Happy Birthday To Miss World Pageant !
Miss World pageant is the most prestigious beauty pageant in the world. It attracts the largest number of contestants. Also, the whole production value of the pageant is greater than all the other pageants. It is also popular because of the values that it celebrates. Every year many girls do a lot of social work as part of their participation in this pageant.
Exactly 64 years ago, on 29th July 1951, first Miss World finals was held at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, England. 26 girls competed for the title of Miss World. Among the 26, 5 girls were from foreign countries and rest girls were British nationals. The foreign countries were Denmark, France, Sweden, United States of America & Holland! Kiki Håkansson from Sweden was the first winner of the pageant. Eric Morley was the presenter of the show.
The pageant was originallly called “Festival Bikini Contest” and it was organized as mid-century advertisement for swimwear at the festival of Britain. The winner Kiki Håkansson wore a bikini at the time of crowning. This was condemned by Pope. Some countries with religious traditions threatened to withdraw their participation. Hence bikinis were banned in 1952 from the pageant. Later they did become a part of the pageant again. Still, Kiki Håkansson is the only Miss World to be crowned in a bikini.
Kiki Håkansson was 22 when she won. She had blue eyes and brown hair. Her first runner-up was Laura Ellison-Davies of Britain. Second runner-up was Doreen Dawne of Britain. Third runner-up was Sabine Aime di Angelo of Holland. Fourth Runner-up was Aileen Chase of Britain.
In the course of 64 years, so much has changed in the Miss World pageant. Now the pageant sees participation from more than 100 countries. It is held in different parts of the world. Sweden is not among the top performers in the recent years (Sweden won second Miss World pageant too) and there is lot more to the pageant than bikinis & beauty. This is a perfect illustration of how even the greatest of things mostly have humble beginnings!