• Contestants of Miss International 2015, to be held on November 5, 2015 at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel Hiten Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

Contestants of Miss International 2015, to be held on November 5, 2015 at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel Hiten Hall in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo : Facebook/Miss International 2015)

As Miss International is around the corner, pageant enthusiasts are keen to know more about the competition.

The 1st Miss International pageant was held on Aug. 12, 1960, in Long Beach, California, USA. About 52 delegates from all over the world participated in the contest. Stella Márquez of Colombia won the title, becoming the first Miss International.

Like Us on Facebook

Miss International is part of The Big Four pageants in the world after Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Earth contests in terms of the number of delegates to partake and one of the most publicized beauty pageants in the world.

Here are the facts and trivia about the Miss International contest:

The Controversy 

In 2013, for the first time in history, the winner of Miss International 2012 Ikumi Yoshimatsu of Japan did not crown her successor; instead Miss International 2008 Alejandra Andreu took over in passing on the crown to Bea Santiago of the Philippines as reported by the pageant forum Missosology.

Yoshimatsu was being stalked and threatened by an influential talent agency executive, Genichi Taniguchi, and the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) had barred Yoshimatsu from attending the pageant to avoid the scandal. Instead of giving in to the threats of Taniguchi, Japanese actress, social activist and beauty queen fought back, and as a result, she started the STALKER ZERO campaign.

The campaign was started to introduce stricter laws to protect victims of stalking and intimidation in Japan, after becoming the first high-profile woman to go public with her own personal experience in an international press conference.

Yoshimatsu's campaign broke all previous records for an online petition on Change.org (Japan) and she has become the voice of many Japanese women exposing and changing the culture of silence toward crimes against women.

This is also the first time when a past winner crowned two winners. Andreu passed the crown in 2009 where she crowned Anagabriela Espinoza of Mexico and in 2013 to Yoshimatsu.

Big winners

Venezuela has been the biggest achiever at this global pageant as it has won the title five times. Four of those came in cycles of every three years starting in 1997 (1997, 2000, 2003, and 2006). The country's first victory was registered in 1985.

Philippines has won the coveted crown for four times. This contest has been won by the representatives of Australia, Colombia, England, Poland, United States three times. Two times the delegates of Costa Rica, Germany, Norway, Spain have won.

The beauty queens of Argentina, Brazil, Finland, France, Greece, Guatemala, Iceland, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Panama, New Zealand, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Yugoslavia have registered their victory in this international event once.

First Winners 

All first winners of the Big Four pageants are of Scandinavian origin: Finland won the Miss Universe 1952, Sweden won the Miss World 1951, Colombia won the Miss International 1960, and Denmark grabbed the Miss Earth title 2001.

Longest Reign

As the 1966 Miss International was cancelled, the winner of 1965 Ingrid Finger's reign was the longest among titleholders totaling 624 days two years and 10 months.

Shortest Reign

The shortest reign was of 1975 Ladija Vera Manic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was just 242 days, Altius Directory reported.

The Ultimate Goal  

This pageant is not based on looks alone. Contestants are expected to serve as ambassadors of peace and beauty, showing tenderness, benevolence, friendship, beauty, intelligence, ability to take action and great international sensibility. The ultimate goal of the Miss International beauty pageant is to promote world peace, goodwill, and understanding.

Miss International remains the only pageant with no winner resigned or dethroned. This contest remains the only Big 4 pageant that has never been won by an African, dubbed as the most racist pageant.

Almost all Miss International titleholders are still alive today, except the 1991 winner, Agnieszka Kotlarska of Poland, who was stabbed to death by a stalker in 1996

This year the pageant will be held on Nov. 5, at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel Hiten Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The current Miss International is Valerie Hernandez of Puerto Rico who was crowned on Nov. 11, 2014, in Tokyo, Japan. Starting 2015, the finalists will each be asked a different question by the judges chosen randomly.