Miss Universe pageant eliminates age restrictions for the first time in history. All details inside
Miss Universe 2022 R'Bonney Gabriel's announcement during New York Fashion Week 2024 marks a historic moment, as the pageant eliminates its upper age limit.
The Miss Universe pageant will have no maximum age limit for participants for the first time in its history. During Tanner Fletcher's "Beauty Pageant" show during New York Fashion Week this spring, Miss Universe 2022 R'Bonney Gabriel highlighted significant changes within the Miss Universe Organisation in a groundbreaking move. The famed beauty pageant, which has been running since 1952, has removed the upper age limit for contestants, which had previously been set at 28. As the oldest Miss Universe ever crowned, R'Bonney Gabriel herself has shattered the previous record. The 2022 winner is currently 29 years old.
This rule change represents a commitment to diversity and sets a new benchmark for pageants around the world in 2024. However, in order to compete, contestants must be at least 18 years old. The organization has implemented this modification as part of its ongoing commitment to diversity. "Age is not a barrier to a woman's ability to compete and achieve greatness," the Miss Universe winner told reporters at New York Fashion Week. "It's a bold group of women in charge over here, and you know what, a lot of people tend to follow what we do - it's nice to be a standard-bearer and I'm proud that we get to do that," R'Bonney said. (Also read: Check out Miss Universe 2022 R'Bonney Gabriel's 10 gorgeous pictures from the beauty pageant that will win your heart )
Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip, a transgender entrepreneur who bought the Miss Universe Organisation for $20 million last year, is credited with the organisation's rapid growth. For the 2023 season, her transformative leadership led to the removal of restrictions on married, divorced and pregnant contestants, further cementing the commitment to embracing diversity.
In addition to advocating for age inclusion, R'Bonney wants to lead the change in a sustainable fashion. As the founder of her own casualwear company, she aggressively uses recycled materials and promotes a greener design sector. Gabriel is committed to continuing the dialogue and raising awareness in this important area after her reign.
Looking ahead, Gabriel plans to resume her role in developing a brand focused on sustainability, highlighting the significant contribution she hopes to make after her reign as Miss Universe is over. With these forward-thinking actions, the Miss Universe Organization is setting a new standard and declaring that empowerment knows no boundaries and beauty knows no age.