Like diamonds in the sky: New rules cement inclusivity in Egypt’s beauty pageant

Salonaz Sami, Sunday 2 Apr 2023

Miss Egypt Bent Masr beauty pageant announced a change in their admission rules, allowing married, divorced and veiled women to take part in this year’s prestigious beauty contest.

Miss Eco International with Amal Rezk
Miss Eco International with Amal Rezk


The pageant’s new rules follows the footsteps of Miss Universe International, who made the same announcement last year.

Before the rule change, only women between the ages of 20 and 29 who had never been married and had no children were allowed to compete in the Miss Egypt Pageant. However, the age bracket will remain the same.

"I honestly love that this is happening. Just like society changes and women are now occupying leadership positions where in the past only men could," said Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Meza, in an interview with the insider. "It is about time pageants changed and opened up to women with families," she added.

"A few people are against these changes because they always wanted to see a single beautiful woman who is available for a relationship. They always wanted to see a woman that from the outside looks so perfect that she is almost unreachable. The former is sexiest and the latter is unrealistic," Meza explained.

Meza went on to note that the duties of Miss Universe throughout the year can be demanding, but that does not mean mothers and wives should not be allowed to compete.

Miss Egypt Bent Masr was founded in 2016 as a natural extension of the Miss Egypt contest, held in Egypt since 1927. "We aim to reinvent pageantry for the new age and to catapult our competitions into the mainstream audience by showing people the confidence and power that pageantry can give to young women," said Dr. Amaal Rezk, president of Miss Egypt.

Miss Egypt creates a space in which young women can access training and learn life skills to enhance their physical beauty while also nurturing their internal persona. "Our new vision of pageantry will open doors, inspire opportunities and create a platform for women to amplify their new-found voice," said Rezk.

"Our mission is for the nation to be able to see these young women open new doors, new opportunities and new dreams they did not even consider possible before their pageantry journey," Rezk added.

Rezk took over the brand of Miss Egypt and rebranded it as Miss Egypt Bent Masr. She is also the founder of Miss Eco International beauty pageant, which aims to promote and raise awareness about the environment and ecotourism. This year's ceremony was held in February and Miss Vietnam Nguyen Thanh Ha was crowned Miss Eco International.

Miss Eco International works under the umbrella of LTCPUN and IIMSAM United nations and Egyptian Tourism Authorities and the winner automatically becomes a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

The international beauty pageant brings together representatives of different cultures and traditions from all over the world. Its main objective is to promote the importance of saving our planet environmentally in addition to marketing ecotourism across the world. The competition focuses on the wellness of mind, body and spirit of all the candidates

"Miss Eco Teen Egypt was an amazing experience that allowed me to see things very differently, it let me see the beauty in everything and everyone," explained Miss Eco Teen Egypt Shahista Nader.

"I gained a lot of lessons but the ones that stood out were that everyone is different and unique in their own way and that people should appreciate  what they have because a lot of people aren't so blessed as the most of us" she added.

"My experience with Miss Egypt has opened my eyes and mind to a lot of stuff, it made me realise that us women, we are more than anyone could ever think. We are strong, smart and beautiful. That is why I am dedicating my year as Miss Egypt to women," said Hagar Mohamed, Miss Egypt 2022.

Short link: