Miss Universe 2019: Scandals, controversies and more from Donald Trump's fat-shaming to Steve Harvey's epic mistake
The beauty pageant that is known for its glitz and glamor has seen numerous controversies over the years
Every year, beautiful women from all over the world undergo stringent training as they prepare to appear on stage and represent their countries at the Miss Universe contest.
However, the beauty pageant that is known for its glitz and glamor is at times far more than just that. There have been numerous controversies and ugly truths lurking beneath all the glamor that have shocked the world.
So, ahead of this year's Miss Universe event, here are some of the most controversial moments in the pageant's history.
Miss Cambodia mocked for poor English
During the Miss Universe 2018 pageant, Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers uploaded an Instagram story where she along with Miss Universe Colombia Valeria Morales and Universe Australia Francesca Hung made fun of Miss Cambodia's English claiming that Rern Sinat did not know any English and saying, "It must be isolating and confusing all the time". She then added, "She pretends to know so much English and then, after having an entire conversation with her, she goes..."
Even though Summers later took to Instagram and uploaded a post apologizing for her comments, the internet wasn't in a mood to forgive her.
Steve Harvey's controversial mistake
In 2015, when Steve Harve hosted the pageant, the game show host left everyone stunned when he announced the wrong winner during the Miss Universe pageant in 2015.
The host had declared Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as the winner, but merely 5 minutes after she was passed the crown, Harvey walked back on stage and corrected his mistake declaring Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach as the real winner. It was surely one amongst the most awkward moments in the history of the beauty pageant.
Donald Trump fat shames Miss Venezuela
In 1996, Donald Trump—who then owned the beauty pageant—called Miss Universe Alicia Machado of Venezuela "an eating machine" on the Howard Stern Show after she was told that she would lose her crown to Miss Universe Aruba Taryn Mansell if she didn't watch her weight gain. This fat-shaming remark by Trump sparked harsh reactions from fans and viewers as the biggest fat-shaming incident by far.
Selfie sparks political conflict
Lebanon and Israel's ongoing feud is nothing new, however, the conflict was rekindled in 2015 when Miss Universe 2015 from Israel, Doron Matalon, took a selfie with Miss Universe from Lebanon, Saly Greige. The photo took the internet by storm. By far, it is known as one of the most controversial selfies in the history of the pageant. This was the second incident that had political ramifications. In 1993, a contestant was banned by the Lebanese government after she took a picture with Miss Israel.
Miss Canada disqualified for being trans
The disqualification of Miss Universe Canada 2012 semifinalist Jenna Talackova stirred a backlash on social media, especially by the LGBTQ community. As per reports, she was disqualified by the pageant officials after they got to know she is a transgender woman.
Jenna, who was born a male, had undergone the gender reassignment when she turned 19. But Jenna didn't take that decision lightly and fought for her right to take part in the beauty pageant. The organization later decided to lift its ban on transgender contestants.
Body shaming and surgery
In 2013, Miss Universe Gabriela Isler of Venezuela was shamed after an old picture of her was posted all over the internet that showcased her facial features that weren't that great compared to how she looked when she won the title. The photo sparked speculations that she might have undergone some enhancements but it didn't lead to her getting disqualified.
Nude pictures of Miss Universe 2004 spark controversies
In 2004, when Jennifer Hawkins of Australia won the title, controversies rose after rumors spread about her nude body paint pictures. The rules of the beauty pageant state that the contestants aren't allowed to pose for any nude pictures. The nude pictures of her went viral via a pornographic magazine titled Hustler, but Jennifer somehow managed to keep her crown despite the violation.
None qualified for the crown
In 1974, when the beauty pageant was held in the Philippines, for the first time in its history, the title was vacant for six months after Miss Universe Amparo Muñoz of Spain breached the contract following an offer to star in a movie. Making the situation worse, even Miss Universe Wales Helen Elizabeth Morgan who was the runner-up couldn't win the crown because she was an unwed mother and was disqualified. This resulted in the title being vacant for six months until the next pageant.