Miss Universe

This year's Miss Universe pageant is missing one of its most noted contestants: Miss Sweden, a statuesque blonde whose country is one of the few to win the crown three times. The Swedes say the competition is degrading to women and weighed down by scandals.

Participants in the pageant also are breaking the mold.

Miss Jamaica, 25-year-old Zahra Redwood, is the contest's first Rastafarian and the first to appear in dreadlocks. She wants judges to see her as a "Rastafarian promoting the message of peace, love and unity throughout mankind."

Miss Tanzania, Flaviana Matata, an electrical technician whose country is participating for the first time, is also challenging stereotypes of beauty with her shaved head. "I never let anyone define me neither by hair nor clothing as I believe God made me perfect as a pure, natural African woman," she said.

... And of course, I have to show you Miss St.Lucia

LIVE from Mexico City, Monday May 28th 2007 9PM ET on NBC.

No comments