VoyForums
[ Show ]
Support VoyForums
[ Shrink ]
VoyForums Announcement: Programming and providing support for this service has been a labor of love since 1997. We are one of the few services online who values our users' privacy, and have never sold your information. We have even fought hard to defend your privacy in legal cases; however, we've done it with almost no financial support -- paying out of pocket to continue providing the service. Due to the issues imposed on us by advertisers, we also stopped hosting most ads on the forums many years ago. We hope you appreciate our efforts.

Show your support by donating any amount. (Note: We are still technically a for-profit company, so your contribution is not tax-deductible.) PayPal Acct: Feedback:

Donate to VoyForums (PayPal):

Tuesday, May 21, 2:31:29Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 1234[5]67 ]


Pageant News & Views II

Pageant News & Views II


News & Views 's Horoscopes

Select your sign?


http://www.voy.com/170868/


Subject: Enhanced Photos; Comp Cards


Author:
GBGrafix & Web Design
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/16/05 9:52:36am

Professional graphic artist. Haven't won anything with pageant photos yet -- clients just getting ready to compete. Examples posted at:
http://www.angelfire.com/art2/gbgrafix/gbgrafixenhanced.html

Very reasonable rates!
If interested, please contact me. Info on site.
Thank you.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Andalusia native beats out 49 contestants for Miss Alabama title


Author:
APRIL JO LOVE
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/13/05 10:21:19pm

Published June 13. 2005 2:18PM

Just 12 hours after being named Miss Alabama, Alexa Jones dug into a small wooden box searching for bobby pins. After retrieving them, she placed the sparkling crown on her head and tilted forward.

"You can dig them into my head," she told the pageant director assisting her. "Years of bobby pins from buns, I'm tough."

The Andalusia native, who competed as Miss Mobile, beat out 49 other contestants for the title Saturday, taking home more than $13,000 in scholarship money. She'll represent the state at the Miss America pageant this fall.

Finalists named Saturday were Kelly Hawkins of Birmingham, first runner-up; Julia McNeese of Montgomery, second runner-up; Jessica Headley of Hoover, third runner-up; and Amy Philips-Redclift of Birmingham, fourth runner-up.

Jones, 24, was third runner-up in last year's pageant, but clinched the title on her sixth and final chance for the crown.

"I've seen it all at this point," she said with a laugh.

Jones didn't grow up competing in pageants. She won her first competition as Covington County's Junior Miss in 1999 and went on to win a $40,000 scholarship to Birmingham-Southern College at the state program.

Sitting in her suite at the Tutwiler Hotel Sunday morning, Jones appeared wide awake and eager to begin promoting her platform, the Renaissance Foundation of Alabama. Jones founded the nonprofit organization to enhance art education in schools in 1999.

Jones said the Miss Alabama title will allow her to continue expanding the program, which provides hands-on art experiences for students and makes financial contributions to art education.

A lover of oil painting, she often goes into classrooms to share her techniques and creative abilities with children.

Jones, a graduate student in English at UAB, is waiting on acceptance into the art history master's program, but said she will defer admission until after her year as Miss Alabama if accepted.

In addition to being the overall winner, Jones also won a swimsuit preliminary competition.

For her talent, Jones performed a lively ballet dance. Jones used the same routine and costume in last year's competition.

Jones said she began dancing 20 years ago when her grandfather encouraged her parents to sign her up for lessons.

Her parents used her dance classes as an incentive to teach Jones time management, she said.

If her room wasn't clean or her homework wasn't complete, she couldn't go to class.

A petite blonde with lots of energy, Jones said dancing has given her an outlet for her enthusiasm.

"I'm 24 years old, and I am not a professional dancer," Jones said. "But I get the opportunity to dance and to perform, which is something I love, because of Miss Alabama."

Jones said she's excited about the year's opportunities and giving back to the community.

"I'm definitely a product of what this system can really create," Jones said. "It's about being a public servant and making a difference."

On the Net:

Miss Alabama pageant information:

---

Information from: The Birmingham News

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Judging - Straight from the horses mouth


Author:
Fan
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/10/05 1:12:13pm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Do you think that local ed's ever try to influence judges to select the girl they want?
As A Judge posted 2/16/05 8:33 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
for 15 years-NO-I judge average of 2-4 locals a year and not once has any ED or committee member ever tryed to inflence any pageant I have judges. I am sure they have favorites, but not once has this every happened at any local I have judged.
just an honest question posted 2/16/05 8:53 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
do you feel when you are judging that you 'look' for the contestants from the previous year state and don't take seriuos new contestants or ones you've never heard of? I ask because I continually hear girls complain from time to time about fluff interviews. if all were treated equal they'd be the same for all contestants at any given prelim. for instance, if one was given fluff all would be, if one was tuff and political all would be, etc.
A Judges' Perspective posted 2/16/05 11:59 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't think as a judge, you go into the interview "planning" to judge a previous competitor positively. In fact, sometimes it works to the disadvantage of the more seasoned contestants because there is a greater expectation of them. But also to think that judges within the MAO/MFO systems don't have a preconception of contestants that they have seen repeatedly in locals or at state is false. I have seen in my own experience that girls that have a few pageants under their belts (whether they won or not) tend to do better. Experience does make a difference. That's why I think girls who don't win the first or second try should keep on going. Age makes a difference in the quality of some competitors too. I have noticed that MOST of the national contestants are 23 or 24. There's just no substitute for experience. I think it's neat to see a new contestant come in a knock everyone over, but it doesn't happen often. And in some ways it's a disadvantage to the girl who does. Through the successes and failures combined we get the most outstanding contestants.
I think posted 2/17/05 1:31 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
that we sometimes send a repeat down hoping she'll get better while overlooking new girls (no matter their age)and expect them to keep coming back prelim after prelim year after year. So they jump ship to USA or quit all together. I have never seen a judge be harder on girls that have been to state. We've seen them do good and if they don't we allow them to have a bad night and still send them on. Thus confusing our new contestants.
me posted 2/17/05 2:21 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am glad to hear that e.d.'s don't try to influence judges. I have heard in some previous pageants that the e.d.'s have told the judges the "type" of girl they are looking for, but I guess that's not the same as actually saying which girl they want to win.
Let's be honest posted 2/17/05 12:02 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You can not give the exact same interview to every contestant. It becomes obviously apparently early on that some can take a tough interview and some can not. You tailor your questions to the contestant. It would be cruel to continue with heavy hitting political analysis questions of a contestant who obviously can not answer them. That's when you go to "Plan B" and ask their favorite color. Oh, and only once was anything ever said by a Director to me while judging and it was not in Florida but in GA. She said while pointing sheepishly to the photo in the judges' book, "We would never want a girl like this one representing our area." To which I replied, "Well, then you had better pray she doesn't earn the most points. You should have thought about that before accepting her application." Never in Florida though, thank goodness. And only once in 20 years. That's pretty indicative of integrity.
State Pageant posted 2/17/05 1:28 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is my 4th year on the Judge's List and I have enjoyed my experience as a Judge tremendously. I also come to this board ocassionally to see who has won or placed. I don't enjoy the garbage people put on here about the girls. I think each girl that competes is unique in her own way and it takes courage to step on that stage and compete. I have NEVER heard an ED tell anyone who they want to win. It is strictly up to the 5 people Judging. I will continue to be a part of this system as I truly believe in it and my daughter competed, never placed in top 10, but went on to finish her undergrad and get her Masters Degree and graduate with no student loans thanks to Miss Florida. Kudos to all the great volunteers and girls if you read anything negative on this board, please ignore it. Stupidity is the worm in the apple of life.
sorry posted 2/17/05 1:47 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
that doesn't fly. i've judged girls in more then one prelim and i have seen them taken serious one time and not another. one particular girl comes to mind in which i know she was an honor graduate and the first judge started with the fluff. at that point the contestant said, i'm hear to talk about what is very important to me, i mean no disrespect but could we go to questions of depth
Interviews posted 2/17/05 4:31 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My experience is that when I judge I start off treating all the contestants equal in interview-if I find that a contestant can not handle questions regarding their platform, current events, etc, I switch to fluff. Never would I want to make a contestant feel uncomfortable. This of course would scare away some of our new contestants and that is not what we want to do on a local level, ever!!!! Now I have judged some return contestants who totally amazed me in their inability to answer one question on their platform, current events, etc. Made me wonder how they got to State level year before, much less place in top 10. I would like to add one other thing to contestants--PLEASE TAKE YOUR TIME WHEN FILLING OUT YOUR APPLICATION. This is what we see as judges. Think before you write, use spell check, type do not hand write. Remember that is the first impression judges have of you-your fact sheet.
me posted 2/17/05 4:49 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kudos to all of you who have replied to the questions about judging. It is nice to read positive, helpful things on this board. Thank you so much.
State Pageant posted 2/17/05 4:49 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
YOU ARE SO RIGHT. A FACT SHEET SHOULD ALWAYS BE TYPED AND SPELL CHECKED. I HAVE BEEN AMAZED AT HOW SLOPPY SOME FACT SHEETS HAVE BEEN AND THE PUNCTUATION AND GRAMMAR SHOCKED ME. REMEMBER GIRLS, IT IS THE FIRST IMPRESSION WE HAVE OF YOU.
Never Assume posted 2/17/05 4:55 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
because a contestant is new or lst time that they are not ready. Listen to their opening statement and take your que. If they are a Valdictorian, top 5% of class, or long time children's pageant first timer or a sibling of an older contestant they are probably ready for a meaty interview. My theory, start off hard and see what they can take and then back off. We are doing them no favors by being easy up front. They won't no how to prepare for the next one if you do, much less state. The reason you got a returning girl that couldn't answer questions was because she did a prelim where all the judging was fluff, won, went to state and was a lst timer and they went easy and now they still don't know how to prepare. No wonder!
This is nice posted 2/17/05 5:42 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
good sound advice. Would it not be nice if we can continue with this kind of post. Notice no contestant names have been mentioned. How nice.
Judging posted 2/17/05 5:54 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When I judged at state level at Florida with the previous board (middle 90s), there was never any discussion about any contestant by anyone on the State board. Never! I can't say that about some other states. I don't think there was ever anything "political" on that State board. I have known some of the later judges at Florida and nothing was ever mentioned about Florida trying to influence the judges. I do like to hear that people say there isn't any influence pushed at the local level in Florida either.
Former Contestant posted 2/17/05 6:06 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I think interview is, and should be a very imjportant part of the competion. I don't think every girl competing should be able to explain the Indian and Pakistani conflict in depth, However, they should know what's going on in the world concerning all major issues, be able to explain the issue from common knowledge and have an opinion on the subject. Miss Florida will probably meet the governor or other important political figures and she should not be embarassing.
What are the criteria for current judges and how many prelims may they judge?
curious posted 2/18/05 3:20 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What are the criteria for current judges and how many prelims may they judge
Judges Workshop posted 2/18/05 5:19 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Must attend one of two workshops offered by Florida Board. Can judge only 4 pageants per year. ( stacked counts as 2 ) We have some excellent judges in Florida. Ed's need to change up each year and trust the people they pick to judge their pageants. Stop using the same judges over and over.
Update posted 2/18/05 6:01 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EDs only have to pick two(2) judges from the list of those attending the workshop if they have five(5) judges. If six(6) or seven(7) judges are used, three(3) must come from the list. One judge must be a "novice" whether on or not on the list.
? posted 2/19/05 1:17 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Where and when are the workshops?
Some posted 2/19/05 4:27 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
prelims use the same 'boards' everyyear and rotate a member off the board. LIke they'll always use a MCB member or Orlando member, etc.
Picking Judges posted 2/19/05 2:03 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I know some locals use judges off same local boards every year, but I think this is wrong. I like to try and use judges out of my region, that way the contestants get in front of judges they do not personally know and the judges start fresh without any real knowledge of the contestants. Do not misunderstand, I do not think ALL judges let personal feelings of a contestant cloud their judgement, but I have seen some of the long time volunteers come in with a personal knowledge of a contestant and it does affect the way they score. It is just human. This is why I think locals should choose judges wisely.
agree posted 2/19/05 4:05 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And let's realise too that they are picking a winner to go against their winner. That's always bothered me.
I've thought that too but... posted 2/19/05 4:10 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Honestly, when I ran a local years and years ago and judged quite a bit it never crossed my mind to pick a less qualified contestant in order to provide less competition for my girl. I just don't think most people would stoop that low. And also the dropping of high and low scores evens that risk.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Highly recommended trainer!


Author:
Views and News research dept.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/10/05 11:12:21am

Hi everyone! I address everyone because this goes out to contestants, parents, friends, directors, etc. I recently found out about this message board and I think it's great. I felt compelled to post some info about my business and services because according to many of the postings it sounds like there are many beautiful and intelligent girls out there, that need some work in talent. I am a former USA & MAO contestant and also toured the world as an International Recording Artist. Before retiring in August of 2004, I've spent the last 8 years smack dab in the middle of the entertainment industry, specifically the recording arts. Today, I work developing pageant contestants in all areas with an emphasis on talent. If you or someone you know would be interested in working with me, please pass along my info. I truly love what I do and I'm so happy to share the experience I lived with girls who want to learn, and want to win. I wish I had training like this accessible when I competed.
Please sign on to my web site if your interested in more info. Good luck to all contestants!!
Thanks for taking the time to read this and have a great day.
Pageant Prep and Talent Consulting, Inc.
Tina@PageantPrepandTalent.com
(813)-477-0342

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Ms. Black Security Contest winner


Author:
News
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 7/05 3:14:38pm

Ladel Lewis of Flint, Mich., is the first Ms. Black Security Contest winner. She will reign as Ms. Black Security Feb/Mar 2005.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: The Michigan director and her group of thugs should be embaressed by their juvinile behavior.


Author:
Brenda
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 7/05 2:34:56pm

Have they no shame? Creating message boards and imbasilic alias names for ridiculous attempts at trying to out-wit other states contestants is at the very least "scary". Just to let those mental cases know that for all who read these boards, knows its the Michigan group at it again as usual. Every year now for about 5 years, the state asylym must let the freaks out on week-end passes to attend the USA pageant. Meemaw being the commander of all the nuts they let out. Classless, shameless, group of pigs. Jerry Springer would break viewing audience history with that panel of low-lifes.

In all seriousness, everyone knows who all those fruit cakes are and I feel sorry for anyone in that state that goes into any pageants they are involved in. They have humiliated everyone in their state.

Keep it up, because you only make the other 49 states look better.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: The cosmetic look of beauty pageants


Author:
By: Hemal Ashar
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 7/05 2:16:43pm

Mid-Day Mumbai, India, April 4, 2004
The Lakshmi Pandit controversy in the recent Ponds Femina Miss India beauty pageant has brought the rules of beauty pageants into focus. Pandit returned her crown after it was alleged that she was married, flouting rules stating all contestants had to be single.

Contestants can be disqualified on various grounds like lying about age, marital status or address. They can also be debarred if they indulge in ‘improper’ conduct after winning the contest.

A cosmetic surgeon in Mumbai now says that beauty pageants should also have a new rule: contestants who have altered their physical structure through cosmetic surgery should be barred from competition.

Dr Vijay Sharma, cosmetic surgeon, says, “As India is now on the international map as far as beauty pageants go, it has a voice in the community. We must propagate this rule over here first.”

Sharma recommends the ban because he feels the contestant who has come under the knife has an unfair advantage over the others.

“Even though it goes against my practice, I believe there should be a rule that bars women who have had cosmetic surgery to participate. Those who undertake the surgery are at a distinct advantage.

"One should reward real or God-given beauty, not beauty bought with a fat wallet and the expertise of a surgeon’s laser.” He adds that an MRI will be able to tell whether the participant has undergone cosmetic surgery or not.”

Sharma warns that our society is moving towards a state of “hyper-aesthetic tension where the vanity quotient has zoomed to dangerous levels.”

Though the surgeon agrees that an aspiration to look one’s best is “healthy and can boost self-confidence”, he feels that Indians are losing their sense of balance in the quest for beauty.

“Some of my patients display suicidal tendencies in private conversation as they think they are ugly or do not match the beauty ideal of today.”

While Dr Sharma’s warning finds resonance with almost all those one spoke to in the glamour industry, designer James Ferreira blames the media for pushing the beauty barometer sickeningly high.

Ferreira’s point of view? Just like an athlete is banned for using steroids to enhance his performance, beauty pageant contestants should also not contest if they have had cosmetic surgery to enhance their looks.

“Cosmetic surgery is now accessible to simply everybody. So banning contestants will not work. How can we stop cosmetic surgery, a manifestation of just what lengths these people are willing to go because the spin-offs from the glamour industry are so high?

So much in the fashion industry is totally artificial, from the people to the designs. When the entire scenario has become so artificial, why ban artificial beauty?” reasons Ferreira.

While Ferreira, who has been a fashion and interior designer for more than two decades paints a bleak picture of the current scene, photographer Jatin Kampani treads warily.

He says athletes are barred from using dope because it has been proven unsafe.

“A rule banning cosmetic surgery might be ineffective because nothing can beat natural beauty. If a woman is naturally beautiful, it will always be difficult to outshine her whether one has had cosmetic correction or not.”

