With Thai business tycoon Anne Jakrajutatip as the new owner of Miss Universe, the next international competition will be seeing some changes. The upcoming edition of the pageant in New Orleans is just days away and some details about where it's heading have been revealed.
Historic changes have already been made before the takeover, with married women and mothers now able to compete after years of limiting the pageant to single women.
In anticipation of the Jan. 14 pageant, PhilSTAR L!fe has rounded up some of the reported new changes that are coming to the beloved competition.
A dazzling new crown
In December 2022, the Miss Universe Organization unveiled a new crown that will be awarded to the next Miss Universe.
Dubbed "Force for Good," the crown was made by world-renowned jeweler Mouawad and has been valued at $5.58 million (P305.8 million). Crafted and set by hand, the headdress features 108.44 carat of blue sapphire and 48.12 carat of white diamond. It's meant to symbolize the organization's belief in "a future forged by women who push the limits."
The sashes worn by the Miss Universe delegates are also getting a makeover, with partner the Sash Company creating the competition's first sustainable sashes. The new ribbon is made of 100% post-consumer recycled fabric and thread and made with ethically produced rhinestones.
A new home base?
For the longest time, the winner of the pageant received a free stay at the Miss Universe apartment in New York City for a year, with expenses such as food, transportation, and expenses covered by the organization. But as per pageant blogs MISSUUPDATES and Thai Sashes, the next winner and her two runner-ups may stay in Thailand more instead of the United States.
Jakrajutatip also reportedly said in an interview that the next Miss Universe will attend events and festivals in the Southeast Asian country and have her own penthouse there.
However, this report seems contrary to what Jakrajutatip said during the January "Secrets are Revealed" Miss Universe event. The new owner stated that there will be changes to the New York headquarters as she wants to open a salon for the pageant winner there.
A new kind of swimsuit competition
Also during the January presser, Jakrajutatip said there'll be some changes with the integral swimsuit competition. The theme will focus on health and strength instead of just sexiness.
A reality show makeover?
An exclusive report by TIME also detailed how JKN Global plans to add a reality show spin to the Miss Universe pageant, with Jakrajutatip hoping it will be a Project Runway and American Idol mashup.
The series would have 13 episodes following the contestants up to the grand coronation night, as well as track the winner after her crowning.
"We would love to have the iconic woman each year for everyone around the world—particularly women and LGBTQ—to look up to," the owner said.