Photos: Miss Universe 2012’s Most Bizarre National Costumes

On Dec. 19, women from around the world competed at the 61st annual Miss Universe pageant. Here's a look at the contestants' wacky—and occasionally tacky—national ensembles

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98 comments
EufemioAgbayaniIII
EufemioAgbayaniIII

I enjoyed the article. I thought it was a humor blog. I never really expected the writer to consider the cultural backgrounds of those costumes.

And yes, although it's 2013, Ms. Philippines should've won.

jkantor
jkantor

She must do tax preparation in her spare time.

RajelLeaShohat
RajelLeaShohat

Mr William Lee Adams, perhaps before writing a review, you should do some research as to why the dress looks that way. If you wish to enlighten yourself, investigate what is a menorah, and then try to understand the costume. This will avoid exposing your cultural ignorance in the media next time. 

jaya
jaya

Hey William Lee Adams - Why not just say that you do not get cultural differences, and that you have limited exposure to a majority of cultures? Then just pass this assignment to someone else who is qualified to write this article?  

DjRulexS.P.Samuel
DjRulexS.P.Samuel

Look Kid!!!! All that S!!! she is wearing... is from bolivia and its call MORENADA.. peruvians are not related to the costumes from bolivia... So or Google it or read a book... And after all that, then you can type an article ok...

Catherine
Catherine

Ok people dont worry and dont blame the author, he´s just so lame that
forgot to say that Miss USA looked like chinese fireworks representing
that China is overtaking US supremacy, the flame in her hand is the
olympic flame and the book she´s carrying is a TIME magazine because
she´s a frequent reader....and oh yeah, she´s wearing a crown! that´s
because D. Trump told her two days before she would be the winner ;)

Thetruthteller
Thetruthteller

You all sound like a bunch of big, whining crybabies, hypersensitive about your precious customs and "culture". The writer was merely trying to inject a measure of levity in an event that certainly merited it, given the ridiculous and credulity-straining nature of most of the costumes. Be that as it may, if your countries cannot come up with anything better than these mediocre and laugh-inducing ensembles, it must be because the countries themselves are like that. Do get over yourselves already, please. Oh, and kudos to Miss USA and Miss Puerto Rico, the only two contestants with costumes worth watching, anyway. Cheers.

juelle
juelle

1st off the "check" pattern you're referring to is our traditional cloth named MADRAS which is worn during national day activities, so your ignorance is quite evident, the bananas which she used on her head is much a part of our history as we are on the nations which supplies the bananas YOU eat! Her costume as well is a creative twist on the mamicou gardens which is also a butterfly reservation! 

JazzApple
JazzApple

yeah this author was obviously biased, however, I have to say he was spot on about Miss Denmark.  I mean, compared to the other contestants' costumes, it looks like she found hers on the after halloween clearance rack.

gelica1
gelica1

Best costumes of those listed here: 1. Peru  2. China  3. Mexico.

To the author, don't think the readers didn't notice the only costume you discussed without insulting was USA's. That costume was laughable too. Integrity?

SalRosas
SalRosas

Wow. There is no pleasing this rude little jerk. He complains that the outfits are too skimpy. He complains that the women wearing them are too covered up. He ridicules their expressions of their culture. Hey newsflash, if you want to say something against stereotypes, then say something about the stereotypes of beauty pageants being meat markets for women? You want to use the power you wield as a writer for Time responsibly, then write a piece that the what the contestants wear leave little to the imagination? You know I don't have a daughter, but if I did, and I would read or hear comments like this, you'd be in trouble. Man, I hope you get fired.

JansonF
JansonF

WTF this is TIME magazine? This is the quality of the writers? Bias and Racist and completely oblivious of different culture. Cant even spell correctly. You should probably fire the writer. Horrible!

lax2sea4
lax2sea4

the worst article ever.  the author is racist disgusting pig.  disrespectful of all other countries except USA.  

morrisc18
morrisc18

Wow this writer is offensive and racist. Be careful with a name like William Lee Adams he is definitely from some Western country. I would advise him to watched his comments on the African nations, because those snide remarks that he makes about specific details might actually be insulting a major tradition of an indigenous culture and could be racist. Plus he is not being clever. He is being a bully. Hey William if you want to know how to combine fashion and humor ask Joan Rivers; otherwise, don't bother and leave it to the pros!

wammo
wammo

dude, it's calf muscles.  Calve muscles would presumably be the vaginal muscles used by bovines to calve-- that is, to give birth to a baby bovines-- or calves.  Also, you are amazingly culturally ignorant, and your humor is juvenile, uninformed and unfunny. 

