Mapping Beauty: Map of Countries with Miss Universe Pageant Winners
The 63rd Annual Miss Universe Pageant airs on Sunday night. The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) presents a map showing the countries with winners of the pageant from 1952 to 2013.
The map, (above, click to enlarge) Eye of the Beholder, features countries with winning contestants in red. This map is based on a map (above) showing countries with participants in the pageant featured in The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World by Joni Seager available from the Atlas Collection and the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library.
The map from the atlas shows participating countries in purple and serves as a study in the perception of beauty and beauty pageants. Many of the countries in the Middle East and Africa have never participated in the pageant—either due to cultural limitations, expense, or other traditions.
According to the atlas, “International beauty contests promote and export a white, Western standard of beauty. Globalization is accelerating the adoption of these standards around the world.” The first five winners of the pageant were from the United States or Western Europe. Japan was the first Asian country to produce a winner in 1959. Miss Lebanon won the pageant in 1971; Miss South Africa won in 1978; and Miss Namibia won in 1992. The United States has the most winners with eight, and Venezuela has won seven pageants.
Hundreds of maps and atlases depicting numerous women’s issues are available for research and learning. Maps featuring important events in the lives of prominent women are also available from the GRMC, including Amelia Earhart, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, and Jane Austen. The GRMC provides an online guide for finding cartographic resources for women’s studies and a subject guide listing available maps and atlases. The map of the winners is available from the University Libraries' Cardinal Scholar.
For more information about using maps and atlases for social research, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.