greatest influence?" "What is the greatest environmental issue facing the world today?" and "What constitutes true beauty?"

Part 3
Purchasing Pageant Gear

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    Save for wardrobe, entry fee and travel. The entry fee can be as much as $1,000, and you need a dress which can cost upwards of $5,000. Hair and make-up can cost $400 per hour. You will also need money to cover your travel costs.
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    Buy high-quality makeup. Don't use makeup products from discount stores. Instead, buy quality makeup from department stores and specialty shops.
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    Purchase your wardrobe. You will need an evening gown, a bathing suit and an outfit to wear to the preliminary interviews. You will also need shoes to accompany each outfit.
    • For the swimming suit, choose a solid color or black. One piece or two piece are both acceptable. Wear at the most four-inch heels that match your swimsuit.
    • For the evening gown, wear something that reflects your personality and fits you very well. While you might be tempted to buy online, it's better to purchase a gown you've tried on first.[7]
    • For the interview, wear a neutral skirt suit or a sheath dress in a color that goes well with your skin tone. Wear matching heels.

Part 4
Behaving During the Pageant

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    Act appropriately. Be on your best, most ladylike behavior throughout the days of the pageant. Stand up straight at all times and smile. Do not swear, do drugs, smoke, etc. Present yourself with class and manners. You never know when a judge might be nearby.
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    Ace the interview. Remain calm and relaxed, yet enthusiastic and upbeat. Pretend you're talking to family or friends, but at the same time, be especially polite and appropriate. Don't show your nerves, instead stand up tall and show confidence.
    • At your interview, only shake the judges hand if they extend it first, and say good morning, good evening, good afternoon, whatever fits the time of day.
    • If standing during the interview, stand tall and proud with your back straight, shoulders back and face forward. If sitting, keep your back straight, cross your ankles and fold your hands in your lap.
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    Stay calm and be polite with the crew and fellow contestants. How you act backstage will reflect on how you perform onstage.
    • Do not get agitated if provoked. This is a common incident as jealousy and fear is experienced by all the contestants.

Part 5
Competing in the Pageant

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    Showcase your fitness in a bathing suit confidently[8]. The swimsuit competition can bring some women to their breaking points as they present partially-clothed bodies to millions.
    • Avoid showing more than you intend by applying butt glue[9] and sewing a piece of flesh-colored material into your swimsuit bottoms.
    • Wearing flesh-colored heels will not only cause you legs to appear longer, but also will not detract from your fitness and smile.
    • Practice posing for the swimsuit competition in front of a mirror so you know what stances present your body in the best light.
    • By preparing for the swimsuit competition, you will find yourself more confident when you walk across the stage.
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    Show your personality. During the interview, don't give the same cookie-cutter answers that judges hear from everyone. Instead, add your own personality to your answer while still providing a poised and confident response. Unique contestants will be in the forefront of judges' minds. [10]
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    Present yourself elegantly. During the evening-gown competition, judges are looking for a contestant who is regal and elegant. A contestant's walk is just as important as her choice of gown. Judges score each contestant on how graceful, poised, and composed she appears.[11]
    • Glide down the runway, with no bouncy movement. Practice the classic “book-on-your­-head” method for perfecting posture.
    • Shorter steps also help achieve the proper pageant walk.
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    Smile, regardless of the outcome. If you don't win, don't be mad. Take defeat with grace. Try the competition again, but remember you can only try twice, so give it your best shot the next time.


  • If you do not understand a question asked by a judge or anyone else, do not bluff. Ask them the question again politely and then answer the best you can.
  • Take the pageant as a responsibility as you will be representing not just yourself but your country and the judges decision about you.


  • Protect your pageant gear. Do not rely on anyone you don't know to watch or care for your belongings. It may get stolen by unfamiliar people, and you can't compete without your makeup and wardrobe.

Things You'll Need

  • Entry fee
  • Evening gown
  • Swimsuit
  • Interview attire
  • Shoes
  • Makeup
  • Skin care supplies
  • Pageant coach or modeling classes
  • Money for travel to and from the pageant
  • Money for hair and makeup artists at the pageant

Article Info

Categories: Beauty Contests and Beauty Pageants