The Miss Universe Organisation (MUO) recently announced that it has decided to allow married women, women who are pregnant or those who have children to compete in the global beauty pageant.

The Miss Universe pageant has updated its 70-year-old eligibility rule. Currently, the rule states that only single women aged 18 and 28, who have never been married or had children are allowed to apply.

The new rules will take effect for the 72nd Miss Universe pageant in 2023.


“We all believe that women should have agency over their lives and that a human’s personal decisions should not be a barrier to their success,” said an internal memo from within the Miss Universe organisation, which is available with The National.

Andrea Meza, who represented Mexico in the pageant and was crowned Miss Universe 2020, shared a message for those criticising this new rule. 

“A few people are against these changes because they always wanted to see a single beautiful woman who is available for a relationship,” she said. “They always wanted to see a woman that from the outside looks so perfect that she’s almost unreachable. The former is sexist and the latter is unrealistic.”

“Just like in any other industry, women are capable of having demanding leadership positions without or with a family, it is no different in this case,” she said.