But if natural beauty counted at all, a cosmetic surgeon’s appointment book would not be littered with names from the glamour world.

Says holistic health trainer Mickey Mehta, “Corrective cosmetic surgery is more to bring the participant on par with other contestants, not give him/her an added advantage. In the case of athletes, dope is unethical because it is very dangerous, altering even your mental balance and in certain cases, leading to death. Besides, it is not just beauty, but intelligence, personality and confidence that the participants are judged on. Cosmetic surgery does not alter those.”

However, Dr Sharma finds some support within his own network. Says Dr S Purohit, plastic and cosmetic surgeon with Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, “If cosmetic surgery is banned for participants, so should cosmetics, dance classes, personality grooming classes and whatever these contestants undertake. Let beauty be judged in its most natural form, then.”

He then laughs, “In this industry everything is so artificial, a Maharashtrian girl gives answers in a Scandinavian accent, so banning only cosmetic surgery as ‘artificial’ is futile. Ban these fake and artificial accents too!”

Finally, Dr Nitin Mokal, plastic, aesthetic and cranio-facial surgeon agrees, “Yes, participants should not be allowed cosmetic surgery as it does alter physical appearance giving an unfair edge to those who have undergone it.

"If it were ineffective, our consulting rooms would not be full of young people hankering for a glamour foothold. In certain cases, even motivated to the point of madness to undergo aesthetic surgery.”

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Pageant finds the beauty in women with AIDS virus


Author:
The Chicago Tribune
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 7/05 2:03:08pm

Published Sunday
March 6, 2005

GABERONE, Botswana - Five years ago, when Cynthia Leshomo discovered she was HIV-positive, she swallowed a bottle full of the anti-retroviral pills her doctor prescribed for her and slipped into a coma for two days.

"I thought I was cursed, a black sheep in the family," said the young business school graduate, who had an AIDS-related tumor in her stomach and whose weight had slipped to a skeletal 75 pounds. "I thought, 'Why me?' I couldn't face the stigma."

On a recent Saturday night, however, a now happy and beautiful Leshomo showed off just how far she - and Botswana - have come in combating that stigma, walking away with a bouquet of flowers, a scholarship and a prestigious new title: Miss HIV Stigma Free.

"I'm here to empower people," said the 32-year-old in an orange and white evening gown, as she accepted a crown of flowers and kisses from admirers at Gaberone's convention center, home to the world's first beauty pageant for HIV-positive women.

More than a third of the adults in Botswana carry the virus that causes AIDS. In the past several years the southern African nation of 1.7 million has become the continent's leader in providing free anti-retroviral treatment drugs to those affected.

But battling the stigma surrounding AIDS is another matter in Botswana, as in most of Africa. Despite the widespread availability of testing and treatment, many Batswana, as Botswana's citizens are known, avoid taking an AIDS test or hide their positive status. Across the largely rural country, families still whisper about the neighbor who has lost too much weight or stop calling friends who go to the local clinic a little too often.

"People look at this as something that has to do with one's moral behavior, so stigma is a major concern," said Dr. Patson Mazonde, director of health services for Botswana's Ministry of Health. Ending discrimination and encouraging HIV-positive people to go public with their status, he and others said, is vital to curbing the spread of the epidemic.

That's where Miss HIV Stigma Free comes in. In a nation where young women are disproportionately affected by the virus, the pageant is a way of showing that the HIV-positive need not be ashamed and that with treatment they can look good and live well.

"This has helped take the lid off the silence," said Dr. Ernest Darkoh, who oversaw the launch of Botswana's government anti-retroviral treatment program in 2001. "The truth is, a person on treatment can run in the Olympics, can do anything. They are as beautiful and able and deserving as anybody else."

The pageant, organized by HIV counseling organizations, doesn't quite have the cachet - or the cash - of bigger beauty pageants. The dozen contestants practiced their runway moves in an empty house in Gaberone's dusty suburbs and scrounged for money to buy shoes at the local mall. There was no dress rehearsal because the dresses didn't arrive until the last minute.

But the contestants, coached on snappy turns and smiling poses by the current Miss Botswana, still managed to strut out under the lights looking terrific and not at all terrified as an audience of about 400 whooped and applauded, and photographers blinded them with a sea of flashes.

Unlike many beauty pageants, "this one's very meaningful," said Juby Peacock, Miss Botswana, as she helped the contestants - most in their 30s, many with kids and a few extra pounds - with their dresses. "It's a very good thing."

The Miss HIV pageant was first held in 2002.


Contact the Omaha World-Herald

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Former Miss Teen USA rangles and noodles with the cats


Author:
Patrick Barkham
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 7/05 10:48:55am

Extreme fishing: dogged noodlers who wrestle catfish from the depths


Extreme fishing: dogged noodlers who wrestle catfish from the depths

Legal trial for controversial legal pastime

Patrick Barkham
Monday May 30, 2005
The Guardian

First you strip to the waist and clamber into the river. Next, you bend under water and rootle blindly along the muddy riverbank with your bare hands. When you find a promising hole, you waggle your fingers - or toes - so alluringly that a large catfish locks its jaws around your arm or leg. Then you simply wrestle the 100lbs (45kg) giant out of the water and serve it fried with cayenne pepper.
For the first time for nearly 100 years in Missouri the sport of noodling, fishing by hand for these brutally ugly creatures, will be legalised this week. Also known as hogging, grabbling, dogging and stumping, the practice will be allowed for a trial period of six weeks from Wednesday on the Mississippi and two other waterways in the famous river state.
The ruling has been greeted with joy by its secretive proponents, Noodlers Anonymous, a campaign group set up by several hundred noodlers, who claimed their illicit "ancient art" made them an oppressed minority in the state.

For conservationists, however, the legalisation of noodling threatens to accelerate the declining numbers of flathead and blue catfish.

"Cats" are a popular delicacy in the rural corners of the southern and midwest states of America; historians record that southern American Indians used to dive down and catch the fish by hand, a tradition of fishing without hook or line taken up by rural settlers across the region.

Grabbing mature catfish up to 5ft (1.5m) long and 30 years old with your bare hands has been described as the ultimate fishing thrill, an adrenalin-fuelled extreme sport.

It is thought that the name noodler is derived from southern slang for crazy fool. Some noodlers have drowned trying to grab big catfish while many bear the scars of their sport, including missing fingers bitten off by the fish - or snapping turtles and beavers that take umbrage at being disturbed.

The sport is now legal in 13 states, including Arkansas and Oklahoma, but has been banned since 1919 in Missouri, where those caught noodling have faced up to $1,000 (about £550) fines. After a series of annual legislative battles in Missouri's state parliament, the state's department of conservation finally granted an experimental six-week season from sunrise to sunset on limited stretches of the Mississippi, the St Francis and the Fabius rivers.

The impact of noodling on catfish stocks will be monitored closely, but it has not allayed the fears of conservationists. They argue that the practice affects numbers particularly badly because noodlers target mature, breeding-age fish just at the time when they are retreating to natural cavities in the riverbank to nest. By catching the female catfish or the male that guards its brood, they may effectively kill off a whole family of young fish.

Noodlers talk of "meeting the fish on its terms", pitting their intimate knowledge of the local waters against the wit of individual catfish that command certain river territories and have eluded capture for years. According to Mark Morgan, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, there are 2,000 noodlers in the state. Most are men from the countryside, where noodling knowledge has been passed down through the generations.

Mouths

Noodlers claim there are so few fishermen and women - a former Miss Teen USA is a keen practitioner - prepared to stick their hands into the mouths of catfish that the impact of noodling on stocks will be negligible. Last week, just 21 noodlers in Missouri had purchased $7 licences to begin legal noodling. Nearly half these permits were issued to Howard Ramsey, the president of Noodlers Anonymous.

Welcoming the legal season as a "very positive step", Mr Ramsey, 59, said he bought eight permits for his wife, son, granddaughters and himself.

"If you don't come up bloody, you ain't been hand-fishing," Mr Ramsey told AP. First taught aged 12 by his father and grandfather, he described how he caught the creatures by swimming headfirst into a catfish hole while a friend held him by the ankles, ready to pull him and the catfish out of the murky depths. It is a technique that has brought him plenty of pain over the years.

"I've had them clamp down so tight on my arm that I didn't know if they'd ever let go," he told the Kansas City Star. "They have rows of tiny teeth, and when you try to pull your arm out of their mouth, they'll just skin you. I even had one fish that tore my tennis shoe right off my foot. I couldn't walk for a couple days. But that's all part of it. When you pull a 50 to 60lb flathead out of a hole by hand and your heart starts thumping, you know it's worth it."

Steve Eder of the Missouri Department of Conservation said catfish numbers had fallen in northern parts of the state in particular, where streams have been turned into channels, removing the riverbank habitat where the fish can breed.

"There aren't that many flatheads per square mile to start with. If we legalise hand fishing, that could further reduce the densities of big fish," he told the US press. "Hand fishermen do seem to be more efficient at taking big fish than other types of fishermen. And that could be a problem."

First you strip to the waist and clamber into the river. Next, you bend under water and rootle blindly along the muddy riverbank with your bare hands. When you find a promising hole, you waggle your fingers - or toes - so alluringly that a large catfish locks its jaws around your arm or leg. Then you simply wrestle the 100lbs (45kg) giant out of the water and serve it fried with cayenne pepper.

For the first time for nearly 100 years in Missouri the sport of noodling, fishing by hand for these brutally ugly creatures, will be legalised this week. Also known as hogging, grabbling, dogging and stumping, the practice will be allowed for a trial period of six weeks from Wednesday on the Mississippi and two other waterways in the famous river state.
The ruling has been greeted with joy by its secretive proponents, Noodlers Anonymous, a campaign group set up by several hundred noodlers, who claimed their illicit "ancient art" made them an oppressed minority in the state.

For conservationists, however, the legalisation of noodling threatens to accelerate the declining numbers of flathead and blue catfish.

"Cats" are a popular delicacy in the rural corners of the southern and midwest states of America; historians record that southern American Indians used to dive down and catch the fish by hand, a tradition of fishing without hook or line taken up by rural settlers across the region.

Grabbing mature catfish up to 5ft (1.5m) long and 30 years old with your bare hands has been described as the ultimate fishing thrill, an adrenalin-fuelled extreme sport.

It is thought that the name noodler is derived from southern slang for crazy fool. Some noodlers have drowned trying to grab big catfish while many bear the scars of their sport, including missing fingers bitten off by the fish - or snapping turtles and beavers that take umbrage at being disturbed.

The sport is now legal in 13 states, including Arkansas and Oklahoma, but has been banned since 1919 in Missouri, where those caught noodling have faced up to $1,000 (about £550) fines. After a series of annual legislative battles in Missouri's state parliament, the state's department of conservation finally granted an experimental six-week season from sunrise to sunset on limited stretches of the Mississippi, the St Francis and the Fabius rivers.

The impact of noodling on catfish stocks will be monitored closely, but it has not allayed the fears of conservationists. They argue that the practice affects numbers particularly badly because noodlers target mature, breeding-age fish just at the time when they are retreating to natural cavities in the riverbank to nest. By catching the female catfish or the male that guards its brood, they may effectively kill off a whole family of young fish.

Noodlers talk of "meeting the fish on its terms", pitting their intimate knowledge of the local waters against the wit of individual catfish that command certain river territories and have eluded capture for years. According to Mark Morgan, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, there are 2,000 noodlers in the state. Most are men from the countryside, where noodling knowledge has been passed down through the generations.

Mouths

Noodlers claim there are so few fishermen and women - a former Miss Teen USA is a keen practitioner - prepared to stick their hands into the mouths of catfish that the impact of noodling on stocks will be negligible. Last week, just 21 noodlers in Missouri had purchased $7 licences to begin legal noodling. Nearly half these permits were issued to Howard Ramsey, the president of Noodlers Anonymous.

Welcoming the legal season as a "very positive step", Mr Ramsey, 59, said he bought eight permits for his wife, son, granddaughters and himself.

"If you don't come up bloody, you ain't been hand-fishing," Mr Ramsey told AP. First taught aged 12 by his father and grandfather, he described how he caught the creatures by swimming headfirst into a catfish hole while a friend held him by the ankles, ready to pull him and the catfish out of the murky depths. It is a technique that has brought him plenty of pain over the years.

"I've had them clamp down so tight on my arm that I didn't know if they'd ever let go," he told the Kansas City Star. "They have rows of tiny teeth, and when you try to pull your arm out of their mouth, they'll just skin you. I even had one fish that tore my tennis shoe right off my foot. I couldn't walk for a couple days. But that's all part of it. When you pull a 50 to 60lb flathead out of a hole by hand and your heart starts thumping, you know it's worth it."

Steve Eder of the Missouri Department of Conservation said catfish numbers had fallen in northern parts of the state in particular, where streams have been turned into channels, removing the riverbank habitat where the fish can breed.

"There aren't that many flatheads per square mile to start with. If we legalise hand fishing, that could further reduce the densities of big fish," he told the US press. "Hand fishermen do seem to be more efficient at taking big fish than other types of fishermen. And that could be a problem."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: A designer loved by beauty pageant contestants


Author:
by Ko Jung-a
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 7/05 10:37:11am


June 08, 2005 ¤Ñ "Before she put on my dress, she looked like an ordinary woman. But she truly shined when she wore it and she became Miss Universe in that dress," said Lee Hwa-suk, 42, a Korean designer, referring to Jennifer Hopkins, last year's pageant winner.
Ms. Lee, who currently lives in Brisbane, Australia, is famous in the fashion industry in that country, especially among beauty peageant contestants. Ms. Hopkins and Michelle Guy, this year's Miss Australia, wore evening gowns she designed. Lauryn Eagle, last year's Miss Teen International, also wore a dress created by Ms. Lee.
"When I heard Ms. Hopkins wanted to wear my dress, I [initially] turned it down because I was too busy at the time. But she sent me an e-mail directly," Ms. Lee said.
"When I was making a dress for Ms. Guy, it was just going to be an evening dress, but she asked me to make a traditional costume as well. There was no costume that represented Australia, so I ended up designing one based on the film ¡®Crocodile Dundee,' which was shot in Australia," she said.
Ms. Lee received innumerable phone calls from contestants for this year's Miss Universe pageant, which was held at the end of May. For a beauty pageant in Australia, about seven or eight contestants on average want to wear her designs.
Ms. Lee gained her fame last year, when the dress Ms. Hopkins wore got big coverage in the Australian press.
"Last year, before the Miss Universe contest began, Ms. Hopkins, who modeled in my fashion show, came to see me after she was named Miss Australia, to ask for an evening dress. She looked ordinary in jeans and a T-shirt, but when she put on my dress, she truly shined. She became Miss Universe at the end," Ms. Lee said proudly.
After the contest, Ms. Lee received more than 1,000 e-mails from those interested in buying the dress. She didn't sell it, though, for a very special reason.
"It took me six months to complete the dress. I never took my hands off the dress until it was finished," she said. "When I went on a business trip to Hong Kong or Singapore, I always took the dress, which weighed more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds), with me.
"I worked on the dress even on the airplane. The dress was made from my tears, sweat and blood. But after all that effort, it didn't win an award. I was devastated. I wept for four days. For that reason, I have a special bond with the dress."
Even though the dress didn't win an award, the people who wore it are celebrities. About a month before Ms. Hopkins wore the dress, a well-known Australian TV anchorwoman wore it to a film festival and it appeared in many fashion magazines.
Regarding Ms. Lee's success, it is surprising that she began to study fashion relatively late in life, as a 35-year-old housewife. Seven years ago, her decision to study fashion design was shocking news to her husband.
Ms. Lee told him, "I want to be able to make clothes for my son at least," and enrolled in TAFE (Technical and Further Education), a two year-college in Australia. After graduating, she went to Italy to study for a year and opened a dress shop in Australia. After opening another in Shanghai, she branched out to Korea, opening a shop in the Galleria Department Store in Seoul.
"I was recognized in Australia, but somehow I wasn't satisfied," Ms. Lee said.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: The cost of ... winning a beauty pageant


Author:
• By Tamar Alexia Fleishman •
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 6/05 2:16:27am



If you want to win a beauty pageant, you'd better be prepared to spend a pretty penny.

The pursuit of a title and a tiara has grown into a $5 billion-a-year industry, according to the Pageant News Bureau. An estimated 3,000 pageants draw 250,000 entrants a year, and parents spend thousands of dollars on pageants. Some want their children to gain extra poise; others hope that their children will become the next supermodel or a movie star.

"Competitions 25 years ago really only required a party dress and a satin hair bow," says Eleanor VonDuyke, a former Denver-based pageant director who was in the business for 20 years. But that has all changed.

That's where the money goes
Pageant entry fees run from $25 to more than $500. Many pageants also have "optionals." They are the contests within the contest for titles such as "Most Photogenic" or "Best Costume," which tack on even more to the parents' bill.

And before you get to the pageant, there are clothes, hair and makeup costs -- and for the serious competitors, professional coaching. One former pageant contestant, Jennifer Makris Hill, now coaches girls. A week of her training costs $5,000; a day goes for $1,000. "That's why," says Hill, "I always insist on the parents accompanying the girl on the initial interview. It's a lot of money."