ShaniceAugustine
ShaniceAugustine

Well I realise i'm not the only one upset by this article, no respect at all and it is so bias that USA was not disrespected at all. You are just uneducated and ignorant.


pamar@comcast.net
pamar@comcast.net

rude, sexist, pathetic, drivil mongering crap.  after reading this submission I feel like a good vomit would be a step up.

cpc65
cpc65

A couple of those outfits almost gave me a seizure. 

cocobrownies
cocobrownies

such shallow..ignorant..arrogant article..no respect to other cultures..so sad

happybaby
happybaby

How sad that your Harvard education and mixed background has taught you nothing but how to be an arrogant bigot, and a sexist critic. But maybe your only intent was to get noticed with this drivel , hooray for you. How sad for the Time that it employs such a talentless "journalist" happy to criticize without doing any research into the cultures of the nations and women you disparaged in this so called article, and who shows blatant favoritism for your own home country and its biggest trade ecomony. Maybe you're better suited to ETVs Fashion Police than Time.

KitoMP
KitoMP

Oh yeah. I forgot: YOU'RE AN IGNORANT XENOPHOBIC!!

KitoMP
KitoMP

This article sucks man. Your disrespect for other countries may be your sin. I hope you get fired soon. And get sick seriously, you b*tch.

Rodrigo
Rodrigo

I forgot to say that Ñ is a representative symbol of the spanish language, spanish speaking countries and hispanism in general around the world but is widely used in Spain mainly.

Rodrigo
Rodrigo

About Spain and spanish: is not the tilda is the Ñ itself, a letter that is only found in spanish language. In portuguese is nh, in catala is ny, in italian is gn and in vietnamese i dont know how do you write that sound. The worth of it is that spanish is the only language (using latin alphabet) that made one single letter out of two letters to write that sound (in english it even doesnt exist). Sorry for my english is not my native.

MorganL.Ei
MorganL.Ei

wtf they talk trash about everyone, but the USA. Just enjoy the costumes you don't have to be such a stuck up bitch about  it. I'm from the USA and I was offended >.> These clothes are obviously something you just don't go out and wear everyday, it's a costume... I'm annoyed that I can't go on the internet to find pictures of the National costumes without seeing these women get insulted. Yes, it's the internet, but still.

GailInvictusFigaro
GailInvictusFigaro

My country (Trinidad) is filled with talented, creative and beautiful people. We have Nobel Laureates, activists, and in the context of this article, some of the most artistic and expressive people. How DARE you compare our costume to a Victoria Secret knock-off??? Have you, Mr. William Lee Adams, ever attended our Carnival? Do you know the genesis of a creation like this? Our country is cosmopolitan, we celebrate the various colours of life, of people and of our spirits... the costume was an interpretation and reflection of all of this. If you did not see that, its okay but your derogatory and ignorant remarks are not... utterly disgusting...

nandiayo
nandiayo

I'm actually stunned by the level of ignorance that this article portrays. The author's time would have been better served doing a bit of research on each country he thought of including in the said piece. What a waste of a perfectly good Harvard education

sherwin
sherwin

not one good review on this article william lee, you should be fired for disrespecting other nations national pride.

CBaptiste
CBaptiste

The author of this article clearly did not take his/her time to research the various cultures of the contestants at all (except Miss USA, naturally). 'Miss St. Lucia carries a parasol, which happens to match the check pattern on her billowing train.' Are you freaking kidding me? A check pattern? Is that what MADRAS has been reduced to? Wow, just wow. As a West Indian, I am very offended by the tone of this entire article. Tara's costume was designed to showcase the beautiful Mamicou Gardens of Saint Lucia for your information. Did the author also say Miss Trinidad and Tobago's costume was reminiscent of a Victoria's Secret costume? Really? My dear author, you and your entire article are a joke. How is it other people's interpretations of their culture is termed as bizarre yet Miss USA's is seen as "ethereal" and "iconic"? Statue of Liberty? How original (and French).

