|29th October 2011|
Miss World 2011 forum held at Cambridge Union Society
While Miss World Alexandria Mills and Miss World Africa Emma Wareus were invited earlier this year by Cambridge University to discuss their experiences, it was now time for the Miss World 2011 contestants to have their chance. Travelling from London to Cambridge to visit the famous top-ranked university, the national representatives were invited to participate in a debate which covered a wide range of topics concerning the Miss World event and Beauty with a Purpose.
Before the debate the Miss World 2011 contestants were taken on a tour of Cambridge and the university campus. The contestants were shown around the world-renowned colleges and beautiful historic buildings which comprise Cambridge University, including St. John’s, Clare and Trinity. Others took the opportunity for a spot of punting, taking in the sights while travelling along the River Cam in gondola-style boats.
The focus of the evening was the debate itself, held in the Cambridge Union Society, which was established in 1815 and is a prestigious arena of free speech which promotes the art of debating, hosting many prominent figures from the worlds of politics, science, arts and entertainment. This was the place for the Miss World hopefuls to talk about the social responsibility their titles hold in their respective countries. There was particular reference to the work of Beauty with a Purpose, the charitable element at the centre of Miss World.
Leading the debate were Zimbabwe, Botswana, Scotland, and Puerto Rico, who each delivered a speech to open proceedings. Zimbabwe spoke passionately about the importance of Beauty with a Purpose and her work helping the fight against a cholera epidemic in her country through engineering and hygiene projects. Botswana delivered an entertaining yet very thoughtful speech about tolerance and the need to dispel common misconceptions, leading to a rousing round of applause. Scotland’s presentation focused on the inspiring work of the contestants through Beauty with a Purpose, as well as highlighting some of the impressive working and academic backgrounds of her fellow contestants. Last of the principal speakers, Puerto Rico, engaged the audience with her work with children back home, including how much she has already learned from the Miss World experience.
After the speeches, the debate was open to contributions from the floor. Cambridge university students asked challenging questions on various aspects of Miss World and Beauty with a Purpose. When asked about the global reach of Beauty with a Purpose, Sierra Leone explained how bringing so many countries together allowed them to exchange ideas and methods for tackling shared international issues such as guaranteeing education for girls. Responding to the debate regarding inner beauty and outer beauty, Spain remarked how she has to demonstrate to others her inner beauty, and Dominican Republic and New Zealand echoed the need to challenge all prejudices.
Mauritius discussed the nature of beauty, while Russia, Egypt, Ireland and South Africa also had their say. To conclude the evening, Miss World Alexandria Mills spoke about perceptions of Miss World around the world and Miss World Africa Emma Wareus shared her experiences and how all contestants come from different backgrounds.
It was a successful evening. The gathered audience were enthusiastic throughout, the Society helping to create a memorable evening for all. Following the debate, was a reception and a chance to engage with their international special guests further.