The higher the level of competition, the higher the costs. Jamie Swenson was Miss South Dakota USA '97 and a three-time Miss Hawaiian Tropic. "Some 'state Miss' pageant systems can spend up to $100,000 on one girl to get ready for a national pageant," she says. The money goes to "wardrobe consultants, physical fitness trainers, speech coaches, voice coaches, etiquette lessons, salon services, talent coaches, resume writing, tanning, evening gown, rehearsal attire, bathing suits, opening-number outfit, interview suit, talent costume, accessories, and many, many more things."




Big spending doesn't always win the crown, however. Swenson has known girls who have won spending as little as $100. The most expensive dress she ever saw was at a local state pageant for Mrs. America. It cost $8,000, but only made the Top 6 in that pageant's "best dress" optional.

The more contests you enter, the more it costs, and many parents turn their children into pageant troupers. One researcher at Harvard University interviewed 41 mothers of child beauty-pageant entrants. They entered their children in an average of five pageants in the past year, and spent between $100 and $200 on each. They spent a similar amount on pageant clothing, though some paid as much as $1,000 for a gown. Those with higher incomes were more likely to hire someone to do the child's hair, or a pageant coach to give their child an extra advantage.

Money pressures cause a strain
Some parents even take out loans to pay for the pageant expenses, says Charles Dunn, publisher of Pageantry Magazine. Often because of this additional financial stress, parents get mad and scold their children when they don't win. Lisa J. Rapport, a psychology professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, studied 74 former young performers in television and film. She found that mothers who served as managers were likely to have a far less stable and positive relationship with their children than were mothers who kept business separate. "When parents become overly invested in the child's success, it may be more difficult to pull back and listen," she says


Looking for a better bank? Check for the best deal in your area.


Where to spend -- and not spend -- your money
Deborah Ouellette, co-author of "Breaking Into Commercials," is in the process of writing "What ARE Those Pageant Judges Looking For?" In the research for her new book, she interviews judges to see what they want.

Here are some of her tips on what to spend money on:

Money is better spent on expert tailoring than gimmicky embroidery or beading.


Ballet lessons do develop grace, good posture and an elegant walk.


Tanning sessions usually make kids look silly.


Each pageant has its own rules and they can be strict. If the pamphlet says the evening-dress hem should not be more than 1 inch above the floor, they mean it. Don't lose points unnecessarily by failing to follow your pageant's rules.


Pageant swimsuits are more expensive because they hold you in and push you up, while not "riding up."


A girl who pays attention to her vocabulary and grammar in school can do more for herself than any "speech coach" can.


While preferences differ, many judges are frightened by colored contacts.


Even though judges don't like too stiff or sophisticated a look, they do want to see the girl's hair "done."


Good photographers can cost more than $1,000, but often create pictures that have the professional polish that reproduces well in program books.


If you have the resources and want to make your kid feel like a glamorous star, there's no harm in being the one who sells the most program ads, tickets to the pageant, etc. The pageant will usually give a title to the child, such as "hostess," along with a crown and some other prizes. As long as nobody takes it too seriously, it's one of the advantages of having some extra cash to spend.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Celebrating bravery, as well as beauty


Author:
Kristy Siegfried
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 8:07:11am

February 28 2005 at 07:12AM

Gaborone - A beauty pageant that took place in Gaborone at the weekend followed all the usual conventions.

There were the turns on the catwalk, a dance routine and questions from a panel of judges, ending with a crowning and the requisite few tears.

But Saturday's event was a beauty pageant in form only.

It was Miss HIV Stigma Free, and the 12 contestants had made it to the final round not solely for their beauty but also for their bravery.

Botswana's energetic response to the Aids pandemic is often held up as a model to other African countries. In 2002 it became the first country on the continent to offer free anti-retroviral drugs, and currently 32 000 of the estimated 300 000 people in Botswana living with the disease are recipients.

The goal of the pageant, organised by the Centre for Youth and Hope (Ceyoho), an HIV and Aids non-governmental organisation funded by the African Comprehensive HIV and Aids Partnership, is to fight discrimination against people living with the disease.

The centre's director, Kebsego Basha-Mubeli, founded Ceyoho after testing positive and being forced to leave her job because of stigmatisation.

She conceived of the idea for the pageant - first held in 2001 - as a fun way to educate young people about the need to eradicate the stigma.

"Until the issue of stigma is adequately addressed I don't think we can address HIV/Aids," said co-ordinator Robert Letsasi.

Early in the evening, with contestants' appearances interspersed with performances by musicians and dancers, an audience favourite emerged.

With all the charm of a typical beauty queen combined with the energy of a committed activist, 32-year-old Cynthia Leshomo earned the loudest applause for her responses to the judges' questions.

"October 10, 2000, when I was told that I am HIV-positive," was the day my world was turned around, Leshomo said.

"I went through all sorts of emotions - denial, anger, resentment, despair. I never thought that I, beautiful and intelligent, would get the virus."

"For me the virus was for poor, ignorant and uneducated people. But here I am today. HIV knows no boundaries. I am a living example that being HIV-positive is not the end of the world," she said.

"Let us fight HIV/Aids, but not people living with HIV and Aids," Leshomo added.

While two of the contestants made their first public appearance as HIV-positive on Saturday, Leshomo has been speaking out about her status since 2002 and counselling others to do the same.

As queen she will tour the country, offering herself as an example of positive living and talking about the issues affecting people living with HIV and Aids.

Kgalalelo Ntsepe, winner of Miss Stigma Free 2003/2004, knows well the challenges that lie ahead for her successor. Unable to believe that a healthy-looking individual could be harbouring the virus, she was repeatedly called a liar and even accused of being hired by the government.

"You must be brave and passionate," she advised the incoming queen. "And don't come with high expectations of being treated like a celebrity," she added.

Despite Leshomo's dazzling smile, beauty wasn't the main requirement.

Entrants needed only to be between the ages of 18 and 35, to belong to one of Ceyoho's many support groups and to be HIV-positive - and willing to talk about it.

After a first round of interviews, 12 women were chosen to come to Gaborone for the pageant. They arrived from various parts of the country earlier in the week to begin intense preparations.

Tracy Busang travelled 375km from her home village to participate. With long legs that seemed made for the catwalk, she could easily be a contender in a more traditional beauty pageant.

Since testing positive for HIV in 2003, she said, she had never made a secret of her status. In the case of her current boyfriend, who is negative, such openness has not caused her to be shunned.

While living with her sister, though, Busang said she did experience the pain of stigmatisation.

"She wouldn't let her child play with mine," she said. "And after I had a bath she would disinfect it."

Busang, who like eight other contestants is on anti-retrovirals, now lives alone with her three-year-old daughter.

"I wanted to show people that living positively is not the end of life; it's the beginning of a new life," she said.

Miss Botswana, Joby Peacock, was recruited to help the women to choreograph a traditional-dance routine. During three days of rehearsals she also took them through their paces on the catwalk.

On Saturday morning the women did a final run-through in a cramped room at a Gaborone hotel.

Not all the contestants were natural performers, and helping them to master the supermodel strut was a challenge even for the patient Peacock.

"You're not making eye contact, you're not smiling," she said as Matlakala Baaname executed an awkward swivel at the end of an imaginary catwalk and giggled her way back to the other contestants.

Baaname has the generous proportions of a mother-of-four and the shy smile of someone unaccustomed to the limelight.

She said she entered the contest because she wanted to do something to support her friends who are HIV-positive, but her participation is a bold move considering that until now only her family were aware of her status.

By the time she returns to her village, 180km outside Gaborone, many of her neighbours will have seen her in Saturday's event, which was broadcast on national television.

The evening ended with Leshomo circled by photographers and well-wishers, including her mother and sister.

Allowing herself a few tears, Leshomo embraced her doctor. "She made me live," she said.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Great site for Pageant gown bargains!


Author:
TheCrowningTouch.com
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 8:02:29am

This is one of the greatest sites on the internet. If you want to save money on your next pageant clothing purchase, just go to:

www.TheCrowningTouch.com

They carry everything from the Frederico Leone taupe shoes to the latest in Sherri Hill / Jovani evening gowns.

Check them out, you'll be glad that you did.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss America Crowns Purity as Priceless Message


Author:

[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 7:45:35am

Rebecca Grace
February 15, 2005

(AgapePress) - "Hello. I'm Miss America," young Tara said to her seventh-grade classmates as she presented an oral book report. She wore a foil-embossed cardboard crown and held a silk rose.

While her classmates took on the personalities of presidents, astronauts and other noble characters, this young girl chose to read and present an autobiography about Cheryl Prewitt, Miss America 1980.

"Of course, I knew I wasn't Miss America, but through reading that book, it really inspired me that God can use even pageant girls. He can use somebody besides a pastor or a missionary," she added.

And so began her journey into the pageant system. However, the aspiring beauty queen did not start competing until the age of 17.

Sixteen pageants later, including four tries at the state level over a span of seven years, the young seventh-grader's dream came true as she was crowned Miss America 1997 two weeks prior to her 24th birthday.

The Power of the Crown
Today, Tara Dawn Holland Christensen uses her glory days of pageantry as the backdrop for a spiritually-based message she shares nationwide.

"When I was younger and first getting involved in pageants, quite honestly, my motivation was not completely spiritual," Christensen admitted.

"But as I went through the system, and as I began to understand the impact and the power of the crown, then the true attraction for me became the voice that goes with the title," she explained.

"I knew that I would have the opportunity to be Miss America for that one year, but I would always be a former Miss America who would at least have some sphere of influence and be able to use that title for Christ and hopefully be able to make an impact," Christensen said.

And that is just what Christensen is doing today by speaking to numerous audiences about the importance of abstinence outside marriage.

Her nationwide public speaking endeavors began as Miss America when she traveled about 20,000 miles a month making appearances and speaking about literacy. During her travels she realized society's growing interest in abstinence.

The Commitment of a Beauty Queen
At a very young age, Christensen made a commitment to remain sexually pure until marriage. Her commitment stemmed from asking Christ to become Lord and Savior of her life when she was five years old.

"I didn't know how to engage in a theological debate, but I knew that I needed Jesus to cleanse me of my sins and to make me pure and clean again," Christensen said.

As a natural overflow of her renewed heart, Christensen desired to live a life that was pleasing to God and that included saving herself for her future husband.

"God says to be pure and to be abstinent until marriage, and I didn't want to let Him down," she explained. "... It was also important for me not to let down my parents."

While Christensen was young, her parents took the initiative to teach her the biblical standards of sexual purity and did not rely on the youth group or school classroom to do so. "... God was my reason for abstaining, but my parents were my motivation," Christensen added.

As soon-to-be first-time parents, Christensen and her husband, Jon, have already decided they will begin teaching their child about the importance of sexual purity from a very young age and encourage other parents to do the same.

She believes that the standard is set too low when it comes to premarital sex, and many adults smooth over the problem with the excuse, "They are going to do it anyway."

Therefore, Christensen is working to raise the standard to one of purity.

Christensen's advocacy efforts took full force after she was interviewed by Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family. The interview was the result of a scathing newspaper article about Christensen's commitment to abstinence and how her fiancé greatly valued her decision. At the time, she and her husband Jon were engaged. He was a former U. S. congressman running for governor of Nebraska. After the couple verbalized their beliefs to the press, a media frenzy erupted.

"From the day that that [Dobson interview] aired, I've been doing abstinence events ever since," the former Miss America explained. "So it was something the Enemy meant for evil, but God turned around to use for good."

The Plot of the Enemy
While the Enemy now uses the hidden agenda of sex education to fight for a foothold in the lives of today's teens, God's goodness is evident in the effectiveness of abstinence programs.

Real abstinence education recognizes that lasting sexual happiness is found within marriage. In contrast, comprehensive sex education programs focus almost completely on contraception and include sexually explicit material, graphic language, homosexual role-playing, erotic movies and hands-on activities.

According to a recent study by The Heritage Foundation, "Ninety-one percent of parents want teens to be taught that 'the best choice is for sexual intercourse to be linked to love, intimacy, and commitment. These qualities are most likely to occur in a faithful marriage.'"

Unfortunately, these parental pleas remain muffled as evident from the government's allocation of funding. The Heritage Foundation reports that "in 2002 alone, the government spent $12 promoting contraception and condom use for every $1 it spent to encourage teens to abstain from sexual activity."

More recently, the pleas of concerned parents and abstinence advocates caught the attention of President Bush who has embraced the issue as a major initiative. According to CNN.com, the President proposed that $272 million be budgeted for abstinence-until-marriage programs in 2005. Unfortunately the request was not met in its entirety; however, abstinence programs will receive an increase in funding to $170 million (up from $138 million in 2004) for the current government-spending year.

This slight increase in funding is justified by a substantial increase in positive effects of abstinence education.

The Goodness of God
For example, sexual activity was lowered 17 percent among girls who participated in the national Best Friends Foundation, a program that teaches abstinence as a part of physical and emotional well-being.

"Be the One" is another abstinence-based program that results in significant attitudinal changes as referred to by its founder Lloyd Groves.

"In 1991, 46 percent of high school students surveyed said they were still virgins," Lloyd said, as reported by Abstinence Clearinghouse in the Boca Raton News. "In 2001, 54 percent said they were virgins. The only thing that has changed on the landscape is abstinence education."

In addition, a study published by the Journal of Adolescent Health revealed, "Overall, 53 percent of the decline in pregnancy rates can be attributed to decreased sexual experience ... and 47 percent to improved contraceptive use."

As evident from the statistics, abstinence education is effective, and Christensen is intent on being a vital part of the movement.

The former Miss America's message encompasses a variety of points that vary depending on the setting but include highlights such as: purity is a calling from God; individual worth is a reason for waiting; and goals and dreams can be achieved. But her favorite aspect to share is that God was her strength when it came to remaining sexually pure until marriage.

The Voice of Virginity
"My prayer is that those who hear me would be somehow reminded of the fact that we can live up to purity, and we can have that kind of a lifestyle," Christensen said.

"As much as I believed in abstinence and purity before I was married, it was after I was married and experienced that intimacy with my husband that I just wept for all the people who [willingly] give that gift away to someone prior to their spouse," she explained.

Having personally experienced the impact of sexual purity both before and after marriage, Christensen aims to encourage young people that it is possible to wait.

"I was a 26-year-old virgin when we got married," she said.

Although Christensen's romance with her husband unfolded like a fairy tale that involved meeting on Valentine's Day, being proposed to on the South Portico of the White House, and having an intimate Southern wedding, it didn't outweigh her commitment to purity.

In fact, during their engagement, Christensen and her husband made a written commitment to one another and to God of what they physically would and would not do prior to their marriage. It was very helpful, especially in the wake of heightened emotions leading up to the wedding.

"Then just from a practical standpoint, my thought was, 'I've waited 26 years. I'm not going to blow it now,' " Christensen rationalized.

But more than that, it was Christensen's desire to please God that sustained her, and it was her virtue that made her a crown unto her husband (Proverbs 12:4).

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Oral report


Author:
News of the Day
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 7:19:10am



Dayanara Torres -- former Miss Universe and former Mrs. Marc Anthony -- is all smiles as the spokeswoman for a dental plan for kids called Sonrisas saludables 2010 -- Healthy Smiles 2010.

Torres joined the American Dental Association campaign Wednesday, reports the Spanish newswire Agencia EFE, and agreed to appear in a series of radio and TV ads promoting dental disease awareness.

The bilingual ads will also give parents tips on how to create good hygiene habits, and a spokesman for the ADA said they hoped to reach 50 million families by 2010, when the campaign ends. A premiere date for the ads is still in the works.

''I'm very happy to be a part of this program because I think oral health is very important,'' the Puerto Rican beauty told EFE. ``I think this is a great way to help low income families have access to important health information as well as dentists.''

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Sima Bakhar of Israel is Mrs. World 2005


Author:
News
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 7:12:12am

Sima Bakhar of Israel is Mrs. World 2005:-
Mumbai | February 27, 2005 1:39:18 PM IST

Mumbai, Feb 26 : Beating 40 other gorgeous beauty queens, Mrs. Israel Sima Bakhar won the coveted title of Mrs. World 2005 at Amby Valley Sahara Lake City near here.

Mrs. Croatia, Ivana Brnic Boce, and Mrs. New Zealand, Sherin Peace, were declared the first and second runners-up respectively at the event. India's Jeevika Shah could only make it as one of the six semi-finalists.

Last year's winner Suzana Pavadee Vicherut Mcnokroot of Thailand crowned Bakhar, 28, with a diamond and ruby studded crown worth $18,000.

A five-member panel of judges comprising celebrated personalities like Vijay Amritraj, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Swapna Roy, Heida Dianan (Mrs. America 2004) and Rosy Senanayake (Mrs. World 1985) picked the top three winners.

This was the first time that India played host to the contest, initiated in 1977. It symbolises the celebration of beauty, grace, charm and family values of women.

Speaking on the occasion David Z. Marmal, president of Mrs. America Inc and Mrs. World Inc said: "The event began with the intention of recognizing the contribution of a woman to her community, country and modern contemporary life. It now showcases the modern married women who has imbibed style, grace, beauty and intelligence."

