The pageant has let go of the age limit of 18 which will allow women of all ages to compete in the competition.
Age is not a limit to beauty and society is swiftly moving forward to recognize and acknowledge it. Women have always been told that beauty declines with age but that is clearly untrue. the renowned Miss Universe pageant has taken a huge step in setting an example of this by letting go of age restrictions in their contest. Women beyond the age of 18 will now be allowed to compete in the competition, reports PEOPLE.
Soon, all adult women will be allowed to participate in this pageant. R'Bonney Gabriel, the 2022 winner of the Miss Universe title announced the uplifting new change during Tanner Fletcher's show at New York Fashion Week this year as well, per Women's Wear Daily. The change is officially set to take place in 2024 according to a brief statement shared on the pageant's official Instagram story.
NO MORE AGE LIMIT 👑— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) September 13, 2023
LOOK: The Miss Universe Organization scraps age limits for all women joining the pageant starting next year, 2024.
"Starting then, every adult woman in the world will be eligible to compete to become Miss Universe," the announcement reads. | 📸: Miss… pic.twitter.com/wx4NSTSdrB
"Starting then, every adult woman in the world will be eligible to compete to be Miss Universe," the Instagram story read. Gabriel was also the oldest woman to be crowned Miss Universe at the age of 28 and also the first Filipino-American woman to win the famous title of Miss USA prior to participating in Miss Universe. "What I love about Miss Universe is that they are always out first in line, looking for ways to be more inclusive and better live up to the platform that they’ve designed for us," Gabriel told the outlet.
She added how a woman's ability to compete at Miss Universe or anything in life should not be defined by her age and that age is just a number. Gabriel has previously made a statement saying she would love to see the age eligibility increase in the contest when she was asked about what kind of change she'd like to see in the Miss Universe pageant rules during her Q&A segment of the pageant in 2023.
"My favorite quote is ‘If not now, then when?’ Because I believe age should not define us," Gabriel said at the event. "It’s not tomorrow, it’s not yesterday, but it’s now—the time is now to go after what you want." "Especially now that I'm Miss Universe, I have a very big platform, and that is one of my key goals as Miss Universe," she explained to the outlet in a separate interview.
The extension of the age limit for Miss Universe contestants is one of the many changes in its pre-existing rulebook. In early 2022, the organization started allowing moms and married women to participate in winning the crown as well. In addition to that, Miss Universe is now owned by Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, a Thai businesswoman and transgender rights advocate, per PEOPLE. Jakrajutatip, who is a transgender woman herself, took over the organization in 2022.
"We seek not only to continue its legacy of providing a platform to passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions but also to evolve the brand for the next generation," Jakrajutatip said in a press release per NBC News. The ban on transgender participants was lifted in 2012 according to CNN and Reuters and ever since then, several trans women have bagged prestigious titles hosted by the organization.
I think it’s better if they implement “Age Increase” rather than elimination of all age limits. Pwede naman na 32-35 years old ang able to compete in Miss Universe.— Reich Lorenze (@reichlorenz) September 13, 2023
For me, I understand the age extension part, but if the Miss Universe organization wants people who can empower women People think that 18-28 years old is the right time for women because it is when women can do things to their full potential.— Anwa (@Anwa1928) September 13, 2023
The netizens had some reaction to this news as well. @phcouples7080 wrote on X Twitter: "Perhaps they are in need of more women willing to compete." @ReyTuk added: "I can't wait to see women in their 50s in the competition, because I know a lot of women looking divine at this age. So, let's see how true is this statement." @LiLiReynolds wondered: "I like it, anyone of any age can be Miss Universe. Is the same going to be for Miss USA?" The 72nd Miss Universe competition will be held on 18th November in El Salvador, according to the organization’s website.