Miss World: Rape, Murder and Conflict. The biggest scandals of the competition

  • In 1970, the Miss World contest aroused stiff opposition from feminists who … disrupted the live finals in London
  • In 2013, during the Miss World competition in Indonesia, there was no swimwear show for religious reasons
  • A wave of indignation and criticism in 2017 was caused by a completely different event during the Miss World election – in the political, not moral, genre. It was about a joint “selfie” of Miss Iraq and Miss Israel
  • In 2014, one of the participants of the Miss World final, which was scheduled for December 14 in London, was murdered!
  • Miss World 1998. Linor Abargil, the most beautiful woman in Israel, was brutally raped a few weeks before the competition
  • You can find more such stories on the homepage

The Miss World competition is … a family business. It was initiated in 1951 by Eric Morley, British TV presenter. After his death, the business was taken over by his widow, Julia Morley – a businesswoman and former model who, despite turning 82 this year, is still running this international competition with her son Steven.

We recommend: One was accused of stealing a crown, another was pelted with tomatoes and booed. The Miss Polonia election has always been accompanied by scandals

For 37 years, the Miss World Final was held in London. Then the organizers moved the event to countries that participated in its financing in return for promotion. The final took place in Hong Kong, India, USA, South Africa, Seychelles, China and Poland, among others. The competition of beautiful women has always aroused a lot of emotions – the more so as it was often accompanied by unexpected dramas and even real scandals.

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Miss World: feminists protest

At the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, the Miss World competition was the most popular television show in the world. The struggles of the most beautiful girls with flushed faces were watched by millions of viewers. Emotions were especially fueled by this presentation, which took place in bikini costumes. In 1970, this aroused strong opposition from feminists, who … disrupted the Miss World live finals in London. They burst onto the stage during the show, protesting against a beauty contest that was degrading women. Ultimately, the election ended with an unexpected result – instead of the favored Swedish woman, the representative of Granada won the victory, becoming the first black Miss World.

This event, however, was not forgotten. In 2020, a film based on it was released. Action “Misbehaviour” (Polish title “Niepokorna Miss”) is taking place during the Miss World Final in 1970 in London. It tells the true story of a scandal that happened in front of 100 million TV viewers and led to a moral revolution in the USA! The cast is all-star – ambitious student Sally who joins activists from the Women’s Liberation Movement in London, played by Keira Knightley.

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Feminists did not manage to close the competition, or to withdraw the organizers from the show in bathing suits. Only in 2013, during the Miss World competition in Indonesia, there was no bikini show. All because of respect for the culture and tradition of the host of the competition. The final took place on the Indonesian island of Bali, and Indonesia is a Muslim country.

Changes to the Miss World election rules were demanded by Islamist groups, according to which a bathing suit robs a woman of her dignity. Under their pressure, the organizers of the event gave up the presentation of Miss in a bikini. Instead of skimpy bathing suits, the participants wore the so-called sarongs (traditional Malay dress).

After that, the bikini show took place only … once more. Since 2015, no competition in swimwear has been organized at all during the competition. It was a real shock for the fans of the competition, as so far it was the bikini competition that was the core on which the whole event was based. However, after 63 years, the organizers decided that the candidates for the title would not be wearing bathing suits.

She announced this decision in December 2014. Julia Morley, the head of Miss World, at a private meeting with the heads of national competitions. She confessed:

“It doesn’t work for them. It doesn’t work for any of us. I don’t care if either of them has a butt two inches bigger. We are not looking at their buttocks. We listen to what they have to say, “she said.

Political storm over the selfie

A wave of indignation and criticism in 2017 was caused by a completely different event during the Miss World election – in the political, not moral, genre. The participants of the Miss World competition then met in Los Angeles and began joint preparations for the final gala. It was also an opportunity to get to know each other and make new friends. Miss Iraq Sara Eedan and Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman then took a photo together, which they published on their instagram accounts.

The “selfie” of both beautiful women caused a series of positive comments from Internet users, but it also aroused great emotions and controversy. Why? Due to the conflict between Israel and Iraq. In response to the wave of indignation and criticism, both beautiful ladies explained that they did not want to offend anyone’s feelings or unleash a political war. They had just the opposite intention – they wanted to promote peace and call for the easing of the conflict between feuding nations.

A similar “scandal” took place two years earlier, when Miss Israel took a photo together during the Miss World 2015 election Doron Matalon and Miss Lebanon Sally Greige. Then, however, the scandal ended with quite significant unpleasantness. Lebanon had to relinquish the crown of Miss, because in her country all contacts with Israelis were forbidden.

Rapes and murders

Unfortunately, the Miss World competition also involves such tragic events as murders and rapes. In 2014 one of the participants of the Miss World final, which was scheduled for December 14 in London, was to be Maria José Alvarado Munoz. However, shortly before leaving for the UK, 19-year-old Miss Honduras and her equally beautiful sister Sofia… disappeared without a trace.

After several days of intense police searches, it turned out that both young women were dead. They died at the hands of Sofia’s partner, who was very jealous of his girlfriend. After an argument that took place during one of the parties, he took Sofia and Maria to the woods. There, after a violent quarrel, he first shot his girlfriend, and when a mortally terrified Maria tried to escape, he shot her twice in the back. The murderer buried both bodies on the river bank.

Dramatic events also took place during the Miss World Final in 1998. Linor Abargil, the most beautiful woman in Israel, was brutally raped by her agent a few weeks before the event while in Milan. The devastated young woman wanted to quit the competition immediately. However, her mother persuaded her to go to the Seychelles and take part in the competition, which may prove to be an effective escape from traumatic memories.

Linor Abargil was then elected Miss World. Soon after, the perpetrator of the rape of the girl was arrested and sentenced to 16 years in prison. Abargil herself, on the other hand, is today a well-known activist for victims of sexual violence. In addition, in 2013, the premiere of the documentary “Brave Miss World”, which deals with the trauma of rape.

Miss World in Poland. There was a scandal!

There was no scandal – this time a promotional one – in our country. The Miss World election in 2006 was held in the Congress Hall in Warsaw. She finally organized the final of the competition Julia Morley, head of the Miss World Office, who a month before the gala, on the day of the finalists’ arrival in Warsaw, terminated the contract with the Miss Polonia Bureau, which dealt with the preparation of the whole. It was already a scandal.

The announced promotion of Poland, Warsaw, etc. also left a lot to be desired. “Gazeta Wyborcza” reported:

“The team of Mongolian television accompanied the most beautiful ladies all the time. However, Warsaw has nothing to do with it, except for fun for a lot of money“- wrote the journal.

It’s not everything. Journalists noted that the American media did not even mention its name in their press reports when describing the organizing country.

“CNN shows the most beautiful women and short snapshots from Warsaw and other Polish cities where the candidates for the Miss were staying. However, Americans report in the local press that the elections were held “in Eastern Europe” and do not provide any more details“- noted” GW “.


  • Miss World’s Rapist Convicted (CBS News)
  • The political face of Miss World (Interia)
  • Scandals and tragedies around the Miss Election (Wirtualna Polska)

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