Added Seemanto Roy, head of Sahara Infrastructure and Housing: "All the participants from around the world are living testimony to the continuously evolving empowered women who strive and achieve unprecedented balance in their multifaceted lives, contributing significantly both to the family and society as a whole."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: For new Mrs. Wisconsin, pageants are a family affair


Author:
By Molly Snyder Edler
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 7:10:50am

For new Mrs. Wisconsin, pageants are a family affair

After Rebecca Magestro lost her "baby weight" following the birth of her second child, she decided to move forward with something she had considered for three years.

"I knew it was now or never," says Magestro, 35, who was crowned Mrs. Wisconsin in Wisconsin Dells on Oct. 28.

Magestro competed against 12 other women in swimsuit, evening gown and interview presentations. Unlike other pageants, there was not a talent competition.

"I think they figure being married and having kids takes more than enough talent," says Magestro, who will reign for a year.

Mrs. Wisconsin rules state that applicants must have lived in Wisconsin for six months, be between the ages of 18 and 99, have a spouse and have not posed for nude photos.

Magestro, who now lives in Germantown, grew up in Oconomowoc. She has been married for six years, has two children (ages five and 22 months), holds a full-time job as an account executive for Clear Channel Outdoor and runs a shop in Cedarburg called Zigo Italian Charms.

Magestro's husband is Italian American and the two honeymooned in Italy. Although she is of German, French and Norwegian heritage, Magestro fell in love with Italian jewelry and was inspired to open a shop.

As Mrs. Wisconsin, Magestro will compete for the national title next September in Palm Springs. But first, she will work locally on her platform to reduce domestic abuse. She has already met with the Milwaukee Women's Center and this holiday season plans to involve her whole family in the cause.

The Magestros will work together to gift-wrap Zigo items and donate all proceeds from the gift-wrapping charge to the Task Force of Family Violence.

She says the other women who competed for the title were not what she expected. One was 71 years old.

"They were all really nice," she says. "Not catty, and all very different. We weren't all from the same cookie-cutter mold."

Magestro says she got somewhat of a trick question in the interview portion, because it required her to answer a political question in an apolitical way.

"They asked me what I would do if a 16-year-old girl confided in me that she was pregnant," she says.

"I said I would be very empathetic with her and advise her to talk to someone who could give her nonjudgmental advice," says Magestro, adding with a laugh, "basically, I passed the buck."

She was also asked to describe herself in a single word. "I said compassion. It's what motivates me the most."

Magestro says she's very excited about the national pageant, especially because both she and her family will be flown to Palm Springs.

"Being in a pageant like this requires you to prepare yourself both physically and mentally," she says. "It's been really good for me, and it's also made me an even better wife and mother."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Children in Pageants is sick business. Thanks for deleting that smut.


Author:
Gene
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 6:58:02am

Moms should be ashamed of themselves for exploiting their young daughters like that.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss America May Set Unhealthy Weight Standard


Author:
Mental Health Resources
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 6:51:02am

By Alan Mozes

NEW YORK, -- Miss America is often thought of as a role model for young women. But the weight of the reigning Miss America has been falling for decades, leading researchers to suggest that winning contestants in the most well known and widely viewed beauty pageant in the United States now show signs of being undernourished.

Over the last decade, concern has been growing in the medical community over the continued presence and promotion of underweight women in the media -- particularly as it promotes the development of poor body image and eating disorders among adolescent girls.

In a letter published in the March 22nd issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, two researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, report the findings from a review of the archives from the Miss America Pageant, which covered the period 1922 to 1999.

The investigators note the presence of a clear decline in body weight among the pageant winners over the course of the nearly 80 years of competition. In effect, a 12% drop in weight accompanied a less than 2% increase in height during that time frame, rendering many of the beauty winners nutritional losers.

The researchers note that the enduring popularity of the pageant among TV viewers in the US means that the venue is still a powerful example of a media outlet dispensing society's "ideal of beauty." They point out that although deemed politically incorrect by some, the pageant was watched by over 10 million viewers in 1999 and ranked 11th in the Nielsen Research ratings among prime-time programs. As such, the research team suggests that the event retains the power to perhaps negatively influence the aesthetic aspirations of adolescent girls -- 50% to 70% of whom have been found in some recent studies to be unhappy with their weight and body image.

In an interview with Reuters Health, Allison Field, an associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, aid that while the data review highlighted one aspect of the critical image problem girls face in the media, it focused on a once-yearly event that pales in comparison to the daily influence of magazines, newspapers, film and TV.

"The findings may be very striking, but probably stronger images that would have a stronger impact would be on TV and in movies than in beauty pageants because it's a one-time event versus images girls are seeing everyday," Field stated.

Field also cautioned that this type of study has limitations in that none of the pageant winners were actually interviewed to assess their views on how much influence media imagery had on their own sense of body image while they were in competition. "It's a weak study design because you don't ask people directly," she noted, "and it's a throwback to an old method of measuring changes over time by solely looking at data and tying it to images. It doesn't ask how directly influenced the girls have been by images of weight."

However, Field noted that the concern the study raises -- as well as the attention it focuses -- on the power the media has to shape the self-image of an adolescent girl is valid and important. She pointed out that what girls see in their immediate environment and what they see in the media often conflict. "The American population in general is getting heavier and heavier, so there's a very large discrepancy between body weight -- which is growing larger and larger -- and what people are seeing in media images."

This discrepancy has been documented in interview-based studies Field herself has conducted, which she said have clearly shown a reinforcing relationship between media portrayals of ideal beauty -- whether through beauty pageants or film and magazines -- and an adolescent girl's sense of dissatisfaction with her body.

"In the research we've conducted, we followed girls over a one-year time period and we found the more likely they wanted to look like the figures they see in the media, the more likely they were to put effort into purging over a one-year time period -- using laxatives and vomiting," Field added. And, while not all girls fall victim to poor body image via media influence, some will. "There are many girls concerned with their weight, and a minority will use an unhealthy way to control it."

SOURCE: The Journal of the American Medical Association

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss Universe 1998 Inspires Fashion Photographer


Author:
Addicted
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 6:46:26am



Photographer Ernest Collins found inspiration in the person of Miss Universe ’98, Wendy Fitzwilliams, during his recent trip to Martinique for the show of the men’s couture house Francesco Smalto.

According to the American born and Paris based photographer, the former Miss Trinidad & Tobago is “the personification of grace, intelligence and inner beauty”.

“When I saw her, she radiated and I was immediately drawn to her”, Collins told Fashion Windows.

“I went to her and proposed to do an impromptu photo shoot and she agreed without hesitation.”

The shoot was quickly set for the next morning before Collins’ return to Paris. To the artist’s taste, the makeup was minimal, including just a simple foundation, lip gloss and some embellishments to the eyes.

“As Wendy radiates with beauty from within, I wanted it to be reflected in the photos. So we decided to go with natural makeup and hair that could be easily replicated by other women inspired by Wendy’s beauty.”

Ernest Collins is a photographic talent who has helped to launch the careers of a number of fashion models and whose portfolio includes numerous cosmetic campaigns for some of the industry’s biggest names.

Wendy Fitzwilliams is only the second Miss Trinidad and Tobago to be crowned Miss Universe, after Janelle Commissiong’s victory in the worldwide pageant in 1977.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Italy's smokebusters go into action


Author:
By Tamsin Smith , Rome Italy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 6:36:03am

As the clock strikes midnight, the crowd gathered in one trendy Roman bar cheer and kiss each other. It is not New Year, but the start of Italy's new non-smoking era.


Silvia Ceccon: Smoking is unglamorous

The revellers are anti-smoking lobbyists, doctors and consumer groups - and in true Italian style there is also a beauty queen.

"I am using my beauty to send a strong anti-smoking message," says Silvia Ceccon, Italy's Miss Universe 2004, smiling generously at the assembled photographers.

"It's anti-social and of course very bad for your skin, hair and teeth." She flicks her immaculate long hair. "Oh yes... and also passive smoking hurts other people and that's not good."

"We have been waiting for this law for a very, very long time," adds Marco Ramadori, President of Codacons, Italy's leading consumer association.

"It's an example for a new generation. Smoking isn't just a bad habit, it's an illness. And here we have very strong pressure from tobacco companies who are fighting against us."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss Hawaiian Tropic International, Amanda Jo Henkel cuts a Pop Album with the help of "Producer of the Year" Robert Metzgar.


Author:
Press Release Newswire
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 6:33:20am


Amanda Jo Henkel
Platinum Plus Universal Recording Artist
"The most photographed Miss Hawaiian Tropic International in the world!"



MCA Universal Producer Nominated Texas Producer of the Year

“Leaving the ministry and doing nothing but music full time was difficult at first,” Metzgar said in looking back on his music career here in Nashville. However, I had the help of some wonderful people. Joe Harris, Sr. who was Garth Brooks exclusive booking agent helped Mr. Metzgar open an office and start producing records again. His love for traditional country music, gospel music and especially bluegrass music has been the driving force behind much of what Metzgar has done in the past 25 years. His current projects include a gospel album on a former Miss America and a pop album on Miss Hawaiian Tropic International, Amanda Jo Henkel. For further information go to: www.amandajohenkel.com or see www.garthbooksbook.com

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Pageant Winner


Author:
Texarkana Gazette
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 6:32:14am

Pageant Winner
Saturday, January 29, 2005 1:11 PM CST




Miss Northeast Texas Teen USA 2004 April Ford of Texarkana won the title of Miss Texas Teen USA and will now advance to the nationally televised Miss Teen USA, to be held in August in California

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Five women vie for tiara honoring married women


Author:
By BETH SLOVIC, Chronicle Staff Writer
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 6:01:34am

There are gowns to buy and hairdressers to hire, hotel accommodations to reserve and photographers to find.

But these are not preparations for a wedding.

The women hurriedly trying to complete these tasks are already married. And they're contestants in a beauty pageant that celebrates this fact.

This summer, five local woman will compete against at least 16 others from across the state for the title of Mrs. Montana-America 2005. The woman who wins the coveted crown on July 2 in Billings will earn a prize package valued at nearly $6,000 and a chance to go to the Mrs. America national competition in Palm Springs, Calif., for two weeks around August.

More than the awards or the glory of winning, it's the opportunity for female fellowship that has drawn the local contestants -- Cherith Hamilton, 31, Deann Milmine, 31, Jaydee Shepherd, 28, Amber Blodgett, 23, and Marion Clark, 23 -- to the pageant, they said.

Defending the pageant from people who might deem it frivolous, the women who entered all said they thought it sounded fun. They looked forward to meeting new people, dressing up and taking a mini-break from the routine of everyday life to do something challenging and new, they said.

"The women who win, work their butts off," said Clark, a researcher at a pharmaceutical company in Bozeman, who was crowned Mrs. Belgrade when the pageant's state director accepted her application. "To trivialize it and say it's just a beauty contest is a bit naive; it's grown way beyond that."

Married women, with or without children, who are at least 18 and residents of Montana are eligible to participate. The pageant includes swimsuit and evening gown competitions, as well as interviews.

But there are no baton-swirling or cabaret acts, because organizers of the competition said juggling the tasks of married life, motherhood and work qualified as a talent.

To apply, the women had to submit a written application with head shots and $75. When they were accepted, they paid $500 more in entry fees.

"It's not inexpensive to participate," said Hamilton, who has been married for close to seven years and has two daughters, Cheyenne, 12, and Nikki, 6. Hamilton, who works from home as a brand account specialist, is competing in the state pageant as Mrs. Southwestern Montana. An opening for a woman who wants to compete as Mrs. Bozeman is still available.

In addition to the entry fees, contestants must pay for their clothes. This includes matching, tropical-themed swimsuits and sarongs for $119, an outfit for the group dance routine, which costs $60, tuxedos for their husbands (who will escort them during the evening gown portion of the competition), high heeled shoes, an interview outfit and a ball gown.

Then there's also the advertisement in the pageant's program. Each contestant is required to run at least one, and they cost $100. But if the contestants use professionals' photographs and designers, the prices go up.

To help cover the expenses, Sheree Channel, the state director, has encouraged contestants to seek sponsors, as Blodgett, a part-time fire safety teacher, who will compete as Mrs. Three Forks, and several other contestants have done.

With only a few weeks left before the competition, all of the contestants said they were excited and nervous to appear on stage. Some were preparing by walking around their houses in their bathing suits and heels. Others were working out more, trying to drop a few pounds before purchasing their formal wear.

Several, such as Shepherd, have never been in a pageant before. A stay-at-home mom who will compete as Mrs. Gallatin County, Shepherd said doing so had been a "childhood dream."

Milmine, who is Mrs. Gallatin Gateway and a co-worker of the current Mrs. Montana-America 2004, Nicole Hoppert, said she looked forward to doing something "girly." A mother of two boys and a receptionist at a plastic surgeon's office in Bozeman, Milmine said, "I'm a mother, and a wife and I work, and it seemed like a really good idea to be a beauty queen for a bit."

Beth Slovic is at beth@dailychronicle.com

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss Citrus jilts county to reign in Palm Beach


Author:
By JORGE SANCHEZ, Times Staff Writer
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 4:22:22am

"I was moving on to bigger and better things," says the ex-Miss Citrus, who will now compete for Miss Florida USA.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
INVERNESS - The winner of the 2005 Miss Citrus County pageant, Shilah Goodwin, voluntarily agreed to give up her crown after winning a pageant in Palm Beach County that affords her an opportunity to compete in the Miss Florida USA pageant and appear in an MTV reality show.

Ellen King, 22, will assume the 2005 crown that was awarded in March and receive $1,500 in scholarships. She was first runnerup in the pageant held earlier this year.

"I'm ecstatic and elated," King said. "They called me Tuesday and explained what had happened, and of course, I was just delighted to accept the honor to represent Citrus County."

Goodwin, 19, a part-time student at the University of Florida pursuing a biology degree, said she met with members of the Miss Citrus County committee last week to work out a solution. She won the Miss Palm Beach USA pageant two weeks ago. She said the Miss Citrus County Pageant is not a qualifying event for the Miss Florida USA title.

"This paid my $2,000 entry fee for the Miss Florida USA pageant, and it gives me a chance to represent Citrus County on another level," Goodwin said.

She said pageant committee members Jean Grant and Nell Mayberry helped her reach the decision to relinquish the Miss Citrus County crown.

"They totally supported me and said that they agreed I was moving on to bigger and better things," she said.

Reached at the fair office, Grant said the decision was mutual.

"Everything's cool," Grant said. "The thing is, though, you can't wear two crowns."

Grant said King will enjoy almost a full year's worth of Miss Citrus activities.

"Really, all that had happened was the pageant and being crowned. She (Goodwin) hadn't had a chance to make a public appearance yet."

King attends Central Florida Community College. Her hobbies are dancing, being with family and friends, cooking, reading and watching sports.

She volunteers at Citrus United Basket and Citrus Memorial Hospital, is a peer counselor at Inverness Primary School, was Miss Teen 1999 and second runnerup in the Miss Citrus pageant in 2004. She has won numerous dance awards at state competitions and performed in the Nutcracker Suite with the Florida Nature Coast Ballet in 2001 and 2003.

Goodwin said the Palm Beach County USA award included the services of a personal trainer and a spot on the MTV reality show True Life, during which camera crews will follow her at the Miss Florida USA pageant later this year.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: I'm back, baby, and in good company


Author:
Denise Neil
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 4:15:03am

Posted on Sun, Jun. 05, 2005

For those of you who've noticed this column has been missing for the past 12 weeks, well, golly, thanks for noticing.

For those of you who haven't, I'll deal with you later.

In the meantime, I have a confession to make to the former group, which includes a very nice saleswoman at Eddie Bauer in Bradley Fair.

I seriously considered not addressing where I've been all this time.

After all, when asked to write this column three years ago, I was given the task of appealing to the young hipsters of Wichita. Back then, I certainly wouldn't have considered motherhood very hip. (That's where I've been, by the way. It's a girl!)

But lately, motherhood has gotten a bit of a makeover. If not hip, it has certainly become very trendy.

After all, the leader of the pop culture universe, Mrs. K-Fed herself, is now with child. (Well really, how could she not be? Have you seen her reality show?)

And Britney isn't the only young superstar on the mommy track. Many of the world's most popular female celebrities have become diaper divas in the recent past. Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Courteney Cox Arquette, Reese Witherspoon, Liv Tyler, Debra Messing, Kate Hudson and Catherine Zeta-Jones are among the many.

As a result, pop culture is giving way to poop culture. The little rugrats are everywhere.

Just flip on your television any given night and you'll see nannies correcting them ("Supernanny" and "Nanny 911"); celebrities rearing them ("I Married a Princess"); crazy French women abducting them ("Lost"); and advertisers creeping us out with them (Quizno's unsettling talking toddler, Baby Bob).

One of the "Desperate Housewives" is even expecting.

And didn't I hear a rumor that the biggest celebrity event of the year, the breakup of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, had to do with her reluctance to get in a family way?

Thanks to Hollywood's baby boom, it looks like I've chosen the hippest way possible to de-hip-ify myself -- even though I'm not sure these movie star mommas and I are actually sisters in solidarity.

For example, one of my favorite shows during my maternity leave was MTV's new reality series "Meet the Barkers," sort of a Nick and Jessica thing with tattoos. It follows the lives of Travis Barker, the mohawked drummer for rock band Blink 182, and his bubble-headed wife, former Miss USA Shanna Moakler.

