Oxford Union hosts Miss World international ambassadors

Miss World national representatives visited the Oxford Union to take part in a debate on the topic 'should beauty be rewarded?'.

The Miss World 2019 debating team included: reigning Miss World, Vanessa Ponce de León; England; Korea; Nepal; South Africa; Tunisia and Indonesia.

Addressing the audience, reigning Miss World, Vanessa Ponce de León, opened the debate and said: "I come from Mexico, I have a degree in International Business and Human Rights, then I won Mexico’s Next Top Model and went onto become a professional model, until I gave it all up to become a full-time volunteer. Today I’m here as Miss World.

"Without getting too philosophical, beauty is an innate quality, something that is randomly given, and it’s separated from human control. Why shouldn’t something so pure be praised?”

She asked the audience: "Should intelligence be rewarded? Should talent be rewarded? Should strength, compassion and courage be rewarded? "There are lots of examples around the world where we reward these qualities. Students at Oxford University are recognised for their intelligence."

She went on to discuss how Miss World also celebrates all of those qualities, particularly compassion and courage through ‘Beauty With A Purpose’.

Each one of the Miss World debating team then spoke about the impact of their ‘Beauty With A Purpose’ projects, the changes they have seen, what they hope to achieve and how they will continue after Miss World.

Contestants listen to debating team tell the audience about Beauty With A Purpose

'Beauty With A Purpose' operates on a global scale raising millions of US dollars every year for good causes and working with tens of thousands of unique humanitarian projects across the globe.

With every crowning of Miss World is the start of a new chapter. A chapter that signals the shift from beauty pageant to global humanitarian programme focusing on the most sick and disadvantaged people in the world.

Miss World contestants, with the help of their national organisations, have set up ‘Beauty With A Purpose’ projects in more than 140 countries. Every year contestants are asked to work for a project that helps the people in their home countries. This gives thousands of young women every year, the opportunity to use their abilities to make a real and lasting contribution to the lives of the sick and disadvantaged children.

Ms Ponce de Leon added: "I'm very proud to say that Miss World has 140 new national representatives every year working hard in any field you can imagine, we have doctors, architects, politicians, dentist, dancers, athletes. So whether you are an Oxford student, or a Miss World contestant, our titles, abilities, they don’t matter - what matters is what we use them for....beauty comes with a purpose.

"If you agree with me that beauty is more than just how we look, then like me you agree that beauty should be rewarded and also you are a Miss World fan, you just didn’t know it."

Miss World national representatives join the audience in applause

Questions were then opened to the audience.

Miss World South Africa 2019 on whether Miss World still values beauty too heavily: “The focus of Miss World is not on our outer appearance... it is on what we put out into the world. It is a platform for change.”

Miss World England 2019, on whether we should reward beauty: “We should reward beauty because beauty is health. If you value yourself and your health, you are beautiful.”

Miss World Nepal 2019: “Beauty is a reflection but it's different for everyone and
is what makes you happy

Answering a question about whether girls need to wear makeup to look beautiful, Miss World Korea 2019: “No.I don't wear makeup on a daily basis. It doesn't change us, it's not about changing who we are. People should do whatever they feel makes them their best

The Oxford Union has a long tradition of hosting debates and speakers that stretches back to 1823 and has hosted some of the world's most prominent individuals across politics, academia and popular culture, including British Prime Ministers Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, David Cameron and Theresa May the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa, actor Morgan Freeman, musicians Sir Elton John and  sportspeople Diego Maradona and Manny Pacquiao and Miss World international ambassadors to name just a few.

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