Girls across the country dream of becoming the next Miss USA or Miss America, but many wonder if there is a height requirement to compete in pageants. Well good news for the vertically challenged out there, most major pageants do not have a height requirement (unless you are competing for a petite system, which requires you to be 5’6″ or shorter or Miss Earth, which requires contestants to be 5’7″ or taller).
It can be tricky to figure out what certain systems are looking for, especially pageants such as Miss America, Miss USA, and Miss Universe. While there is no height requirement for these pageants, some girls believe they look for taller contestants.
Miss Universe Height Requirements
Miss USA and Miss Universe do tend to favor taller girls. However, there are also some shorter stand outs. While the rest of the world is obsessed with sending a Miss Universe delegate who stands at a minimum of 5’8″ tall, the United States sent Olivia Culpo in 2012. She stands at a proud five foot, five inches tall and won the Miss Universe crown. This is really nothing new or unusual from the country where the pageant started. In the last two decades alone, there have been at least three previous Miss USAs who have almost the same vertical stats, Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner (5’5″), Miss USA 1999 Kimberly Pressler (5’6″) and Miss USA 1991 Kelli McCarty (5’6″).
Miss America Height Requirements
Miss America favors height less. The current Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri is five foot, seven inches tall. There have been varying heights over the past five years. Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan is also 5’7″, Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan is 5’6″, Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron is 5’4″, and Miss America 2009 Katie Stam is 5’6″ (I was unable to find Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppler’s height, but based on photos of her next to Teresa and Mallory, she’s probably 5’8″). The first runner up to Laura Kaeppler, Miss Oklahoma 2011 Betty Thompson, is 5’2″ and you only knew when you saw her next to the other contestants.
The more important thing is to choose someone who can best represent the organization and the country in a color-blind, ethnicity-blind. . . and height-blind manner. “Beauty is found in the way you treat others,” Culpo said when asked in an interview what her favorite quote is, she followed up with, “it doesn’t matter how tall you are or how much you weigh.”
Outside of Miss America and Miss Universe there are thousands of pageants that are held in every city for every age division all over the world. If you’re curious about just how many pageants are out there then click, “Find a Pageant” to discover one that you qualify for!