These young parents have many of the same things I do, including a baby and a bouncy seat.

But they also have several things I don't, including unlimited resources to hire people to care for their baby round-the-clock while they jet to London and eat sushi at L.A.' s trendiest restaurants. (They also cut their baby's hair in a daddy-matching mohawk, which is where I might draw the line.)

Something tells me the Federlines aren't going to be dealing with diapers and 2 a.m. feedings unassisted, either.

In closing, I'd like to turn to the public service announcement portion of this column and remind Wichita's young hipsters that just because cool celebrities are having babies, having babies doesn't make you cool.

But it's definitely the coolest thing I've done in a while.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Text voting coming to pageant


Author:
Daily Journal
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 5/05 4:07:02am

6/5/2005 12:39:47 AM

VICKSBURG - It's not quite like TV's "American Idol," but it's close - Miss Mississippi viewers will get to participate in who gets a scholarship and other prizes.

That outcome will be from the Miss Mississippi Corp.'s first-ever viewer's choice contest, an exclusive text messaging competition presented by wireless sponsor Cellular South.The Cellular South Viewer's Choice Scholarship winner, to be determined by a tally of total votes text messaged to Cellular South, will receive a $2,500 scholarship, among other prizes.

The Miss Mississippi messaging contest is managed by Cellular South separate from the contest's other winners.

Voting opened at 6 a.m. Wednesday and ends at 9 p.m. July 9, the evening of the pageant finals. Votes can be cast by Cellular South text messaging customers at any time during that period.

Other ways to vote

Voting opportunities also will be available to any pageant attendees on-site each evening of the competition through Cellular South wireless phones in the lobby of the Vicksburg Convention Center.

The winner of the Viewer's Choice scholarship will be announced just prior to the announcement and crowning of the new Miss Mississippi.

Votes can be cast for one or more pageant contestants by sending the contestant's assigned number in a text message to "MISS" (6477). Numbers - from 1 to 42 - are assigned in alphabetical order according to local pageant titles - Miss Alcorn County Jill Shumaker of Corinth is No. 1 and Miss Northeast Mississippi Community College Lauren Atkins of Columbus is No. 28.

Appeared originally in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 6/5/2005 8:00:00 AM, section A , page 2

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss Black Arizona represents UA, Tucson


Author:
CASSIE TOMLIN/Arizona Daily Wildcat
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 6:12:39pm


Third-year epidemiology doctoral student Rachel Wilhite, winner of the Miss Black Arizona title, is preparing to run for the national title in August. Wilhite mentors black women through the promotion of math and science.


Rachel Wilhite first read about the Miss Black Arizona pageant in a bulletin at her church. Though she had never participated in a pageant before, the idea of competing stuck with her.

"It kept coming up in my head," Wilhite said. "I thought, 'I could wear a dress for some scholarship money.'"

After winning the state title in February, Wilhite, a third-year epidemiology doctoral student, is preparing for the Miss Black USA pageant, to be held in Washington D.C. in August.

Wilhite takes many of the stereotypes about beauty queens and breaks them to pieces. Although she does have interests in fashion and beauty, she is also involved in mathematics and science.

Wilhite's platform for the pageant is mentoring black women through the promotion of math and science. If she wins the national title, she said she hopes to travel throughout the country to talk with students about their hopes, fears and career aspirations.

After determining what is on the minds of students at a particular school, Wilhite said she wants to work within the institution to help evaluate and create leadership programs.

"Overall, the goal is to encourage females to achieve the highest level of education necessary to achieve their goals, whether it's in liberal arts or science," Wilhite said.

A graduate of University High School in Tucson, Wilhite received her bachelor's degree from Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans.

She returned to Tucson several years ago and entered the UA's Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, where she received a master's degree in public health in December.

Even though she has only held the title for a short time, Wilhite said her work in the community has been very rewarding. She has attended events throughout the state, which allowed her to interact with Arizona's black community, such as the Tucson Urban League Gala and the Maricopa County NAACP Image Awards.

Wilhite said she has also been working to fulfill requirements for the pageant in August.

She's required to tutor for 40 hours and must also raise $1,000 for the Children's Miracle Network, which will benefit hospitals in Phoenix and Tucson.

Mary Roary, a third-year doctoral student in the College of Public Health, said she has known Wilhite since they began their studies together three years ago, and she is helping her raise money for the national pageant.

She said the state pageant was an easy win for Wilhite.

"She really had no competition," Roary said. "The young ladies in the competition couldn't touch her style, her grace, her intelligence."

Roary said Wilhite helps bring the women in their program together by organizing social and cultural activities, and if she wins the national title, she will serve as a positive role model for women and girls throughout the state and country.

"Girls everywhere will be able to say, 'I can do this. I can be beautiful and intelligent and not have to look a certain way,'" Roary said. "I think she brings that out of people."

Wilhite said she needs the support of the entire community, including the UA, when she attends nationals this summer, not just the minority community.

"Just as I'm proud to represent the state of Arizona, I need the state to support me," she said. "It's a state title. It's just the same as Miss Arizona."

As August creeps closer and closer, Miss Black Arizona is happy with how far she has come, and though she knows the competition at nationals will be stiff, the chance to represent herself and her state are one of the real rewards.

"I don't know if it's so much about going there to compete," she said. "I'm going there to let myself shine and represent myself to the best of my ability. I'm just happy that I have the opportunity."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: “FACE OF 2005” Photographic Modeling Competition


Author:
Muzza
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 6:11:06pm

The Face of 2005 in association with the New Zealand Small Business Directory and Travel Guide, plus other great sponsors. This international competition is open to all models 16 years of age and over. We invite models and new faces from all over the world to participate.

The competition will be open to international public voting over the period of the competition, from May 1st to July 31st 2005. Both winners are chosen, by securing the most public votes during the competition. The winners, 1x male and 1x female will be declared on the site on 1 August 2005.

All voting is electronically tagged so no replication of votes will be allowed. This makes for a fair and open contest.

Great fun, Great prizes and Great Sponsors in support.
Check it out on the New Zealand Small Business Directory and Travel Guide at http://www.nzsbdirectory.co.nz

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: mtv documentary casting


Author:
Jennifer-Pink Sneakers Productions
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 6:08:11pm

MTV NEWS AND DOCUMENTARIES

We are currently interviewing and casting for an upcoming show that
will document the life of beauty pageant contestants. We plan to follow
several people who are preparing and training for an upcoming pageant
and include in the mix the family, friends, coaches (walking,
interviewing), and peers who support them.

America is obsessed with pageants and the beautiful girls that enter
them. So why do you compete? How far would you go to win? Do your peers give you a hard time? Do you ever have to deal with jealousy? Does your family support you? Have you ever competed in a pageant with an unusual twist, something off the beaten path just to get the crown? If so, we’d like to hear from you.

We are looking for a wide range of personalities with unique and
interesting stories to document this Spring and Summer. If you are
preparing for an upcoming pageant, or know of someone who is, we’d
like to hear from you. Share your story and reveal to the world what
really goes on in the life of a beauty queen. If you appear to be
between 18 and 28 and are willing to share your story on camera,
write to us at beautyqueen@mtvstaff.com. Please include your name,
location, contact info and a recent photo.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss Iowa USA pageant returns to Ottumwa


Author:
Otumwa Courier
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 6:07:08pm


OTTUMWA - Miss Iowa USA and Miss Teen Iowa USA pageants return to Otumwa this year.
The state pageants will be in Ottumwa Sept. 16-18, according to state pageant directors JIm and Judy Clingman of Ottumwa.
This year's pageant will mark the 50th anniversary of Ottumwa native Carol Morris winning the Miss Iowa-USA title. She then went on to win the national Miss USA Pageant and also the Miss Universe crown. She remains one of only eight women in American history to win the coveted Miss Universe title.
"I can't believe the overwhelming support we've received already from the community," said Judy Clingman. "The school personnel, local businesses, the media, the Chamber - everyone has been just great to work with and the plans are now generally in place."
An ad campaign for a 50th anniversary souvenir program book honoring Morris and the pageant is under way. Headquarters for the pageant will be primarily at Ottumwa's Heartland Inn and Fairfield Inn hotels.
Preliminary judging of all contestants in evening gowns and swimsuit competitions will be Saturday evening, Sept. 17, at Ottumwa High School Auditorium. The state finals will be the following day, Sunday, Sept. 18. Two winners will be chosen who will represent Iowa on the NBC Television Specials next year, according to the Clingmans. Tickets will be available as time gets closer to the event.
"We are absolutely thrilled to learn that Ottumwa has been selected to host the Iowa State Pageant and help crown the next Miss Iowa-USA," said Terry McNitt, president of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce. "This state-level event will have a positive economic impact on our local business community." More than 100 contestants, and hundreds more family and friends are estimated to be in Ottumwa for the contest, according to the Clingmans.
"Ottumwa is a town of such rich history and outstanding people," commented KBIZ/KTWA Program Director, Paul Lunden. "I know that relocating the pageant to Ottumwa will result in nothing but greatness."
Teen contestants, ages 14-18, will compete for the chance to advance to Miss Teen USA on NBC-TV. The reigning Miss Iowa Teen USA Jocelyn Borkowski of Harlan will compete in August for the national title in Baton Rouge, La.
Miss Iowa-USA, Joy Robinson of Altoona, recently competed in the Miss USA Pageant in Baltimore, Md. The winner from North Carolina was named Miss USA April 11 and will compete in the Miss Universe Pageant in May in Thailand.
Pageant emcees will be Mike Nuss from Ottumwa and Mary Clarke of ModelTruth, who discovered Iowa actor Ashton Kutcher.
The USA pageants are a division of the Miss Universe Organization, which is a Donald J. Trump & NBC Television partnership.
During the Clingmans' tenure, they have had one national winner - Jamie Solinger, now of Mystic, Iowa, who won the Miss Teen USA title in 1992.
For more information, see the Clingman's website at http://www.ThePageantAgency.com
***
OTTUMWA - Contestants are being sought for the upcoming Miss USA and Miss Teen USA Pageants.
The state pageants will be held in Ottumwa in September.
Young women, ages 14-26, who are Iowa residents, or who attend college or university here in Iowa full-time, and who have never married nor given birth to a child are eligible to compete.
For more information, streaming video which tells about the pageant experience is available for viewing at http://www.ThePageantAgency.com.
Or, call state pageant directors Jim and Judy Clingman, at their Ottumwa office, (641) 226-5105.
Area pageant committee members are also willing to assist with information for prospective contestants, including Kathy Nuss at Accents Salon, Alice Richardson, Patti Hanna, Harter Clingman, Dean & Kandes Dalbey, Chad & Cindy LaRue, Joan Jacobs or Lori Murphy.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Sweden without Miss Universe Contestant for the First Time Ever


Author:
Media Wire
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 5:59:40pm

When the Scandinavian swimwear company Panos Emporio last year purchased the rights to the Miss Sweden pageant from TV3, the intentions were to bring the contest back to its original high status. Harassment from feminist organizations has however forced the company to put the competition on hold. This has led to the fact that in 2005 Sweden will not send a contestant to the Miss Universe pageant for the first time ever.

(PRWEB) April 14, 2005 - Panos Emporio announced in August of last year that the new plans for the competition would be presented during the fall, but after having been harassed by feminist organizations the decision to wait was made.

“Feminists forced me to cancel. I was surprised that, in a country as far developed and as liberated as Sweden, women’s rights movements receive so much attention in the media regarding an issue like this,” says Panos Papadopoulos, CEO of the company. At first he saw the response as negative, but then he realized that Sweden now has the chance to create something new and astonishing in the field of beauty contests, and become a role model for others to follow.

“I am the kind of person to listen to the opinions of others in our society, and I show humility towards them,” Panos continues. “Therefore the contest will rest for a year for us to have enough time to look into the possibilities of creating something new that will take Miss Sweden to a whole new level.

“The future of the contest depends on whether I can create a program that is accepted by most people in our society. It is important to create a contest that emphasizes the dignity as well as the beauty of the woman”, he ends.

This means that in 2005 Sweden will not send a contestant to the Miss Universe pageant for the first time. Sweden is one of the very few countries that have never failed to participate in the contest.


www.panos.com

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: 2006 Miss Sun Fun Teen USA.


Author:
Chamber of Commerce
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 5:48:36pm


Marlana Carter of Tega Cay is crowned the 2006 Miss Sun Fun Teen USA.

Marlana Carter is a student at Fort Mill High School.

McElveen and Carter share a hug

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: 22 Make the cut


Author:
Azman Ahmad
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 5:27:17pm

More than 100 beauties turned heads at the national selection for the Miss Malaysia China-town/International 2005 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel here last week.
They also gave the pageant’s five committee members, headed by Christopher Soh, president of Broadway Events & Marketing, a difficult time selecting them on Saturday and Sunday last week.

The 22 finalists will vie for the crown at the final on July 15. The winner will represent the country at the Miss International 2005 pageant in Japan.

The final at the Mayangsari Ballroom at the hotel is expected to be graced by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, who also launched the pageant on May 10.

“We were very happy with the response from the girls who came from all over Malaysia, except Kelantan and Terengganu,” said Soh.

“Among them were lawyers, administrators, air stewardesses and university students.”

He said they will announce the names of the finalists next week.

They will be presented to the public at the pageant’s booth on June 18 and 19 in conjunction with the Malaysia International Travel Fair at the Mines Resorts Exhibition Hall.

The booth will be next to Wing Onn Travel (M) Sdn Bhd which is sponsoring the winners’ air tickets to Tokyo, Sydney and Beijing.

Under the joint promotion from June 4 to 20, donors of a ‘normal’ dinner table will receive one return air-ticket to Bangkok while donors of a ‘special’ table will get two free return air-tickets.

Additional tickets to Bangkok will be sold at a special price of RM299. The tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Part of the proceeds from table sales will go to the Montfort Youth Training Centre in Sabah.

The title comes with prizes worth more than RM30,000 in cash and gifts.

Broadway Events & Marketing project director Joyce Lua said with ntv7 as official broadcaster, the 22 finalists would take turns as a weather girl during prime time news.

The TV station will also record the final to be shown at a later date.

Broadway Events & Marketing sales and marketing manager Gerald Tang said the finalists would be dressed in cheongsam with batik motifs besides the evening gown, casual and beach wear.

He said this is the first beauty pageant in Malaysia to be listed in a Government web site www.kualalumpur.gov.my.

Besides OTY Jewellery, which is giving away RM40,000 worth of pearl and jade necklaces to the winners, other sponsors are Nanyang Siang Pau for the Chinese media, FM97.6 (Chinese radio station), RED 104 (English radio station), Mutiara Raya Corp, Dragon Palace entertainment outlet, Alvin Couture, and Supermodels Studio.

The Malay Mail is the official English newspaper for the pageant which is supported by the Prime Minister's Department, Ministry of Federal Territories, Kuala Lumpur Tourism Action Council and Malaysia Truly Asia.

For details, call 03-9283 2773 or Gerald Tang at 019-3432 851.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Monica Spear – Miss Venezuela 2005


Author:
Sue Tam
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 5:25:00pm


Monica Spear, Miss Venezuela 2005, is the forth finalist of the Miss Universe 2005 contest which took place in Bangkok, Thailand on May 31.

Before the Miss Venezuela 2005 pageant, which was held in Caracas, Monica had no beauty contest experience. To win, she took classes in speech and dance together with other contestants for three months before the competition.

New Miss Venezuela 2005 is 20 years old and stands 5'9" tall. She dreamed about taking part in Miss Venezuela contest since she was a little girl, and made every effort not to lose her chance, even crammed two years of courses at UCF into one so she could graduate before the pageant. Despite her passion for the contest, Monica was sober-minded: “I’m going to do my best. If I don’t win, then it wasn’t meant for me. I have a lot of faith, though, and I’m going to work hard,” she said in her interview to santabanta.com.

With passion for drama and acting and having worked as an actress, Miss Venezuela 2005 hoped that her participation in Miss Universe 2005 would help her promote her career. “In Venezuela, a girl who participates in a pageant usually ends up working somehow in the media, as an actress or as a hostess or singer. That was my main motivation to be there. This will open doors for me everywhere I go, even here in the United States,” said Spear during a brief visit to her Orlando home last year.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Roswell girl heads to Miss Teen pageant


Author:
Robin Briscoe
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 5:15:17pm


A Roswell teen with her eyes on the Miss Teen America crown is departing for the Miss Teen New Mexico pageant this weekend in Alamogordo.

If Daniella Palomino, 15, wins the state pageant she will represent the state in the Miss Teen America pageant this August.

“I love being on stage,” Palomino said.

The Miss Teen New Mexico pageant is Palomino’s second competition this year. The RHS sophomore won the Miss Roswell pageant in January.

The pageant this weekend is the largest pageant in which she has been involved. She will be competing against 15 girls between the ages of 15 and 17.

It is also the first time she has had to prepare a platform — one she hopes to be taking to the Miss Teen America competition.

She said child obesity is rising in the United States and she wants to be an advocate for what she says is an issue that isn’t talked about enough. She said she wants to be a positive example and a role model and prove that beauty comes from within. Once that is established, the rest just falls naturally into place, she said.

