Confession time, my knowledge of beauty pageants was limited to episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras. Perhaps not the most flattering image of the scene, which is why I was surprised and delighted (and you will be too) to discover that there’s a beauty pageant out there that’s actually doing good! Grab a seat and prepare to step into the world of Miss Eco International.
Miss Eco International is a beauty pageant that, like Miss Universe, gathers representatives from all over the world and brings them together to compete for a crown. However there’s a slight difference – they must also be from different cultures and traditions, and have a keen interest in creating a better, more eco-friendly planet. The main mission of Miss Eco International is “to promote the importance of saving our planet environmentally, in addition to marketing tourism across the world”.
The competition is held in Egypt every year and like all pageants, the ladies must compete in different categories. One that’s unique to Miss Eco International is the Eco-Dress category, that must be a recycled dress that represents their countries culture or traditions. For example, check out Miss Vietnam:
Perhaps another surprising thing about Miss Eco International is that the organisers of it are BIG on positive vibes only. Instead of negative body image and nasty comments or hair pulling, they actively focus on “the wellness of the mind, body and spirit of all the candidates”.
Shedding a light on environmental issues and the importance of being kind to the planet when thinking about tourism is a pleasant change to your standard beauty pageants isn’t it? 2018’s winner was Miss Philippines, AKA Cynthia Magpatoc Thomalla, who is from a small town near Southern Leyte. In her acceptance speech she stated that their is positive change to be made in the world and being visible is helpful in doing that: “I think that the most relevant thing that beauty queens can add to the world is by raising awareness of their own causes. For example, Miss Eco International is raising the advocacy in sustainable tourism and protecting the environment… That is the main point of doing beauty pageants — by raising our voices to help the earth.”
Previous winners include Amber Bernachi from Canada, Natalia Carvajal from Costa Rica, and Patricia from Slovenia. All have gone on to passionately lead the charge for sustainability and eco-toursim in their countries. While being beautiful is part of it, having your heart in the right place is the bigger part. See? Told you you’d be able to get behind this beauty pageant!