Anusjka
Anusjka

I think that Victoria's  Secret has taken a lot from Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival costume designers. NOT the other way around.

ElenaTeresaVilchesMuñoz
ElenaTeresaVilchesMuñoz

It's amazing how you say some very disrespectful comments about other cultures but not USA. 

prodegi
prodegi

Your use of the word bizarre exposes your insensitivity towards these cultures.

JocelynM
JocelynM

Bodine's dress is gorgeous, just like USA's one. Venezuela's one was um...interesting, I guess?

jaya
jaya

and further more, based on your inability to assess art and culture that is "different" from what you are used to in the deep south, as well as your writing style, I feel obligated to tell you that you got the job at Time so that they could check the multi-cultural box that you come with.  Lack of ability is way too glaring.  

Bettyloo
Bettyloo

Peruvians are not related to the costumes from Bolivia???? Bolivia was part of Tahuantinsuyo! that means part of Peru!!.. the sames costumes of Puno and La Paz!!!.. go to study!

Catherine
Catherine

@Thetruthteller   I didnt want to reply because the comment doesnt deserve it, but I just
want you to get something clear, if you READ what some of these whining
crybabies here are claiming you´ll realize that is not a matter of a
country that couldnt came up with anything better but a writer that
IGNORES a lot of cultural/historical facts and a lot of relevant items
that represent their country´s culture as important to them as it is the
very frenchy statue of liberty for us. From the madras that he simply called check pattern, to the ñ that he wrongly called tilda, the guy never hit the target!. 

What about if someone would have said that Miss USA looked like chinese fireworks?  huh? wouldnt you be offended? or at least wouldnt you write a comment explaining that is not chinese fireworks but the statue of liberty? go do some web research about Miss USA and Miss PR costumes, maybe you´ll become a whining cry baby too....or maybe not, who knows?....

Thetruthteller
Thetruthteller

@SalRosas Uy, que miedo, guey! Tomate una pastillita de Ubicatex, hazme el favor, ok? Cuates siempre!

lax2sea4
lax2sea4

I apologize to "pig" the animal, I didn't mean to put you in the same category as this a-hole author. I can't believe his allowed to write for Time magazine.  Should be banned from writing.  

Rodrigo
Rodrigo

@mariaisabelcartagenafaytong Hola. bueno, en realidad es VIRGULILLA como se le llama a la rayita de arriba de la eñe (que es a lo que el autor se refiere como TILDA).La virgulilla es un tipo de tilde y existe en otros idiomas asi que el autor tendria razon, pero no la tiene por el simple hecho de que lo que llevaba la peineta de Andrea no era una virgulilla suelta sino una Ñ propiamente dicho. La Ñ si que solo existe en el idioma español y el merito radica en que es el unico idioma que ha resumido en una sola letra un sonido que en los demas idiomas o no existe (como en el ingles) o se escribe con dos letras, en portugues es NH, en Italiano es GN, en catalan es NY pero en español es solo Ñ. Un saludo

Thetruthteller
Thetruthteller

But, Catherine cherie, why won't you let me point out the obvious: that most of these "costumes" look like they were assembled in a cave, by marooned and embittered circus clowns, with flotsam that the sea washed up? One thing is cultural chic and quite another to look like a court jester from Narnia or something. Come on, you've been so nice and sweet about this...can't I call out these posters on their self-righteous bleating about "culture and national sensibilities"? Pretty please..? 


BadKitteh
BadKitteh

@Thetruthteller And Miss USA's isn't? LOL. Hers is just as bad as the rest. She looks like Miley Cyrus got hit by My Little Pony rainbows.

Catherine
Catherine

@Thetruthteller  One thing is the costume (is not supposed to be a haute couture masterpiece), another thing is the lack of general knowledge or what I call ignorance (sometimes, you have to do some research before stating cultural-historical facts).