She will also be participating in the Miss Hispanic pageant in Roswell, which starts next Tuesday. The pageant will include 18 girls from all over the state and will last until Saturday.

Palomino also is planning the choreography for the dance routine in this pageant. All the girls will work as a team on one dance number rather than an individual talent competition.

Her mother, Joann Palomino, said her daughter tries to be a good role model, especially for the local Hispanic community.

“It builds your self-esteem,“ her mother said of the pageant.

The young girl dreams of being the first Hispanic Miss America. She thinks all of her pageants are good experience for that day.

Palomino became enamored with the stage at an early age.

Her grandmother taught her to sing in Spanish when she was very young and entered her in a pageant. She became her coach until she passed away.

This weekend’s pageant has six categories. An eight-minute private interview will make up 40 percent of the competition, her talent will make up 30 percent, and physical fitness and evening wear each comprise 10 percent. The remaining 10 percent is divided by casual wear and on-stage questions.

Palomino plans to play the piano for her talent.

She finds the pageants nerve-wracking. And that’s the best part she added.

Desert Sun Roswell, where her father works, has been sponsoring Palomino’s pageants for the last year. Travis Hicks, executive manager, said they think its a worthy cause because the experiences are good for her growth.

Outside the pageant world, Palomino is a cheerleader at her high school and takes dance lessons. In addition she works at the day care at the Assumption Catholic Church part-time.

Mother and daughter will find out the results of the pageant sometime Sunday evening.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Where writing meets the runway


Author:
By Dan Boyd - Journal Writer
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 5:11:58pm


Evening gowns and harried newsrooms don't frequently overlap.

But to Eryn Lowe, a slender, blue-eyed 20-year-old named Miss Pocatello on April 9, there's no reason why they shouldn't.

"My mom used to tell me, 'You should be on TV' and I'd just laugh," Lowe said. "But I've always loved to write and that's why I'm interested in newspapers."

Lowe, who will be a junior at Idaho State University in the fall, works as a news editor with The Bengal, the ISU student newspaper, and is also a production assistant with Channel 6 in Pocatello.

But beginning next Friday in Boise, she'll take center stage as one of 18 women to compete for the title of Miss Idaho. Not that she plans to leave journalism behind.

Along with the customary interview, swimsuit and talent portions, Lowe has selected media literacy as her platform, or primary mission, if chosen Miss Idaho.

"I feel the media has a growing role right now," she said. "It's important to get (high school students) aware and get them involved."

To that end, she's been busy calling newspapers around the state and the country, seeing what efforts they make to spread the word to the younger generation.

Growing up in Declo, Lowe's senior project was to create the first-ever TV news program at Declo High School. She admits the idea of mixing pageants and print journalism might seem strange, but the more she's investigated, the more apt a pairing they seem to be.

"All of it is how you deal with pressure," she said, regarding both of her passions. "Now it seems weird to me that no one has taken this platform before."

But while Lowe strives to raise awareness, she knows that many people won't look beyond the glitz and glamour traditionally linked to pageants.

"Everybody thinks this is just a beauty pageant," she said. "It's sad to me that the viewership has gone down."

Indeed, while ratings for the more provocative Miss USA have soared, the popularity of Miss America, which places a higher emphasis on civic betterment, has suffered.

But Lowe is ready to prove beauty and brains still have a place in the national eye and she hopes her message hits home in Boise.


"I always get nerves but I think I'm ready," she said, adding her family and roommates will travel with her next week to the Treasure Valley to offer support. "There's so many Boise girls ... I want to show what Pocatello has to offer."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: The Miss Maine pageant comes 'home' to Brunswick


Author:
By Rachel Ganong, Times Record Contributor
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 5:07:50pm

By Rachel Ganong, Times Record Contributor
BRUNSWICK — Despite longtime connections to the town, the Miss Maine Scholarship Pageant has never been held in Brunswick.

That will change Saturday night at 7 p.m., when the 2005 pageant begins at Brunswick High School.

Twenty-five years ago, after winning the Miss Brunswick title, Valerie Crooker, now Valerie Crooker Clemens, represented Maine in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.

Ever since then, she and her sister Pati Crooker Mulligan have been heavily involved with the Miss Maine pageant, the official preliminary to the Miss America pageant. And coming full circle, Saturday's event will be in the high school's Crooker Theater, named after their family.

"It only seems to make sense, really. It shows our involvement as a family in the community," said Mulligan, who has spent 20 years as the pageant's executive director and currently serves as treasurer. "I feel as though it's finally where it belongs: It's in a community that is giving 110 percent. We're probably going to be here a long time."

Mulligan actually sent in her sister's application for the Miss Maine Pageant in 1980, which occasioned not only her sister's title but also Clemens' own involvement with the pageant.

"I've always been involved in volunteering," Clemens said, "and I want to give back to the program that gave so much for me."

Clemens now serves as the president of the national association of Miss America state pageants. One of her responsibilities includes welcoming Miss Maine to her Philadelphia home before the Miss America pageant so that she can shop for her pageant wardrobe, visit the venue and tour Atlantic City before the 18-day competition held in the fall.

Yet, the pageant has changed significantly since Clemens participated. "In 1980, we didn't have platforms. That started in 1989," Clemens said, referring to the public service portion of the competition, which has changed the pageant program's objective from beauty to service and scholarship.

Although Clemens didn't have to communicate her interest and involvement in nonprofit organizations, she said the pageant gave her confidence and skills that have helped her throughout life.

Erica Wonder, 21, of Bath, says the pageant has done the same for her. "It's such a great program for personal development and growth," she said. Wonder graduated from Morse High School and just finished her junior year at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where she is studying music education.

Wonder competed in 2002 and 2003 as well, and after watching the competition last year, decided she'd try again.

This year Wonder is one of 11 women who moved into Brunswick's Fairfield Inn on Tuesday for a week of public service engagements like visiting the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital and having tea with Midcoast Senior Center. They also pack in competition interviews and lots of event rehearsals.

Wonder's Topsham counterpart, 19-year-old Heather Spear, a junior studying criminal justice at Endicott College, said, "It's almost like learning an entire play in a week." Like Wonder, this is Spear's third year competing, and both were encouraged to compete by their voice instructor, Rebecca Beck.

But the contestants have invested more than hours of rehearsal time in the pageant. They have each paid a $100 production fee and a $50 dollar registration fee besides buying a competition wardrobe. Also, each contestant has secured $600 in advertisements for their "salute pages" in the program.

But Wonder and Spear consider it an investment. "Last year we got a $300 scholarship just for competing; that's paying for a semester of books," said Spear.

And their investment will have an even bigger payoff if they win the title. Miss Maine wins more than $10,000 in scholarships and awards as well as a fur coat, flowers, hair and nail care, fashion consultations and many other prizes.

And according to the pageant's history, it's not unusual for a Brunswick-area resident to hold the title. Clemens and Beck Atkins, both Brunswick residents at the time, won the title in 1980 and 1982 respectively; an Orr's Islander, Kathleen Jerrel Hawk, won in 1981; and Amy Vice of Lisbon Falls is the current Miss Maine.

Wonder and Spear, however, will have to wait until Saturday night to find out if they can start another streak of area winners.

"The hardest part is the suspense of not knowing until the very last minute," Spear said.

"However you feel about it, the judges may not feel the same," Wonder said.

What they do know, however, is the support of the Brunswick community.

"I just feel like Brunswick loves us. We have good appearances here," Wonder said, citing the military escorts for the evening gown competition from Brunswick Naval Air Station and encouragement from shoppers at their Wal-Mart appearance as examples.

Wonder and Spear will perform vocals, answer an on-stage question, and model evening gowns and swimwear before a panel of judges that includes Mitchel Olson, a cast-member from NBC's "Survivor: Australian Outback."

Tickets for Saturday's pageant are available at the door for $50; and tickets to Friday's 1 p.m. dress rehearsal benefiting the Brunswick High School girls basketball program and junior high cheerleaders are available for $5 by calling Cindy Lemieux at 729-3596.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Local teen wins Michigan Junior Miss title, heads to national competition


Author:
Dominic Adams
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 5:05:12pm


As Stephanie Bierlein stood under the spotlight and anxiously awaited the announcement, she recalls having just one thing on her mind - her family.

"I was thinking, 'Wow I get to see my parents soon,"' said Bierlein, 18, of Essexville. "I hadn't seen them all week and I really didn't think I was going to win."

In becoming the first Michigan Junior Miss winner from the Tri-Cities, Bierlein earned a trip to Mobile, Ala., and a chance to compete for the title of America's Junior Miss 2005. According to the organization's Web site, no one else from the area has won the contest since it began in 1959.

"One of the only reasons I did this was because a scholarship was a part of it," Bierlein said. "With pageants a lot of people think about beauty and this isn't what it's about."

Bierlein won a $2,000 cash scholarship for winning the state competition and a $500 cash scholarship for winning its outstanding academics award.

Junior Miss competitions are divided into five categories in which contestants score points. A talent and interview portion account for 25 percent each, and scholastics is worth 20 percent. Both physical fitness and self-expression are worth 15 percent. The candidate who accumulates the most points during the three-day national event wins the crown.

Bierlein won the state title in Alpena on March 5. For the talent portion, she performed the third movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata," a piece she perfected with the help of Margaret Hanson, her piano teacher for the last six years.

For her on-stage question, Bierlein was asked about when people should become accountable for their actions. She answered at the age of 18, but said she would answer differently if she had a second chance.

"When you're up there you just say the first thing that comes to your mind," Bierlein said. "I think people are always accountable for their actions."

Bierlein leaves June 12 for the national competition and will miss her graduation at Bay City Central High School. The contest begins June 21 with preliminary events and wraps up June 24.

"I was really disappointed," she said of missing commencement. "For me giving this up wasn't an option."

Bierlein is the valedictorian at Central and has been involved in numerous extracurricular clubs and activities at school and in the community.

Her mother, Barb Bierlein, said she and her husband, Allen, have tried to instill a sense of civic duty in their children. The couple has three other children - Christopher, 21, Bethany, 20, and Joanna, 13.

"We don't push our kids to work in high school because we wanted them to concentrate on their studies," her mother said. "We push them to give back to the community."

Stephanie Bierlein got involved at Do-All Inc. last summer as a way to help the Bay City community.

Do-All helps people with developmental and physical disabilities gain employment skills, and helps seniors make the transition into retirement.

Aladia Mazique, coordinator of the agency's program for seniors, said Bierlein showed kindness to each individual at Do-All.

"She's just the most absolute sweet, kind, generous and caring person," Mazique said. "She can take initiative and she came in and saw what needed to be done and did it."

Bierlein says she's the one who benefited from volunteering with Do-All.

"That was a really good experience," she said. "You could tell the people at Do-All appreciated life and they were a joy to be around."

After being accepted to both Alma and Albion colleges, Bierlein will head to Wayne State University. She was accepted into the university's prestigious MedStart program. Only 15 students were accepted to the honors program, and she will have her tuition and room and board paid for by the university.

"There are so many opportunities," Bierlein said. "I get to mentor with a doctor every weekend, and the biggest thing is that I'm guaranteed a spot in medical school."

Barb Bierlein said she has watched her daughter develop into a wonderful young woman during the last few years.

"She has grown so much," her mother said. "She's been very blessed and she's a very humble young lady."

As far as the possibility of earning the title of America's Junior Miss, Stephanie Bierlein says she has mixed emotions.

"I'm nervous, yet I'm excited," she said. "I think it will be a good experience whether I come home with the scholarship money or not."

© 2005 Bay City Times.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss Universe pageant has evolved


Author:
Inquirer News Service
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 4:50:52pm

By Behn Cervantes

Editor's Note: Published on page A3-3 of the June 4, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Page


I RECENTLY watched the 2005 Miss Universe contest and counted myself among its one billion viewers. After all these years, how has the Miss Universe tilt evolved?

Armi Kuusela, the first Miss Universe, once stated how surprised she was at how the contest had changed. It once was "a little contest" held in Long Beach, California, primarily because that little city had a naval base with eager sailors who were naturally interested in the bevy of beauties who paraded in bathing suits!

Logistics

The contest has since gone international, and is now held wherever a host nation is willing to lend manpower and logistics for the prestigious beauty tilt. Both the Philippines and Thailand have hosted the contest twice. South and Central American nations have likewise been eager hosts of this contest that ostensibly aims to effect international understanding. Fine, but it is a contest, so those beauties aim to win!

Therefore, as this year's beauties introduced
themselves, I noted how studied their ebullience appeared. It was so predictable that it came off almost as a caricature.

I was more aghast at how tacky the National Costumes portion has become. Instead of exhibiting their true national attires, most contestants wore wild interpretations that shortened, cut up or abbreviated the original costumes. They were so overdone and showed so much skin that the contestants came across as ethnic Ziegfeld Follies or Las Vegas chorines!

Exhibition

The same need to show as much flesh as possible was demonstrated in the Long Gown portion. Again, most gowns bared the contestants' legs, backs or cleavage. I thought that had already been attended to in the Swimsuit portion?

But, I was impressed with the beautiful contestants. How the judges can choose a blonde over a dark-haired South American, Asian or African beauty is beyond me. I was also shocked at how tall the girls were. Most of the semi-finalists were over 5'10"!

I was, however, taken aback by their wide waistlines. Most contestants had flat stomachs since most of them must have gone religiously to a gym prior to the Bangkok contest.

Whistle-bait figure

However, as someone raised in the '50s, I found their waistlines rather broad. In my era, a whistle-bait figure was described as a Coca Cola body. Now, the shape is rather straight and looks more like Sarsi!

Even in beauty contests, there's a generation gap! As I observed the contestants' silhouettes, I realized: Gone are the days of Mitzi Gaynor, Ava Gardner, Janet Leigh and the 36"-24"-36" "vital statistics"!

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss Condom pageant pushes safe sex


Author:
News
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 4:33:11pm

A bevy of Thai bar girls, health officials and a transvestite have blown up condoms and paraded for a different kind of honour -- the title of "Miss Condom Asia-Pacific".
Featuring 20 contestants from four different nations, the contest aims to promote safe sex in Thailand -- a country on the frontline in the war against HIV/AIDS in Asia.

But instead of twirling batons or warbling show tunes, "Miss Condom" competitors wowed the judges with their condom-blowing prowess and knowledge about the virus, which has infected over seven million people across the region.

"They can understand (condoms). They play with them and there`s no value judgment," said Senator Mechai Viravaidya, known as "Mr Condom" for his work in promoting AIDS awareness in Thailand.

"It`s education plus entertainment," said Mechai, adding that the 20-year-old contest still helps to remove the stigma of condom use in a nation still ruled by conservative social mores.

Thailand, where infection rates are falling after a campaign to promote condoms among commercial sex workers, is one of the region`s rare success stories.

Held in a loud, sprawling entertainment block with bars named "G-Spot" and "Hollywood Strip", the pageant lured punters from as far away as Zimbabwe, the Philippines and Cambodia.

Judged on their safe sex knowledge and onstage poise, they blew up condoms and danced to Thai country tunes on a makeshift stage as a man wearing green condom suit cavorted nearby.

A Zimbabwean health official, who bested her rivals in the condom-blowing contest, said events such as "Miss Condom" put Thailand ahead of other developing nations in AIDS prevention.

This year`s "Miss Condom" title -- and a 1,000 baht cash prize went to 20-year-old bar girl Pairin Pongprasert, who was crowned amid shouts and screams from her co-workers.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: The Search is on for Miss Black U.S.A. 2005


Author:
Headlines
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 1/05 4:44:53pm

All Press Releases for February 17, 2005
The Search is on for Miss Black U.S.A. 2005
The Miss Black U.S.A. Pageant is holding an open call audition for various open state titles. This may be a young womans chance at the coveted Miss Black USA title. Visit www.missblackusa.org now.

(PRWEB) February 17, 2005 -- A National Audition for State Delegates for the "Miss Black USA Scholarship Pageant"

The Miss Black USA Scholarship Pageant is searching for women who are Intelligent, Talented, Poised, and Beautiful. If that is you, do not miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!

The national "At-Large" audition for State Delegates for the Miss Black USA Scholarship Pageant will be Saturday, March 19, 2005 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Zanzibar on the Waterfront (700 Water Street, SW; Washington, DC 20024). An "At-Large" delegate is a delegate who is selected through an interview/audition process rather than competing in a State Pageant. The candidate chosen to represent a particular state will go on to compete against 51 other delegates vying for the title of "Miss Black USA" 2005. The National competition will be held in Washington, D.C. from August 2, 2005 to August 7, 2005. The 51 delegates will enjoy one week of promotional activities in the Nation's Capital, culminating with the final competition on Sunday, August 7, 2005 which includes Fitness, Talent, Evening Gown, Interview (Preliminary Competition), and Question and Answer (Final Night). It is here that one deserving delegate will be crowned "Miss Black USA" 2005. The future Miss Black USA will receive scholarship money, an array of prizes, and media exposure, with opportunities to speak both in the United States and abroad.

What you must do to qualify?
- You must be a single African American female between the ages of 17-27.
- You must be a resident or college student in a particular state. (If you are attending school in one state but are the resident of another state you can qualify for either state)
- You must have a talent.

