World’s First ‘Miss AI’ Pageant Announced: Revolutionary Or Regressive?

“‘Miss AI’ is the world’s first beauty pageant for AI-generated models,” announced Fanvue, a subscription-based social media platform. The pageant would judge models on beauty and their creators on their technical skills.

Shreya Mariam Vimal
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Aitana Lopez Image: Instagram

Aitana Lopez (ft_aitana) Image source: Instagram

A new beauty pageant with a cash prize of $5000 was announced on April 14. The catch? It is a beauty pageant for AI models and influencers. World AI Creator's Awards, in partnership with the subscription platform Fanvue, will host the pageant in which any AI influencer can participate for the title of 'Miss AI'. The models would be ranked on their appearance, social media presence, and engagement. In addition, the technical prowess behind the creation of the model would also be rewarded, with points going in for the effectiveness of prompts and the amount of detailing that went into the model. The models would also be asked questions which they must answer, similar to a real pageant. 


The judges for the pageant include AI models Aitana Lopez and Emily Pelligrini, both having a combined Instagram following of  429k. In addition, the contestants would also be judged by Sally Ann-Fawcett, a historian and author of the book 'Misdemeanors: Beauty Queen Scandals' and Andrew Bloch, an entrepreneur and PR advisor. Ann-Fawcett was thrilled to be selected as a judge for the contest stating how 'futuristic' the pageant was. "'s quite incredible what's possible," she said in a statement. 

But how problematic is the idea of AI beauty pageants? 

The ethics of AI pageants

From the get-go, the pageant was criticised for its focus on traditional beauty standards. The models featured on the homepage of WAICA, as well as the AI judges, are women with the 'perfect' body - they have lean and toned bodies with curves at all the right places. When it might take a real woman years in training and millions in surgery, not to mention natural good looks, to achieve that level of 'beauty', AI tools only need to be fed the right prompts to create a model that can be all that in seconds.


A WAICA spokesperson, in an interview for Forbes, responded to this criticism of glorifying unhealthy beauty standards. "This isn't about beauty in the stereotypical sense. It's about championing artistic creative talent and the beauty of creators' work." While it is true that the pageant does take into consideration the effort that went into the creation of the models, it still doesn't change the blatant sexism that the pageant upholds. 

AI models and the male gaze

Most of these models also often provide adult content for their viewers. The judges, Aitana Lopez and Emily Pelligrini, are active on Fanvue, the pageant's partner, as well as an OnlyFans alternative for creators providing premium adult content. While OnlyFans has hazy policies against AI models, Fanvue actively encourages AI creators and enables them to earn significant income through their platform. The fans of AI models are often men, so they are generated in ways that appeal to the male gaze and entice them to purchase premium services. While the adult entertainment industry is inherently sexist in its treatment of women, bringing in AI models would normalise the mistreatment of women in an industry notorious for it.


Porn, in the traditional sense, could have legal repercussions if it crosses boundaries and harms the people involved in it. However, given that AI models can be programmed to do what the creator wants without any concern for harm, the model opens up the possibility of abusive or degrading content being put out just for the sake of it. It creates unhealthy fixations on women's bodies and unrealistic expectations of women's sexualities. 

AI models often enter into brand deals with companies such as Brandy Melville and Victoria's Secret, who often find it easier to work with an AI model rather than a human one. Some companies pay upwards of $1000 per post for models, solidifying the position of AI models as legitimate entities in social media platforms. While AI creators remain steadfast in their opinion that AI models will never replace human models, it is still a fact that AI models do warp our ideas of what is beautiful and attainable. If we see enough women looking flawless all the time, wouldn't it start to affect our own ideas of beauty? 

Views expressed by the author are their own

Aitana Lopez AI models Emily Pelligrini pageants