10 Most Bizarre Beauty Pageants

1Miss Landmine

The millions of landmines planted in Angola during the bloody civil war inspired a competition for injured women. Created by Norwegian artist Morten Traavik, Miss Landmine celebrates pride and empowerment over physical perfection. In this beauty contest 10 women competed for the title of most beautiful mutilated Angolan woman. The first prize? A leg prosthesis.

2Miss Pregnant

Just because your belly is expanding doesn’t mean you can’t enter a beauty contest. No more hiding behind tent-like dresses for pregnant women of the twenty-first century, Ms. Pregnant celebrates beauty with a bump. And yes, they parade in bikinis!

3Miss Klingon Empire

The Miss Klingon Empire Beauty Pageant, held every year at the Star Trek Convention at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, aims to discover beauties who are out of this world.The pageant’s definition of beauty might seem weird to most of us – these ladies get glammed up to assume the persona of any female Klingon character, official or created, from “Star Trek.” The pageant features the most beautiful women the Klingon Empire has to offer, to be judged in Beauty, Talent and Personality categories.

4Miss Artificial Beauty

After a Chinese girl was banned from a beauty competition for having some surgery work done, a group of people decide to create a very unusual contest in 2004, with one requirement only: they must have a plastic surgery.The contestants competed for the title of Miss Artificial Beauty, with finalists ranging in age from 18 to 62. All competitors –including one transsexual– had to provide a doctor’s certificate to prove they’d been under the knife. It was a one-time-only event.

5Miss Navajo Nation

Obviously, the contestants of Miss Navajo Nation are members of the Native American Navajo Nation, but the interesting part is the Tribal Skills area, where the contestants demonstrate their skill in essential tribal skills such as butchering sheep.The contestants must butcher a sheep and are judged on their neatness and efficiency. They do it wearing pageant-wear (dresses or tribal garb), with butcher’s smocks over the top.

6Miss Jumbo Queen

Thailand hosts the Miss Jumbo Queen pageant for big beautiful women. This wobbly annual event is staged at the Samphran Elephant Ground near Bangkok, as part of the Jumbo Banquet elephant feast. The contest is held to select the contestant who best exhibits the characteristics of an elephant by virtue of her grace, elegance and size, and the winner will lead a jumbo banquet and help promote elephant conservation causes in Thailand.

7Ms Senior Sweetheart

Ms Senior Sweetheart is a national pageant for lovely ladies over age 58 and is held every year in Fall River, Massachusetts. Intended to show the public that senior ladies still have lots of pep in their step, contestants compete in talent, interviews, and an evening gown presentation. The pageant was started in 1978 as a Lions’ Club fund raiser and has been a national competition ever since.

8Miss Russian Army

What could the Russian Army do to get good publicity and to recruit more man?The Russian Defense Ministry decided to throw a beauty contest. So in June 2005, nineteen female soldiers and sailors participated in the competition (entitled Beauties in Shoulder Straps), which was broadcast on live television. The event included the soldiers walking down the catwalk in uniform and singing songs while accompanied by guitarists (a memorable lyric included the phrases, “Since we’re soldiers, our first concern is automatic weapons; boys come second”). Other events, shown on film, saw the contestants competing in drills, crawling in combat uniform, entering tanks, and running with automatic weapons. The jury ultimately gave the title to Lieutenant Ksenya Agarkova, an engineer with Russia’s Northern Fleet. Unfortunately, Bikinis were not allowed.

9Miss Exotic World

The Miss Exotic World Pageant is an annual burlesque pageant and convention held in Las Vegas, and is the annual showcase event (and fundraiser for) the Burlesque Hall of Fame. The pageant attracts former burlesque queens from past decades, as well as current participants of the neo-burlesque scene. The pageant consists of burlesque performances spanning a weekend, culminating with the competition to crown a single performer as Miss Exotic World. Because of the significance of the Exotic World Burlesque Museum to the burlesque community, winning the pageant is considered a top honor for a burlesque performer.

10Miss and Mister Beautiful Bottom

The Most Beautiful Bottom in the World contest was launched in 2007 by the underwear manufacturer Sloggi. Open to both men and women, the winner for each category gets a modeling contract.