We share some of the most popular answers given by beauty queens at world pageants over the years:
On the essence of being a woman: Sushmita Sen (India), Miss Universe 1994
Question: "What is the essence of being a woman?"
Answer: "Just being a woman is God's gift that all of us must appreciate. The origin of a child is a mother, and is a woman. She shows a man what sharing, caring and loving is all about, that is the essence of a woman."
It was after a good five-second pause that Sushmita delivered a well thought out answer at the Miss Universe 1994 in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Mesmerising as she looked on stage, she floored all with her sensible and sensitive take on the true meaning of being a 'woman'. She brought the crown home, quite deservedly so.
Welcoming a man from the moon: Gloria Diaz (Philippines), Miss Universe 1969
Question: "In the next day or so, a man will land on the moon. If a man from the moon landed in your hometown, what would you do to entertain him?"
Answer: (Giggles) "Oh, just the same things I do. I think if he has been on the moon for so long, I think when he comes over he wants to change, I guess." (Giggles again)
Gloria Diaz of Philippines answered the question with humour and earned points from the panel of judges. She did not try to be outrageously creative with her answer but analysed the scenario in a realistic way and concluded that the man with a suit on from the moon would feel the need to change first.
Quite interestingly, it was the same year that Neil Armstrong became the first man to land on the moon just a day after the Miss Universe 1969 pageant.
A pregnant Miss Universe? Mpule Kwelagobe (Botswana), Miss Universe 1999
Question: "If Miss Universe would become pregnant during her reign, could she be allowed to continue as Miss Universe?"
Answer: "Personally, I think Miss Universe is a symbol of a woman in prone to celibacy her femininity. And I believe that...Thank you (applause)... And I believe that if she got pregnant, you are not supposed to end the title. But, as a woman she should celebrate her femininity. Thank you."
Mpule Kwelagobe of Botswana was brave enough to articulate her beliefs without any hint of diplomacy. For Mpule, the joy of being a mother is a cause for celebration and Miss Universe is a title symbolizing all shades of womanhood. Crowned Miss Universe in May 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago, Mpule has been honoured as a human health rights activist for her fight against HIV/AIDS, advocacy for women and youth to have access to sexual reproductive education and other services.
What makes you blush? Oxana Fedorova (Russia), Miss Universe 2002
Question: "What makes you blush?"
Answer: "When I say the wrong things."
Short, crisp and honest. Oxana's answer was quirky and many could relate to it at the same time. She proved how simplicity and honesty should be our priority in life.
Inner beauty is all that matters: Leila Lopes (Angola), Miss Universe 2011
Question: "If you could change one of your physical characteristics, which one would it be and why?"
Answer: (After a short pause) "Thank God! I am very well satisfied with the way God created me, and I wouldn't change a thing. I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family, and I plan to follow these through the rest of my life. And now I would like to give all of you a piece of advice: Respect one another."
Leila Lopes in her answer expressed humility and thanked the almighty to have blessed her with a life she has no complaints about. This show of gratitude won her praise and the title too.
No regrets: Olivia Culpo (USA), Miss Universe 2012
Question: What is that something you've done, that you will never do again?
Answer: First I'd like to start off by saying that every experience, no matter what it is, good or bad, you'll learn from it. That's just life, but something I've done that I've probably regretted would be picking on my siblings' growing up because you appreciate them so much more when you're older, you get closer with your family. Everybody fights with their siblings, right?! But I don't regret it.
Compassionate and childlike, Olivia Culpo's answer only confirmed her love for her family and dear ones. Her earthiness did the trick and she became the next Miss Universe.
Childhood lesson: Riyo Mori (Japan), Miss Universe 2007
Question: What is the one lesson you learned as a child that still affects your life today?
Answer: "I have been dancing since I was a child. I grew up among many students and teachers. I learned to always be happy, patient and positive. That is also what I want to teach to the next generation. Thank you."
Optimistic in approach, Riyo Mori shared her childhood experience as a lesson that prepared her for life. A winning answer there!