Which looks more like the world’s slinkiest cosplay showcase.
I mean, get a load of this stuff! You’d think a “national dress” competition would be for, well, national dress. Miss Universe Japan would wear a kimono (which this year, she did… with swords), Miss Universe Russia a furry hat, etc. But no.
Instead we have Miss Universe Tanzania (up top) looking like Xathulan, Space Warrior Queen of the Sahara. Or Miss Mexico looking like the secret lovechild of Princess Peach and Manny Cavalera. Or Miss Universe Romania doing her very best impression of a Castlevania boss.
Granted, some of these have their roots in actual national dress! Or at least national customs, or histories. And some, which I haven’t included, actually wore national dresses. But most, including all the ones included above, take the light-hearted nature of the contest (Australia’s annual dress is literally a joke piece) and run with it, taking a piece of national identity as the building blocks before spinning in elements of Heavy Metal and Barbarella. Which is awesome.
So if you don’t like any of these, or think they’re somehow insulting, relax. They’re the pageant’s equivalent of fancy-dress night.
Incidentally, yes, I made that first fake name above up. Which is probably the best way to enjoy this gallery, coming up with the names, genres and other players of the inevitable movie made based on the game they’re dressing up as characters from.