Prior to the audition date, candidates must pre-register. Registration includes completing the Delegate Application in its entirety and submitting a $50.00 non-refundable application fee no later than Monday, March 14, 2005. In addition, each candidate must bring a modest head and body photo (not returnable) to be posted on the website if selected.

The Audition begins promptly at 4:00 pm. Each candidate will be interviewed prior to showcasing her talent before a panel of distinguished judges. The interview process will not exceed three minutes, and the talent portion will not exceed two and a half minutes. Judges will have the option to conclude each section prior to the maximum allotted time. Candidates will be notified of selection by the close of audition. At that time, the newly selected "At-Large" State Delegates will receive a complete delegate's packet, which outlines all of the pageant requirements.

Please note that there is a $495.00 entry fee to the national competition for each state delegate, and transportation and hotel costs are the responsibility of the state delegate. We encourage you to obtain sponsors to help. For additional information, please contact Karen Lyew, the Executive Director of Pageant Relations Tel: 301.560.0713; Email: e-mail protected from spam bots

Listed below are the states in which we are seeking delegates:

Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

To find out more about the Miss Black USA Scholarship Pageant and future state pageants, please visit the official Miss Black USA website at www.missblackusa.org.

The Miss Black USA organization is a 501c3 non profit organization.

Contact:
Karen Lyew, the Executive Director of Pageant Relations, Miss Black USA Pageant Organization Tel: 301.560.0713
Email: e-mail protected from spam bots

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: The Interview: Tips from a Judge


Author:
Brenda Hill
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06/ 1/05 4:32:36pm

Good read for those of you who are panick stricken when it comes to interview questions.


The interview portion of the beauty pageant is, in my opinion, the most important. Some pageants even allot a higher percentage of scoring to the interview portion of the pageant. Consequently, preparing for this segment is VERY important. In preparing for pageants, I was warned of several questions that almost all judges ask. Thankfully, this gave me plenty of time to prepare a well-thought answer. I also researched numerous pageant websites and looked for any suggestions they had for interview techniques. In this article, I will discuss 2 of the most-asked questions at a pageant, discuss a possible answer, and give a judge's opinion on how to answer. In future articles, I will discuss more interview questions.

1. Why do you want to be Miss Whatever? This question should concentrate on your motives of entering the pageant. Is it for scholarship money, to help a charity, to gain self-confidence, to get experience, or to achieve other goals? Although in answering this question, don't go on and on about the many reasons you are entering this pageant. The following was my answer for competing in the Mrs. Louisiana United States pageant. "I enjoy encountering new possibilities and goals. Becoming Mrs. Louisiana would open the door for many exciting possibilities. I would also like to use the title as a springboard for motivational speaking on behalf of the American Cancer Society Breat Cancer Awareness." I gave them the basic answer as to why I entered the pageant but not a lengthy discussion. Show the judges that you plan on using your title and not just letting it sit on the shelf collecting dust. Judges want a leader.

2. Tell me 3 words that describe yourself. In this question, the judges are wanting 3 descriptive words about you. This question has been asked at many job interviews, too. Please don't make the mistake of thinking that you have to be humble and not say anything. This is the biggest mistake that people make. Don't be humble!! I know that sounds silly, but trust me on this one!! The judges (or employer) are not asking you to be conceited. They do not know you. They want you give them 3 words that will tell them about you. I promise that's all they want. However, when I have judged pageants, this question is the one that separates those who win (or place high) and those who don't. The judges want a woman with confidence. In fact, I have different answers for different interviews. For a job interview, I use the words, organized, efficient, and a time-manager. I am clear, concise, direct and honest in these answers. It's not conceited at all to tell a future employer that you are organized. They want to know this!! For a pageant, I use the words unreserved, sincere, and a leader. These three words encompass three different "sides" of me. Can't you get a picture of me from these words? Also, try to stay away from overused words. For example, everyone seems to be friendly, outgoing, and sincere. These answers are used over and over in interviews. In fact, they are used so much that they have lost their value. I know I used sincere in my example, but I honestly couldn't think of a better word to use. Instead of using outgoing, I used a word from the Thesaurus -- "unreserved." This is the same meaning as outgoing, but it stands out in a judge's mind. Think of words that describe you then search in Thesaurus for creative ways to use those words.

Remember to be yourself and tell the judges about you not about the person you think they want you to be.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Re: You know all of this is really old news, when are you people going to move on.


Author:
pageants over!
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/31/05 12:57:11am


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Wonderful Watermelon Facts


Author:
Dawn Krebs column
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/31/05 12:30:46am



Watermelons and wellness


With this upcoming weekend being the rest of the Watermelon pageants and Watermelon auction, I wanted everyone to get in the mood. So, here's some watermelon facts, courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board:


* Watermelon is the lycopene leader among fresh fruits and vegetables. When people, think of lycopene -- a pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their red color -- they think of tomatoes. In fact, watermelon contains higher levels: A two-cup serving of watermelon contains 18.16 mg, while one tomato contains 4 mg. Lycopene, according to some research, may provide a preventative effect against certain types of cancer.

* Watermelon is practically a multivitamin by itself. A two-cup serving of watermelon is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as 7 percent of the recommended daily allowance of potassium.

* Watermelon helps weight loss. With only 80 calories per two-cup serving, it's an ideal food with virtually no fat for someone who is watching their weight.

* Watermelon is full of water. Watermelon is 92 percent water so it helps give your body the fluids it needs.

* Watermelon is popular all over the world. The United States is the leading exporter of watermelon -- 88 percent of U.S. exports go to Canada and the remaining are shipped to Japan, Mexico, Russia, Bermuda, and France. Overall, 200-300 varieties of watermelon are grown in the U.S. In 2003, nearly 4 billion pounds of watermelon were produced here in the U.S.

So, with all these fun facts, how do you pick a good watermelon. Well, if anyone has been to any of the watermelon pageants, the commercials give lots of information. Here's some tips:

* Look it over -- choose a firm, symmetrical melon that is free of bruises, cuts, and dents.

* Lift it up -- the watermelon should feel heavy for its size.

* Turn it over -- on the underside of the melon there should be a creamy, yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

Now if all this doesn't make you want to go out and buy some watermelon, I don't know what will.

Enjoy your watermelon and I'll see you this weekend at the pageants and the auction!

You can reach Dawn Krebs at dawn@sun-herald.com.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Now accepting applications for "Miss Motown" and "Miss Motown Teen"


Author:
Belinda
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/30/05 11:31:01pm


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
Replies:


Subject: Angela Gan's new-found confidence


Author:
ALLAN KOAY
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/30/05 9:53:57am

She was wholly dependent on her family. Everything was always taken care of, from food to transportation.

Then, one day, she had to go abroad to further her studies and was forced to live on her own. She overcame the challenges and found her independence to the point where she even found the confidence to compete for the Miss Malaysia/Universe 2005 title.

And she won it.

Newly-crowned Angela Gan stunned everyone with her answer to the question posed to the five finalists: “Would you be satisfied if you were chosen as the first runner-up in this year’s competition? And tell us why.”


The experience of living in England for three years has taught me how to communicate with people from all over the world.– Angela Gan
The 23-year-old Sabahan simply said that she wouldn’t settle for second best. She felt she had the confidence, intelligence and personality to be Miss Malaysia/Universe 2005. Gan added that she values her experience of having studied abroad, which not only helped to build character, but also her communication skills.

“The experience of living in England for three years has taught me how to communicate with people from all over the world,” said Gan, who graduated from the University of Leeds.

“I was the only Asian in my class. During the first two to three months, I had difficulty communicating with people because I couldn’t speak English well and the people there have a very strong accent. But I gradually learned and mingled with others, building up my confidence and communication skills.”

Gan had a Chinese education during her primary school years, then attended a national school for her secondary education, after which she took her A-Levels at a private college and proceeded to England to obtain a degree in Childhood Studies.

“It is a degree that covers psychology as well as education for pre-schoolers,” Gan explained.

“I love children very much; it is as simple as that. I find them to be very honest, and whether they like you or not, they will show it and not pretend otherwise. But adults sometimes have to pretend to be somebody else.”

Her long-term ambition is to be a child psychologist and run her own childcare centre.

“I hope to achieve this in five to 10 years’ time,” said Gan.

“It takes time and it is a big responsibility to have a childcare centre because we are not dealing with objects but with children who represent the future.”

She said that winning the title does not mean she would put aside her career for the moment. Rather, she will continue to pursue her long-term goal while taking on her responsibilities as a beauty queen.

Asked if she plans to have children of her own, Gan replied: “Not so soon, because it is also another big responsibility. You have to be physically, mentally and financially ready for it, if you want to bring up children in a proper way. So, I have no plans yet.”

Does she have someone in her life right now?


POISED: As Miss Malaysia/Universe 2005, Angela Gan has a lot of things to accomplish and feels that having a serious relationship might just distract her from her duties.
“I have plenty of ‘boy friends’,” she said and laughed. “We are all close friends and we can really communicate with each other.”

But no serious relationship?

“As Miss Malaysia/Universe now, I’m going to have a lot of things to accomplish, and I would not want to have any distractions,” Gan explained. “I really want to concentrate on this. It is only for one year, and after that, the responsibility will be passed on to somebody else. So, I want to make full use of the time.”

On whether she is a person who puts career first before everything else, Gan said that it is true at this point in time. But she does not dare predict the future.

“I don’t know what is going to happen when I am 30 or 40,” she said. “By then, family might come first. I am a family-oriented person; I love my mom a lot and my family means a lot to me. But for now, career comes first.”

Gan has three younger sisters, two of whom are twins. Her father is a businessman and her mother is a housewife. Gan still lives with her family in her hometown of Tawau. She said her family has been very supportive of her pursuit of the title which was something she had been dreaming of since she was a child.

“I was a fan of Hong Kong serials, and I never missed a Miss Hong Kong pageant,” she said. “I used to tell myself, maybe one day I could be like them, but never did I imagine I would be able to go this far. I feel really blessed.”

The 1.7m-tall Gan loves travelling and she had the opportunity to traverse Europe during her studies abroad. She has been to countries like France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. She will be adding Bangkok, Thailand, to the list when she goes there for the beauty pageant finals on May 31.

“If I had not been sent to England to study, I would not have had the chance to travel much,” she said. “I love meeting people, seeing new places, experiencing different ways of life and getting to know different cultures.”

She also loves reading gossip and fashion magazines (to keep up with the latest trends, of course) and romance novels, especially those by a writer named Ching Kai Lun, because her novels have happy endings. Life is too short to be sad, said Gan.

“I am 23 years old right now,” she added. “I have about 50 or 60 more years to go if I’m lucky. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. So, we should just appreciate and cherish what we have. And I want every day to be happy.”

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Angela Gan is Miss Malaysia Universe


Author:

[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/30/05 9:50:16am

KUALA LUMPUR: “I am confident, intelligent and I have a great personality and that is why I should win,” were the words that clinched the Miss Malaysia Universe 2005 title for Angela Gan, 23, from Tawau, Sabah.

Holding back tears, the University of Leeds graduate in Childhood Studies said she was excited and “I feel really honoured to represent Malaysia.”

She won, among other prizes, RM5,000, a Swarovski crown, cosmetics and personal appearances or assignments worth RM30,000.

The first runner-up title went to Chloe Chan from Taiping, Perak, while Chermaine Poo from Kuala Lumpur was the second runner-up.

MALAYSIA'S CHOICE: Gan showing her trophy and crown after winning the Miss Malaysia Universe title.
The Miss Universe 2005 pageant will be held in Bangkok on May 31.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Move over Jen, there's a new Miss in town


Author:
Lindsay Murdoch
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/30/05 9:45:58am

April 3, 2005
The Sun-Herald

Tears and triumph ... A 'shocked' Michelle Guy is crowned Miss Universe Australia. Photo: Glenn Campbell

Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins thinks Michelle Guy, who may become her successor to the crown when she represents Australia in the beauty pageant in Thailand next month, has all the qualities needed to win.

"She is so cute and beautiful; she has the complete package," Hawkins said after crowning the new Miss Universe Australia at Darwin's Sky City casino.

Guy, a 19-year-old health science student from Perth, broke down and cried when judges selected her from 23 other contestants from around Australia.

"I'm shocked. I had no idea. I was not expecting this at all," she said. "I'm just a uni student. This is huge."

A sell-out crowd watched the contestants strut the stage in evening wear and swimsuits in the casino's ballroom on Friday night before they answered a final random question.

Guy told the audience the "best single thing" about Australia was its vast landscape.

Other contestants were quizzed about whether they supported the use of animals for medical research (yes, but not for cosmetic research) and the biggest environmental threat facing Australia (litter, including chewing gum on the ground).

Advertisement
AdvertisementWorld peace failed to rate a mention, with Miss People's Choice, Darwin's Narelle Minchin, opting to make people "more positive and tolerant of each other" if she ruled the world for a day.

The pageant's national director Jim Davie said the contest had "moved on" from many of the stereotypes of old.

"Some of those girls, they're pretty well educated and they've got a very focused view of what they want to do," he said.

"[But] let's not kid ourselves, you have to be beautiful - that's the starting point."

Hawkins, a former Newcastle Knights cheerleader, who is now working as a TV presenter on The Great Outdoors, was crowned Miss Universe in Quito, Ecuador, in June last year.

She says she intends to spend the next 12 months working for charities and concentrating on her television commitments.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: PLEASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSE GET RID OF BILLY BUSH!


Author:
Trina
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/30/05 9:31:14am

How on earth did this guy get a job in TV and why on earth does the organization think he is worthy of hosting the show? Not only is he awful to listen to, but he is about a foot shorter than O'Dell. He just looks like a drooling nasty boy getting off around all the pretty girls.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: THE QUEENS OF MEXICO.


Author:
Larra
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/30/05 7:54:25am



[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Redemption!


Author:
Stage Door Productions
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/27/05 1:47:18pm


It created quite a stir when New England fitness star Toneka Pires did not place among the Top 20 at the Fitness America Pageant. After all, she won the '05 Fitness New York and Capitol Classic and was a Finalist at Fitness Universe Pageant. So, how could Toneka not be among the even the FAP Top 20? Well, you get a different answer depending whom you ask - Head Judge Tony Gonzales has one answer as do each of the other judges. But, the scores are the scores and Toneka had to accept the results. She says, "Yeah, I was pretty upset because I really felt that my routine was the best I have every performed." Tonka sulked a bit but has decided to put it all behind her. Now, she is preparing to take on everyone at the Fitness South Beach Pageant on April 1-2. Toneka is out to prove the FAP judges wrong and will be competing on Ocean Drive for the seasoned beach crowd. "I'm out to redeem myself and give everyone a great show", she claims. Toneka will be one of just 20 elite competitors to compete at the 7th Annual Miami Beach Sports Festival.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Carrie Lee is out of this world


Author:
THAM AI MEI
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/24/05 12:09:08pm


MISS Chinese Cosmos 2004, Carrie Lee Sze Kei can completely fool you. When she first walked into the Delicious Cafe at 1-Utama in Petaling Jaya, she was elegant, composed and supremely confident. In short, the lovely young lady with the silky long hair and doe eyes was the picture of ladylike femininity, poised to take on the Chinese entertainment world in a big way.

During the photo shoot in front of a scattered number of diners who were attempting valiantly to look nonchalant, Carrie pouted and struck poses for the camera like the model that she is. In the next moment, as we settled down on the settee for our interview, the ultra-cool beauty morphed into this girlish, charmingly giggly teenager (she is, after all, only 19 years old). She spoke almost nervously in rapid-fire English and Cantonese. At times, this Kepong lass stumbled over her words, but there was no doubt that her frantically paced speech was a reflection of her quick wit.


"I have dual personalities. At times, I am really, really confident, and at other times I just feel like disappearing." – Carrie Lee Sze Kei, Miss Chinese Cosmos 2004.
“I have dual personalities. At times, I am really, really confident and at other times, I just feel like disappearing,” she said, using dramatic hand gestures. Her favourite phrases, as I found out by the end of this interview, were “really, really” and “very, very”, uttered in quick succession and with a blink. Perhaps it was this endearing earnestness that had helped her win the international title during the finals held in Hong Kong late last year.

“The most important lesson I learnt from the pageant was how to be really, really confident and not so much how to groom yourself. Most of the contenders from China were so self-assured I had to force myself to be like that even though my Mandarin is rather poor,” said this former Miss Tourism Malaysia 2003.

Carrie was an active sportswoman during her secondary school years at SMK Segambut Jaya and had represented the Federal Territory in handball. Obviously, her decision to shed her tomboy image has reaped tremendous rewards.

Being the gutsy girl that she is, Carrie was adamant about her decision to join the pageant even though she was told that the language barrier would hinder any chances of her clinching the title. However, as the days wore on and Carrie went on to become one of the 20 finalists of the pageant, she actually contemplated quitting while she was still ahead.

“I thought if I were to be chosen as one of the eight finalists at the next stage, I would be forced to go through some tough question-and-answer sessions (which were conducted in Mandarin). I didn’t want to embarrass my family, my country and myself by speaking in my lousy Mandarin, so it did cross my mind to give it all up,” she reminisced. “But then again, I convinced myself to continue because I felt that I had a responsibility to give it my best shot.”

