We've changed the rules a bit

Since its inception, the Miss Universe pageant has been won by Sweden's representative three times, a record topped only by Miss Venezuela, Miss USA , and Miss Puerto Rico. With such a history, you might think that Sweden has the whole beauty contest thing down pat – with scads of eager young hopefuls lining up each year to take part. No longer. Now, due to pressure from women's rights groups, if a single female wants to enter, she must approach the experience as if she were a candidate for a senior management position. How so? Well, for starters, an opening for Miss Sweden has been posted with the national Employment Service, with this description: "Your primary work task will be to communicate a positive picture of modern Sweden, but you'll also be required to clearly and consequently work to promote the core values" that she is supposed to represent. No employment history is required, although the salary will be based on "qualifications." And while the rights crusaders also have persuaded pageant organizers to cut the swimsuit competition , it's still assumed that applicants will – ahem – be attractive and shapely. In fact, as a pageant spokesman put it: "If [a contestant] wants the job, she has to fight for it. Otherwise, she can stay home and be pretty."

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