I’m not a huge fan of beauty pageants, especially where kids are involved, though I quite understand the sense of validation that some women, especially trans women, get from them. There just isn’t much for me in them, usually.
Sometimes, however, the clothes get interesting. Via Helen McCarthy on Twitter I found the Pinterest board of Tom & Lorenzo, which features dresses from the National Costume round of the latest Miss Universe. The way that some of the girls and their teams have interpreted “national costume” often looks more like what you would see in a convention masquerade than in a village street. It is all very Eurovision, but world-wide.
Of course, as with Eurovision, many European countries were just too embarrassed to join in. Spain did the best job of staying demure while embracing the fantasy vibe.
And Albania did a good job of doing something interesting with actual national costume.
Very quickly, however, things took a turn for the science-fictional. Here’s Kazakhstan.
Miss Guyana even brought her pet alien.
While Miss Turks & Caicos clearly is an alien.
A lot of the girls, particularly those from the Americas, were embracing their inner bird-people. Here’s Miss Bahamas with some amazing color.
Other girls were channeling their country’s warrior ethic. Miss Japan was not taking any prisoners.
And putting the two themes together, the standout costume of the competition from Miss Argentina.
For the benefit of those of you who want to see all of the costumes (hello Kevin!), you can find them as follows:
- Part I – Bird Women & Show Girls
- Part II – Virgin Brides
- Part III – Warriors, Goddesses, Queens
- Part IV – Crazies, Lazies, Try Hards
Fair warning, however: if you are British or Irish you may die of embarrassment. Then again, at least your girl didn’t do this. Oh, Canada!