Back in 1970 – a year after our very own Gloria Diaz was crowned Miss Universe in Miami Beach, Florida – a different kind of atmosphere pervaded inside the Royal Albert Hall in London during the interrupted finals of Miss World 1970 the reigning Eva Reuber-Staier of Austria crowned her successor Jennifer Hosten of Grenada.
Protestors against the pageant flooded the audience. Properly dressed in attires befitting the formal dress code of the event and blended amongst the many watchers, they created a commotion of sorts to air their opposition against the objectification of women in a pageant spectacle based solely on their physical beauty. This angered the feminist movement to no end. In the video below, Sally Alexander (one of the rattlers, so to speak) explained the group’s reasons behind the protest and how it stalled the proceedings (including the distraction on host Bob Hope). Watch now.
Interestingly, this issue against beauty pageants in general dragged for decades and was even included as part of the Q&A in many of them. Of course, we now know how both Miss World and Miss Universe have evolved. Causes and advocacies are now staple requirements, if you will. Regardless of whether pageant followers like us find it just a tad too much at times that some of the projects are questioned for their relative authenticity.