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How Tall Do You Have To Be To Compete In Pageants?

Photo: Miss America Organization Facebook
Photo: Miss America Organization Facebook

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!

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28 thoughts on “How Tall Do You Have To Be To Compete In Pageants?

  1. I think lower limit of height for pageant contest shoud be 5 feet because the average height of the girls is usually this much.Most of the girls belong to this height.So,talented girls among them can also participate like me.Thanku.

    1. I’m 5’1″:(

    2. I know right… Like I could clearly understand about the runway models being hangers… tall and lean but this is something else…

  2. Perfectly said..height shouldn’t matter in this filed…it shld b based on talent and how we represent our country….well said applause

  3. BS. DIvuluri looks 5’2″. I believed the 5’7″ height until I saw her next to the runner-up, Crystal Lee. Lee looked tall in the pageant, but in her Instagram, she looked 5’3″, 5″4″ tops. She was way shorter than the guys she was photographed next to. And she often wore what looked like 7″ heels. Lee is definitely taller than Divuluri, so Divuluri is 5’2″.

    Height for all the contestants is exaggerated because of this heightist world. Models are tall, and beauty pageants are like models, so they’re favored if they’re tall. So all the contestants exaggerate their heights because a taller height is seen as a positive thing. Divuluri looks TINY when she’s barefoot on stage performing her Bollywood-classical Indian dance fusion.

  4. Culpo looks more like 5′ or 5’1″, from her tiny frame. She’s far from 5’5″. And what’s with her nasty fake boobs? They look so rock-hard and unattractive! I see she’s had work done on her face, too – an obvious nose job, for example. But it looks good – she has a very good face. All pageant contestants greatly exaggerate their heights because people admire tall people!

    1. Culpo is 5’7” or 170sm as stated in wikipedia..

  5. Put me on your mailing list

    1. Hi Lola,

      I just added you to our weekly newsletter. If you’re looking for specific help in training for an upcoming pageant then I suggest signing up for our free Pageant Timeline.

  6. put me on your mailing list

    1. Done 🙂 You will start receiving weekly emails from us each Saturday!

  7. put me in your mailing list

    1. Hi Ishara,

      I just added you!

  8. Put me on your email list.

    1. I’ve added you to our weekly newsletter that goes out each Saturday 🙂

  9. Put me in your mailing list, I’m 5’8

    1. Hi Liana,

      I just put you on the list. Expect an email from us on Saturday and if you’re looking for a pageant to compete in click here to find one in your country that you qualify for.

  10. I am amazed I even won when I was 17 years old a smaller Miss Philippines of Chicago organization in 1987-88. I am only 5 FT 2 in height . I was chosen on my ability to write an essay and it was more of a popularity contest , community outreach type pageant. I was told I was more slender ,well – spoken and beautiful than other contestants . You never know who is going to vote for you . I garnered 20,000 votes over 16,000 the 1st- runnerup got . She was taller than me , maybe 5ft 5 . She didn’t have my personality and people said Il I was friendlier . It was a great experience and gave me confidence . I was so shy before I joined and learned . All young women join too now for higher educational reasons , not just money or fame . I also won a monetary award that helped me with school and traveling to the Philippines where I was born .

  11. I am a keynan i am i allowed ti syand miss universe of ur country

  12. Yes i would agree just like me i have a height of 5.2 inches and i want to join pageant but what shall i do if the height requirement is only 5.6 inches above. For age doesnt matter as long as you have enough sthrength and confident to compete then why not

  13. Is it necessary to be 5’5 n above to participate in pageants?
    I am 5’1 but i really want to participate.

    1. There are many pageants out there that do not require a height requirement. Check out this link for a complete directory of all the pageants in the world so you can find one that you qualify for! https://thepageantplanet.com/directory/category/pageants/

  14. I am 5″.. Add me in your mailing list.

    1. You’ve been added to our newsletter!

  15. Hi Steven , Please add me in your mailing list.

    1. Hi Abha,

      I’ve added you to our newsletter! In the future if you ever want any of our free resources you can visit, https://thepageantplanet.com/preptimeline.html or https://thepageantplanet.com/233-practice-pageant-questions/ to sign up. When you do you will be added automatically to our newsletter.

  16. The past 3 miss universes have been the shortest in the top three. You saying that if someone taller is equally as good as you they will win is false.

  17. Can being 5feet participate for Indian princess ?

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