Miss Universe eliminates age limits for all global pageants
New York, NY — The Miss Universe Organization announced the elimination of all age limits across the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) and all associated pageants for their 2024 season.
This was announced as R’Bonney Gabriel, current titleholder, walked as a surprise model in fashion label Tanner Fletcher’s NYFW SS24 show, for a collection titled “Beauty Pageant.” The show featured models of all ages, reminding the audience that women and beauty are not defined by age – and that the Miss Universe program should not be, either.
“During our January show, R’Bonney was asked about an age extension, and she said – ‘if not now, when?’,” said Amy Emmerich, CEO of MUO. “She was our muse in making this decision, but it’s been a long time coming. As women, we all understand that youth is not and has never been a requirement for beauty, and there’s no reason why it should be a requirement for Miss Universe.”
This change will apply for all 2024 pageants globally. Starting then, every adult woman in the world will be eligible to compete to be Miss Universe. (Contestants must be 18 to join, and Miss Teen USA rules will not be changed.)
Paula Shugart, MUO President, said, “For years, we’ve had requests from fans and partners all over the world, reminding us that there is not a place for this restriction in an inclusive organization like ours. We agree, and look forward to this next chapter of the Miss Universe legacy.”
Gabriel said, “As the oldest titleholder to date, I was very close to aging out of the competition myself, and I wanted my legacy here to be a shift in how we think about beauty and age going forward. I’m so glad to see that this will be a permanent change for my Miss Universe sisters.”“We are thrilled to have partnered with the Miss Universe Organization on a Beauty Pageant of our very own,’ says Fletcher Kasell, Co-Founder/ Co-Creative Director of Tanner Fletcher. “It’s wonderful to open up the world of Tanner Fletcher to other organizations who share a similar, uplifting and empowering vision. We are aligned on the belief that all people no matter the societal boxes they have been put into deserve to act as their authentic selves and be celebrated for it.”
For the 2023 season, Miss Universe also lifted restrictions around married women, divorced women, pregnant women, and mothers joining the program. To date, two mothers will be competing in this year’s finale. That show will take place in El Salvador on November 18 2023.