Am I the only one who finds beauty pageants FASCINATING? While watching, I all of a sudden become an expert on poise. The next big pageant is Miss Universe, airing on Nov. 26 on Fox. This is the 66th year of the pageant that brought us obsessive-worthy celebs like Olivia Culpo. With women from all over the world gathering to compete for the coveted crown, the 2017 pageant is sure to be another unforgettable year. These women don't work this hard for just a title — the Miss Universe prize package is surprisingly super swanky. What does Miss Universe 2017 win? You won't believe the swag.
Yes, the title wins the contestant tons of fame and recognition, but there's even more at stake. According to Bustle, the Miss Universe crown also comes with "a year-long salary for performing all of the duties that come along with the title. Room and board in a 'luxury apartment' in New York City as well as living expenses are also included." Honestly, that's a sweet deal for pretty much anyone. Also, the whole traveling around the world thing must be pretty cool.
The monetary gains are amazing, but Miss Universe also promises longevity to the winner's career. The newly-crowned beauty queen instantly receives representation from WME IMG, the Miss Universe parent organization and worldwide modeling agency.
If you're ready to pass out at this point... there's still more. During her time in New York, Miss Universe will also take part in "casting opportunities, movie premieres, fashion week, sporting events, and career opportunities." I totally picked the wrong career path.
If you're more into the contouring and eyelash extension side of things, the winners also receive many perks in the beauty realm. Bustle goes on to explain that the winner receives "personal appearance wardrobe and styling by the official Miss Universe Organization fashion stylist." The winner also gets awarded a few bonuses from the year's sponsors.
For example, last year's winner, Iris Mittenaere, received a boatload of hair products from show sponsor, Chi, and a year's supply of shoes from Chinese Laundry. Not too shabby.
OKURRR. Now I understand the intensity behind the movie Miss Congeniality — those ladies were competing against Gracie Lou Freebush for BIG prizes.
As for who is representing the United States in this year's competition, meet Kára McCullough from Washington D.C.
Her mother was in the United State's Navy, which gives the beauty a really interesting background. According to her bio,
Kára McCullough was born in Naples, Italy, but raised in Virginia Beach for the majority of her childhood. Her mother’s position as Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy exposed Kára to many different cultures and places at a young age, including Sicily, Japan, South Korea, and Hawaii. For as long as she can remember, Kára has been fascinated with science and the impact it has on our everyday lives, leading her to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a concentration in Radiochemistry from South Carolina State University. Her major provided her opportunities to intern at many universities, which paved the way to her current career as a scientist for the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Kára is the founder of a self-funded community outreach program called “Science Exploration for Kids” (SE4K), which creates interactive activities celebrating math and science to cultivate a passion for STEM among children. Outside of her work for the government and in the community, Kára enjoys cooking specialty foods and rollerblading around the city. Kára is looking forward to meeting this year's contestants and hopes to bring home the Miss Universe crown.
OK, she sounds really cool and I wish she was my friend. You can see Kára McCullough and the other competitors from all corners of the earth compete for the coveted title of Miss Universe on Nov. 26 airing on Fox. The show is taking place right in Las Vegas, Nevada at the AXIS at Planet Hollywood.
Now that you know the prizes at stake, you may feel a bit more competitive. Good luck to all the contestants, I'm literally already nervous for you.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.