Miss Universe: National Costume Contest

The best thing in the entire world has happened: the annual Miss Universe National Costume Contest. Every country took a different approach; most of them failed miserably, providing endless joy for yours truly!

A photo essay is below, though in case you’re thinking, “Is this a little tasteless for my browsing pleasure?”, please know that this is the outfit that WON.

If you looked at that picture and thought, “That’s just what I wore to my prom!”, you will LOVE this competition.

This is in no way safe for dial-up, or for your sense of a just and rational universe.

Weirdly, the Muppet thing is one of the least hysterical ones.

So, some countries are lucky enough to have a unique and recognizable national costume that resembles something vaguely like the implied demands of the contest.





Spain, looking like Lisa Marie in Mars Attacks!


Cyprus, who must have been watching people get dressed backstage and REJOICING that she gets to wear something that looks vaguely red-carpet and certainly is identifiable as a piece of clothing.

This is an important consideration, since some people were sent out on the runway, inexplicably, in foliage:



It’s all very Project Runway Season 2, no?

Though, I suppose if your flora is what you want to present about your country, it’s better than deciding to highlight some other aspect of your country that was never, EVER meant to be rendered in clothing.

Oh, the Netherlands. I’m so sorry.

New Zealand’s sea life!

Russia….birthplace of the marching band?

Some were outlandish and vague, but still clothing, which is a step up.


I do love this, mostly because it’s such a great color and shape, and she’s so awesome.


Switzerland, not wearing the costume I expected!

…because Sweden stole it.

These made me laugh out loud, for one reason or another. Oh my god, they’re amazing.

Iceland was like, “You know what the national costume of Iceland is? DIGNITY. Also, schoolgirl tartan.” (We’ll ignore the hat. Even with the hat, she looked like the chaperone.)

Nothing says “Finland” like a kicky dress and sunhat, for those long Finnish summers! (My guess is that this is a nod to Marimekko textiles? But still, you guys.)

Canada did not EVEN TRY.


Um…Japan? Honey?

Slovenia’s got a fungus!

Ireland forgot about this assignment until the night before.

Venezuela, home of My Fair Lady, apparently!

USA, reflecting the most popular sport in the country and filling me with despair. Thanks for that!

Hey, you know who was really pissed that Panama won with that Muppet getup?

Peru. Just saying.

And my favorite of the night:

China. I think this is an interpretation of armor, but it’s an AWESOME coat no matter what. GET IT, GIRL. FIERCE.

Obviously I couldn’t get to everyone: visit The Global Miss Contest for every hilarious costume.

Recent Work

My award-eligible work in 2014

2014 Recommended Reading List includes:
The Girls at the Kingfisher Club (novel)
Dream Houses (novella)
"The Insects of Love" (novelette)
"Aberration" in short story.

Sleepy Hollow Season 2 recaps: "Spellcaster"

TV recaps: Babylon, "Hackney Wick"

Genevieve on Tumblr

  • photo from Tumblr


    History’s first forensic murder investigation, China, 1235 AD

    In 1247 AD during the Song Dynasty of China, a book called Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified also known as The Washing Away of Wrongs was first published by Song Ci, a Chinese coroner and detective.  Essentially the book was a guide for early coroners, detailing how to determine cause of death based on forensic science.  Divided into 53 chapters and five volumes, the work details the case studies and personal observations of Song Ci. Incredibly advanced for its time, the book covers topics such as anatomy, the decay of corpses, details the wounds made by different weapons, appearance of corpses from various causes of death, and postmortem examination methods.

    Among the case studies of The Washing Away of Wrongs is an anecdote now considered to be the first case of forensic entomology in history.  In 1235 AD a man was found stabbed, slashed, and hacked to death in a small village. The local magistrate inspected the victims wounds, then tested various types of blades on animal corpses, which allowed him to determine that the weapon used was a common farming sickle.   According to Song Ci, a brilliant plan was created by the magistrate to determine who was the murderer,

    The local magistrate began the investigation by calling all the local peasants who could be suspects into the village square. Each was to carry their hand sickles to the town square with them. Once assembled, the magistrate ordered the ten-or-so suspects to place their hand sickles on the ground in front of them and then step back a few yards. The afternoon sun was warm and as the villagers, suspects, and magistrates waited, bright shiny metallic green flies began to buzz around them in the village square. The shiny metallic colored flies then began to focus in on one of the hand sickles lying on the ground. Within just a few minutes many had landed on the hand sickle and were crawling over it with interest. None of the other hand sickles had attracted any of these pretty flies. The owner of the tool became very nervous, and it was only a few more moments before all those in the village knew who the murderer was. With head hung in shame and pleading for mercy, the magistrate led the murderer away. The witnesses of the murder were the brightly metallic colored flies known as the blow flies which had been attracted to the remaining bits of soft tissue, blood, bone and hair which had stuck to the hand sickle after the murder was committed. The knowledge of the village magistrate as to a specific insect group’s behavior regarding their attraction to dead human tissue was the key to solving this violent act and justice was served in China.

    Today The Washing Away of Wrongs has been translated into several different languages, with modern forensic scientists adding their own anecdotes and studies.  It has been esteemed by generations of public service officials and is often required reading in criminology today.


2015 Appearances

Often updated. Please check back!

March: ICFA (Orlando, FL)