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Unique and unconventional beauty contests from around the globe

September 19, 17:47 UTC+3
On this day in 1888, the world's first modern beauty contest is thought to have taken place in Belgium
1 pages in this article
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A beauty pageant involving female soldiers of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in Donetsk, Ukraine, 2015
A beauty pageant involving female soldiers of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in Donetsk, Ukraine, 2015
A beauty pageant involving female soldiers of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in Donetsk, Ukraine, 2015
© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
The contestants modeled in both dresses and military fatigues
The contestants modeled in both dresses and military fatigues
The contestants modeled in both dresses and military fatigues
© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
Russian contest for servicewomen called 'Makeup with Camouflage', 2016. The contest of beauty and professional skills among female soldiers was held on the territory of the Strategic Missile Forces training center in the town of Pereslavl
Russian contest for servicewomen called 'Makeup with Camouflage', 2016. The contest of beauty and professional skills among female soldiers was held on the territory of the Strategic Missile Forces training center in the town of Pereslavl
Russian contest for servicewomen called 'Makeup with Camouflage', 2016. The contest of beauty and professional skills among female soldiers was held on the territory of the Strategic Missile Forces training center in the town of Pereslavl
© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS
One of many beauty contests held in women's prisons around the world, a beauty contest titled Miss Spring held in Russia's Prison Colony No. 10
One of many beauty contests held in women's prisons around the world, a beauty contest titled Miss Spring held in Russia's Prison Colony No. 10
One of many beauty contests held in women's prisons around the world, a beauty contest titled Miss Spring held in Russia's Prison Colony No. 10
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
Beauty pageants for disabled people exist in many countries. Photo: Participants of the 5th Miss Self-dependence beauty contest for disabled women, 2014
Beauty pageants for disabled people exist in many countries. Photo: Participants of the 5th Miss Self-dependence beauty contest for disabled women, 2014
Beauty pageants for disabled people exist in many countries. Photo: Participants of the 5th Miss Self-dependence beauty contest for disabled women, 2014
© Pavel Smertin/TASS
Romanian Gypsy contestant, receives instruction from a director on stage positioning in Bucharest, Romania, 2011, during a rehearsal of a Gypsy beauty and traditional dance contest
Romanian Gypsy contestant, receives instruction from a director on stage positioning in Bucharest, Romania, 2011, during a rehearsal of a Gypsy beauty and traditional dance contest
Romanian Gypsy contestant, receives instruction from a director on stage positioning in Bucharest, Romania, 2011, during a rehearsal of a Gypsy beauty and traditional dance contest
© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
The World Muslimah is an annual international beauty pageant for young Muslim women who are judged to have shown dedication, reputation and concern for Islamic values. Photo: Participants of the World Muslimah 2013 in Subang, Indonesia
The World Muslimah is an annual international beauty pageant for young Muslim women who are judged to have shown dedication, reputation and concern for Islamic values. Photo: Participants of the World Muslimah 2013 in Subang, Indonesia
The World Muslimah is an annual international beauty pageant for young Muslim women who are judged to have shown dedication, reputation and concern for Islamic values. Photo: Participants of the World Muslimah 2013 in Subang, Indonesia
© EPA/MAST IRHAM
Child beauty pageants are beauty contests featuring contestants under 16 years of age. Photo: Participants of 'Little Miss Hungary' beauty contest in Budapest, 2010
Child beauty pageants are beauty contests featuring contestants under 16 years of age. Photo: Participants of 'Little Miss Hungary' beauty contest in Budapest, 2010
Child beauty pageants are beauty contests featuring contestants under 16 years of age. Photo: Participants of 'Little Miss Hungary' beauty contest in Budapest, 2010
© AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky
In 2013, France became the first western country to ban child pageants, on the grounds that they promote the "hyper-sexualisation" of minors. Photo: The Mini Miss model beauty contest in Paris
In 2013, France became the first western country to ban child pageants, on the grounds that they promote the "hyper-sexualisation" of minors. Photo: The Mini Miss model beauty contest in Paris
In 2013, France became the first western country to ban child pageants, on the grounds that they promote the "hyper-sexualisation" of minors. Photo: The Mini Miss model beauty contest in Paris
© AP Photo/Thibault Camus
The Jumbo Queen Contest is organised to search for well-rounded ladies (weight 80 kilos up) with outstanding interpersonal skills to lead the annual Jumbo Banquet and promote elephant conservation in Thailand. Photo: Finalists of 'Jumbo Queen' Beauty Pageant, 2003
The Jumbo Queen Contest is organised to search for well-rounded ladies (weight 80 kilos up) with outstanding interpersonal skills to lead the annual Jumbo Banquet and promote elephant conservation in Thailand. Photo: Finalists of 'Jumbo Queen' Beauty Pageant, 2003
The Jumbo Queen Contest is organised to search for well-rounded ladies (weight 80 kilos up) with outstanding interpersonal skills to lead the annual Jumbo Banquet and promote elephant conservation in Thailand. Photo: Finalists of 'Jumbo Queen' Beauty Pageant, 2003
© EPA/VINAI DITHAJOHN
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A beauty pageant involving female soldiers of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in Donetsk, Ukraine, 2015
© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
The contestants modeled in both dresses and military fatigues
© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
Russian contest for servicewomen called 'Makeup with Camouflage', 2016. The contest of beauty and professional skills among female soldiers was held on the territory of the Strategic Missile Forces training center in the town of Pereslavl
© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS
One of many beauty contests held in women's prisons around the world, a beauty contest titled Miss Spring held in Russia's Prison Colony No. 10
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
Beauty pageants for disabled people exist in many countries. Photo: Participants of the 5th Miss Self-dependence beauty contest for disabled women, 2014
© Pavel Smertin/TASS
Romanian Gypsy contestant, receives instruction from a director on stage positioning in Bucharest, Romania, 2011, during a rehearsal of a Gypsy beauty and traditional dance contest
© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
The World Muslimah is an annual international beauty pageant for young Muslim women who are judged to have shown dedication, reputation and concern for Islamic values. Photo: Participants of the World Muslimah 2013 in Subang, Indonesia
© EPA/MAST IRHAM
Child beauty pageants are beauty contests featuring contestants under 16 years of age. Photo: Participants of 'Little Miss Hungary' beauty contest in Budapest, 2010
© AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky
In 2013, France became the first western country to ban child pageants, on the grounds that they promote the "hyper-sexualisation" of minors. Photo: The Mini Miss model beauty contest in Paris
© AP Photo/Thibault Camus
The Jumbo Queen Contest is organised to search for well-rounded ladies (weight 80 kilos up) with outstanding interpersonal skills to lead the annual Jumbo Banquet and promote elephant conservation in Thailand. Photo: Finalists of 'Jumbo Queen' Beauty Pageant, 2003
© EPA/VINAI DITHAJOHN

It’s hard to tell exactly when beauty contests began. But the world's first modern beauty pageant is thought to have taken place on September 19, 1888 at the Belgian resort of Spa. Each year, Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Earth attract a lot of attention to its beautiful contestants from various countries. Below is a selection of pictures from not so common beauty pageants. 

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