The Cartography of Beauty: Miss Universe Winners Map
The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) created this map of the Miss Universe pageant winners in 2014. The map (click to enlarge) is based on the related map featured in The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World (published in 2009) available in the GRMC and the Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library.
The map identifies countries that have had one winner of the Miss Universe pageant, which began in 1952. The map also teaches a lesson in the culture considerations of beauty. 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 winner of the pageant in 1952 was from Finland, and the first five winners of the pageant were from Western European countries or the United States. A contestant from the United States has won the pageant eight times; Venezuela has won seven; Puerto Rico has won five; and the Philippines has won three crowns, including the 2015 pageant.
Most Middle Eastern and African countries do not participate in the pageant. A contestant from Lebanon was the first from a Middle Eastern country to win the pageant in 1971. And the first African winner was from South Africa in 1978. And many communist-bloc countries did not participate in the pageant until recently. Russia sent its first contestant in 1991 and won the pageant for the first time in 2002, although the winner was later dethroned. China’s first contestant participated in the pageant in 1994.
This map is an excellent example of how cartographic resources can be used as visual aids to teach topical issues. Topical maps from atlases can be easily scanned and inserted into papers and presentations for the classroom. Using maps in this way can add visual interest and add impact for conveying messages.
The map is available for download from the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar repository.
For more information about using maps and other cartographic resources for research and learning, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.