Miss Universe host Steve Harvey has arrived in Manila Sunday for the upcoming Miss Universe 2017.
Harvey, who infamously named an incorrect winner last Miss Universe 2016, is back to the big stage, hoping to add a renewed spark in the contest’s awards show.
Harvey was gravely criticized for his performance last year, but he told the Miss Universe organization that he wanted to make a personal apology for the Filipinos. He also said that this is one of the main reasons why he agreed to host again for the next few years, according to ABS-CBN.
Miss Universe 2016 Pia Wurtzbach has also welcomed Harvey with open arms after posting an Instagram photo of them last year with the caption saying, “Let’s do it again and change someone else’s life.”
Meanwhile, incorrectly named Miss Universe 2016, Miss Universe Colombia 2016, was on the neutral side. Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez was all smiles during her interview regarding Harvey, but she particularly pointed out that even though mistakes happen all the time, she asked that “this year, no mistake.”
The world has moved on from this massive error and the beauty pageant’s stage is preparing for a new start this year. The 65th Miss Universe Coronation is set to happen on January 30 in Manila.
Miss Universe At Stake Because of Trump?
Though the contestants are said to be enjoying their stay in the Philippines, the entire Miss Universe organization has been affected by the backlash received by U.S. President Donald Trump.
It is true that Trump has owned the franchise, which includes Miss Universe, Miss USA & Miss Teen USA, in the past, but according to Variety, the newly elected president has since then sold the rights to WME/IME back in September 2015.
Nonetheless, the Miss Universe has been targeted as one of Trump’s misogynistic examples, with reports on Trump’s misbehavior on Miss Universe contestants.
Donald Trump also had numerous spats with Miss Universe management. He even filed a lawsuit against Univision over the Miss USA Contract back in 2015. This happened during his campaign trail where he described many Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists.”
Univision also had strong arguments against Trump and said that the candidate’s complaint at the time was “both factually false and legally ridiculous.
“We will not only vigorously defend the case, but will continue to fight against Mr. Trump’s ongoing efforts to run away from the derogatory comments he made on June 16th about Mexican immigrants. Our decision to end our business relationship with Mr. Trump was influenced solely by our responsibility to speak up for the community we serve,” Univision said in a statement.
Trump may have tarnished the entire Miss Universe brand, but the decline of the pageant’s popularity is not only made by his remarks.
According to Pitlane Magazine, pageants are now “relics of the past.” Though contestants receive generous educational scholarships and travel privileges, the use of “beauty” as a selling point is somehow outdated.
Back in the 1920’s beauty pageants have been a prime event for women since their role in the society had been quite limited. There is also the lack of diversity since Miss Universe only accepted “non-Whites” years later.
As women’s role became more varied, with more and more women diving into business, sports, entertainment, sciences and more, these pageants have become a symbol for women objectification.
According to BBC, many people believe that beauty pageants are not only outdated, but they also endorse a false sense of beauty for young teens, noting that the emphasis on the “model-beauty” makes young girls acquire diet problems.
“Beauty contests are outdated only because of the way they are conducted. Beauty is something very personal and it is a mixture of inner and outer factors. Even as an absolute external factor criteria is still very subjective. I wonder if the ‘Venus of Milo’ would be voted Miss anything today. The restrictions of age make it also very non-democratic.” said Constantine Alexander from U.S.A
“If this tradition is to survive, it has to change. Otherwise it will remain offensive to many of us. The other major problem is that the promotion of external beauty (young, not handicapped women without wrinkles – who obviously don’t enjoy life to the fullest) has created a generation that lives in relationships without debt but only physical admiration. May be that is why we have so many divorces today.”
[Featured Image by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images]