Universe, we have a new Miss

By Rebecca Davis 14 September 2011

In this crazy, strife-torn world there is one global event which gives us an opportunity to come together and stand shoulder-to-shoulder in shared humanity. For a few glittering hours on an evening of pageant, we remember what really matters: deciding who is the hottest 18 to 27-year-old woman in the Universe. By REBECCA DAVIS.

Miss Universe turned 60 in 2011, which makes her just nine years older than our new Chief Justice. And the old gal is going strong: organisers were predicting around a billion viewers for the Monday night TV spectacle. That means almost one in six of us watched it, which also means that almost one in six of us lied about not watching it.

“But wait a second,” you cry, “isn’t there also a Miss World pageant? What’s the difference?” The obvious difference, you fools, is that Miss Universe permits entries from the rest of the cosmos, although this year the representative from Mars had her Brazilian visa declined.  (Pity, because apparently she’d have been a shoo-in – legs from another dimension, they say.)

No, this year the lucky winner was Miss Angola, who the Huffington Post gracefully noted was “one of the few blacks ever crowned Miss Universe”. Chalk the name of Leila Lopes up there with Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, and raise a glass to the post-racial society where we can objectify black women as freely as we do their white sisters. South Africa, of course, was robbed; as you’ll know if you’ve watched the clip of our own Bokang Montjane fearlessly fielding the questions put to her in the notoriously taxing Q&A section of the competition.


When asked if she believed in life on other planets (an understandable query, given the pageant’s pan-galactic focus), Miss South Africa replied: “I do not believe in life on other planets. I only believe that there is life on Planet Earth.” Finally, the insistence on empirical rigour so often missing from the extraterrestrial conversation. One contestant, who was never in with a shot, was Colombia’s Catalina Robayo, who reportedly had to be instructed by organisers to please put on some underwear. Behaviour grossly unbecoming for a participant in an event synonymous with dignity and class.

Can you believe we’ll have to wait a whole Earth orbit of the Sun for the next Miss Universe? In 2012, our money’s on Miss Uranus. DM



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