I asked her about her famous horse, which was the catalyst for her winning the coveted title. You see, Carrie allegedly won over the judges’ hearts when she broke down and cried after finding out that her horse had sprained its leg. So what was that all about?

“I felt very, very bad about how I treated my horse,” Carrie confessed with a cringe. “I had been riding the same horse in China for a few days and I had won many of the riding contests with it. So one day I was surprised to find that my horse was a lot slower than he usually was, and I used my leather whip on him. It was only when someone checked on him that I realised he had sprained his leg and could hardly move anymore. I felt so awful that I just burst into tears.” At this point, Carrie paused for a moment as her thoughts drifted back to her hoofed friend.

Currently, the budding starlet has just finished filming local production Love Circle, a Mandarin drama serial targetted for Malaysian TV.

“I can honestly tell you that I couldn’t bear to watch my first 10 scenes in the serial,” Carrie confessed. “I think that my acting ‘skills’ were awful then. I felt like banging my head on the wall when I saw myself on screen.” She laughed with embarrassment and shook her head.

She is also quite the jetsetter as she frequently flies to China for glitzy affairs like opening ceremonies and interviews with the Chinese press. Since Miss Chinese Cosmos was organised by the Hong Kong station Phoenix Satellite Television, Carrie has also made several appearances on Astro’s Phoenix Channel. Looks like Carrie will be treading the tried-and-tested path of capitalising on her beauty title by venturing into the entertainment industry.

She cheerfully held up five fingers and confided: “I am giving myself five years to make it in the entertainment industry. I am not really bothered whether I will be in Malaysia, Hong Kong or anywhere else in the world. Of course, my foremost priority now is to improve my Mandarin.”

Since she will still be relatively young after the said period, Carrie feels that there might be a possibility that she will continue her studies thereafter, preferably majoring in interior design. Previously, she had discontinued her business studies at HELP Institute in Kuala Lumpur after one semester due to financial constraints.

As if to reassure me that she is not a run-off-the-mill, garden-variety beauty queen, she added quickly: “Now, I am actually working on setting up an event management company with some friends.

“We had a meeting with people from the Tourism Ministry yesterday. We plan to implement a state-level Miss City Tourism pageant, which precedes the national Miss Malaysia Tourism pageant,” said Carrie, clearly bent on making full use of her experience in beauty contests.

Her very-short-term goal is to clean her house in preparation for the Chinese New Year. She laughed her uninhibited laugh as she confessed: “My room is such a mess and my mum has been nagging me to clean out my room.”

Being young and gorgeous, Carrie nevertheless prefers to stay at home than go clubbing.

“I don’t really enjoy a teenager’s life,” she declared with commendable conviction, spoilt only by a giggle. “I had my share of partying when I turned ‘blonde’ for one of my modelling assignments. I still go clubbing but somehow I don’t enjoy it as much anymore. I like to go to mamak stalls with my friends. There were a few times when people did recognise me, but I am not bothered. I just smile.”

In fact, Carrie is so carefree that sometimes she goes out with a bare face.

I asked her whether she has seen herself on the Phoenix channel and she grinned sheepishly and held up her hands. “I don’t have Astro at home,” confessed the guileless one. “My family can’t afford it as we are quite poor.”

Carrie, the middle of three siblings whose mum is a housewife and dad a welder, declared with a genuine smile: “I was born into a poor family; I don’t think I would be where I am today if circumstances had been otherwise.”

As with all interviews with newly crowned beauty queens, the issues of beauty secrets and romantic status naturally pop up.

“Beauty secrets?” Carrie mused aloud. “If I were to ask you to choose between consuming expensive birds’ nest or having eight hours of sleep, which one would you pick?”

“Sleep?” I ventured, thus prompting a satisfied grin from her.

“Of course, sleep is much more important because nothing will ever replace the effects of having a good night’s rest,” she opined.

Carrie openly declared that she has a boyfriend.

“You can write about it if you want, I don’t really mind,” she assured me by patting me on the hand. “There is nothing to hide. In fact, I bring him along for many of my public appearances.”

Before she picked up her bag to leave, I asked her for the name of her horse that had injured itself in China.

“Tong Hua (meaning fairytale in Mandarin),” she told me, flashing a dazzling smile.

How very apt.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Spreading the Message


Author:
By Tsabeng Nthite
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/22/05 3:00:57am


Love yourselves and never give up, was the advice Miss South Africa Claudia Henkel yesterday gave students at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), urging them never to stop dreaming.

Henkel, who is in the fourth month of her reign as Miss South Africa, will be jetting off to the Miss Universe pageant in three weeks' time. But before she leaves, she wants to inspire and motivate young women to "live" their dreams.

Henkel said: "My journey over the past four months has been an incredible one. I have met creative talents of South Africa and leaders of our country.

"My mission at the campus is to show young girls that I am proof of dreams coming true. I have always wanted to be Miss SA and here I am today, living my dream through hard work, determination and a winning spirit."


Also there to speak to the students was Gerri Rantseli, who now markets the Miss South Africa pageant.

"What I look for in a Miss South Africa is a woman who has an overall beauty, one who is compassionate, has feeling and emotions and has tenacity and respect for her country.

"Believing in yourself and how you carry yourself are important for the role of Miss SA, but we also encourage education, because we want a person who after their reign will have something to fall back on," said Rantseli.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Just passing some cool info


Author:
*Star*
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05/16/05 11:54:18am

You don't want to miss this week's season finale of The Simple Life as pageantry takes center stage. Tune in to see if two of Hollywood's most famous faces, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, discovered what it really takes to be a "Beauty Queen" by attending Boot Camp for Beauty Queens in Nashville, Tenn.

Fox Television states: "Before Paris and Nicole stow away their Louis Vuitton briefcases, their last stop is Tennessee, where they fall into the hands of a motivational speaker and beauty queen coach." The dynamic duo was put through the paces in Nashville by the owner and creator of Boot Camp for Beauty Queens, Dale Smith Thomas - longtime Pageantry subscriber and former Mrs. Tennessee America. Tune in to see what lessons were learned and who, if anyone, will be crowned?

Tonight May 12

THE SIMPLE LIFE: INTERNS

9:30 PM ET/PT and 8:30 CT on FOX

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: MISS LATINA EUROPA


Author:
telelatina
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/28/05 6:25:49pm

The prestigious pageant for european girls with latino origins comes to the Dominican Repubblic. MISS LATINA EUROPA (Una Miss por Miss America Latina) will held the finale in Juan Dolio November 12th. More information and available licences here: http://www.telelatina.tv/public/archiv/2005/misslatinaeuropa/index.asp

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Lara Dutta has not had a good year so far


Author:
Rediff
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/27/05 4:38:54pm

Lara Dutta has not had a good year so far, what with Elaan, Jurm and Insaan bombing at the box-office. But there's hope for the Miss Universe 2000 in Karan Johar's Kaal, releasing this Friday.
The actress had a great time lighting bonfires, going fishing, playing table tennis, walking across rivers, sharing ghost stories, barbecues and much, much more - plus, of course, filming the thriller!

Lara recalls the 45 days of uninterrupted shooting schedule she and her costars Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi, John Abraham and Esha Deol, underwent in Jim Corbett National Park and Thailand:

Kaal was full of experiences! I've worked with all the actors in the film before so it was like shooting with friends. Shooting in Jim Corbett was fun, but tough.
We were staying in Manu Maharani Resorts in Jim Corbett. Every evening, we would have bonfires by the river near the resort. The entire cast and crew would be together. We would barbecue, and wrap blankets around us because it was very cold. We would play music and tell stories.
We shot nights in a bhoot bangla, which was right in the heart of the jungle. And Ajay would come out with his ghost stories.

I would be up at 4am everyday, and be on location at 6am. The day was very hectic. We would pack up by 5pm.

The climax was difficult, physically grilling. I had gone for the Kaal shooting with my leg in a cast because of a torn muscle. I had recovered during the 45 days that we were there, but for the climax we were all hoping that it would hold!


It was really brutal for me. I was popping four-five painkillers from the first day just to get through the day. I was in a lot of pain in those days. I would remove the cast for the shot, and then put it back.
Once we shot on this river, and the bridge collapsed so we dived into the FREEZING water. It's Himalayan water, so it's very cold.

In the evenings, the boys would play table tennis. I could not believe that in the middle of the jungle, they were having TT competitions!
Dharma Productions had done a great job. Where there was nothing, they had arranged for DVD players for all of us in our rooms. We also had a DVD library.

Soham's wife had come to visit on their wedding anniversary and Vivek and all of us decided to get them remarried! So we got a pandit and wedding costumes. We were so bored; there was nothing to do there!

Esha and I were the only two girls so we stuck together. We didn't want to play TT, so we played Uno and antakshari.

Esha is like a sister. As a rule, we don't discuss work. That's the only way friendships between actresses work in this industry. We would come up with new adventures that we would embark on! People couldn't separate us at all. We would watch movies together, go fishing, have code words that we would laugh about...


The boys kept claiming that they would cross the river next to our resort but they never did. Only Esha and I did it. We actually walked across the river!
Ajay is very senior to us and we all looked up to him. I've worked with him in Masti and Insaan. Usually, one gets very intimidated by him, and when he shows up on the sets you start behaving yourself. But he's a wonderful person. He didn't play any pranks on Esha and me.

There were no real pranks actually, just stuff like someone's soup had a lot of chillies, someone else's room looked like something strange was going on because everything was turned upside down!

All the animal portions were shot in Thailand. I shot with three 12-foot tigers for the first time! They were unrestrained, untranquilised, left free. They were trained but we did have a few close calls.
Every time they were let out of the cages, we would stop breathing. In those shots we had to look scared. I think none of us really had to act then!

There was a scene when we were in an open Gypsy with a tiger. He probably got bored of just standing there so he ripped out the entire seat of the Gypsy in a single bite and ran away with it!

One of the trainers, playing Ajay's duplicate, was attacked. He was dressed like Ajay and the tiger didn't recognise him, so it got threatened by someone advancing so close.

But a lot of precautions were taken. Our stunt director Allan Amin was very good. He never made us do a shot if he wasn't sure of it.
But the shoot was more physically strenuous than dangerous.

Kaal is a suspense thriller, about six people who find themselves in the middle of a jungle and events that unfold over two days. When they can't get out of the jungle, they meet a pahadi (Devgan), who helps them.
I play Ishika, a North Delhi girl. Her life revolves around her boyfriend Dev (Vivek Oberoi). She's sweet but insecure. She has to have his approval on her ideas. She's also very superstitious, and always giving Dev hell for wearing a black shirt on a Friday etc.

Sometimes he gets irritated with that, but he also loves that about her because he knows that she cares a lot for him. They have a sweet relationship. But within these two days, she starts seeing changes in Dev. The events bring out traits of his personality that she didn't know existed. Along the way, this girl finds strength in herself.

Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar did not come on the sets at all in Corbett, though they were the producers.


Hats off to Soham for handling all five of us so well. He was very clear about what he wanted to do, and how

Yes, I've had three flops already this year. I think Elaan could have been shot better. It had a good story, but it's something that people have seen before. I don't think it was a bad film, but so many things go into making a film, that don't work out well.
I was happy with Jurm. I got a chance to portray a character that I've never done before. The film didn't do well, but my performance was appreciated.

The only film this year that I would not do if it were to be offered to me now is Insaan. What I had heard and what shaped up in the film were very different.

I am a lot more cautious about what I do nowadays. I don't want to repeat the same mistakes. I don't want to do anymore multi-starrers. I don't want to do too many films a year.

I'm comfortable as an actress now, and I do look at roles that give me opportunity (to act). And the length of the role matters.

Next, I'll be seen in Aneez Bazme's No Entry and Suneel Darshan's Dosti.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Aflac Duck Gets 'Trumped'


Author:
FirstCall - April 27
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/27/05 4:27:29pm

Aflac Experiments with Sex Appeal in New Commercial Guest-Starring Melania Trump COLUMBUS, Ga. - PRNewswire-
COLUMBUS, Ga., April 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Aflac Duck gets a bigger speaking role in its 22nd commercial thanks to the help of billionaire bride Melania Trump. The mad scientist-inspired television ad titled "Experiment" debuts nationwide on May 2nd during network primetime and on various cable channels.

The new spot is the third installment in a new series of Aflac television ads created to educate consumers on the specific benefits of Aflac insurance. Developed by the Kaplan Thaler Group, "Experiment" joins two ads from earlier this year, "The Broken Leg" and "Pet Shop," in showcasing the duck outside its typical one-word role.

"Following five years of saying only 'Aflac,' we believe viewers will enjoy seeing the Aflac Duck talk," said Dan Amos, chairman and CEO of Aflac. "The commercial gives the duck a voice in a very clever and entertaining way. We were pleased that Melania Trump was available to help the duck talk about the benefits of Aflac with glamorous appeal."

Melania Trump is a widely recognized celebrity in Europe, having modeled in fashion shows and magazines across the continent. She has been featured on the cover of GQ magazine and has done print ads in fashion publications like Vogue and Vanity Fair. Her resume includes having served as a celebrity judge for the Miss USA 2003 beauty pageant and an appearance on her husband's popular reality television show, "The Apprentice." Trump's appearance in the upcoming Aflac ad marks her first major role in a national television commercial in the United States.

"I am very excited to make my acting debut in the latest Aflac commercial," said Melania Trump. "Donald is known for saying 'you're fired'; maybe I will be known for saying 'Aflac.'"

Although Aflac has had other celebrities appear in its commercials, Trump is arguably the most glamorous to star alongside the Aflac Duck. The ad will combine Trump's alluring appeal with the duck's dry humor to provide entertaining laughs and a clear message of the benefits offered by the leading insurer.

For 50 years, Aflac (NYSE:AFL) products have given policyholders the opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life-interrupting medical event causes financial challenges. Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan. Aflac's insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people worldwide. In January 2005, Aflac was included in Fortune magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the seventh consecutive year. Aflac has also been included in both Forbes magazine's Platinum 400 List of America's Best Big Companies and in Fortune magazine's listing of America's Most Admired Companies for five consecutive years. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Two Faces of B'Wood


Author:
Planet Guru
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/27/05 4:25:42pm

New York, April 27: America got a glimpse of two different faces of Bollywood as Amitabh Bachchan appeared on the highly respected Charlie Rose show on PBS and Aishwarya Rai chatted with Oprah Winfrey.

Rose, known for his substantial and often cerebral method of interviewing his guests, seemed quite struck by his guest's looks, voice and overall articulation. The show last week had the weight of two engaging men talking about this and that. Amitabh came across as thoughtful and quietly self-assured.

Aishwarya, on the other hand, was full of affectations, contrived sophistication, near fake earnestness and well-rehearsed intonation in the show Tuesday.

In keeping with her trademark style, she giggled first and spoke later as Winfrey asked her all the standard questions about kissing in public, sex, arranged marriage and so on.

There was one unusually perceptive question that Winfrey asked and Aishwarya did not quite answer adequately. That was about the preference for fair skin in India.

Fair skin treatment is a huge business in India, Winfrey informed the audience and asked Aishwarya to explain. The actress generally agreed that fair skin was a preferred tone but then did not go much beyond saying that India had all types of looks. To expect her to hold forth on what nearly 200 years of subjugation by a white colonial power can do to the psychology of an impoverished nation was too much to expect.

Winfrey asked her if she recognised that she was gorgeous. Aishwarya's response was a lesson in insincerity and beauty-pageant like. "To me, beautiful is as beautiful does. I think that's what speaks volumes. It isn't about the apparent gig. It's about what you do," she said.

She knew quite clearly that if she were an average looking woman doing the job of an office secretary she would not be asked that question, and, if she were, her response would not have been so politically correct. A simple yes would have done much more for her effectiveness.

As the US television media discovers the power of Indian films, it inevitably goes for obvious names. What could be more obvious than Amitabh and Aishwarya?

While after 35 years Amitabh has paid his dues and deserves the occasional attention he gets from the US media, Aishwarya's rise is somewhat dubious. It is mostly about marketing.

Her first introduction to the mainstream American audience through "Bride and Prejudice", Gurinder Chadha's puerile, 'Punjabified' interpretation of Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice", has done far less than expected.

In her earlier appearance on CBS News' "60 Minutes", Aishwarya struck many Americans as obviously very good-looking but devoid of depth.

But in so much as Amitabh and Aishwarya, separated by over three decades in age, are bringing an awareness to the West about India's entertainment industry, they are serving the same purpose.

Jane Kerrey, an office secretary working in Manhattan, New York, who saw the Oprah show summed it up well saying: "From (Mahatma) Gandhi's India it is now Rai's India for many in the West. Both Indias have a place."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss France loses her crown for six months


Author:
French News
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/27/05 4:23:48pm


April 27 2005 at 07:00PM

Paris - Miss France 2004, Laetitia Bleger, on Wednesday was barred from wearing her crown and sash for six months after posing half-naked for Playboy, the committee that runs the beauty pageant announced.

"Laetitia Bleger broke the rule forbidding Miss France winners from posing for licentious photos that are either partially or totally revealing," the committee said in a statement signed by its president, Genevieve de Fontenay.

Fontenay said on Monday that she was "dismayed and appalled" by the half-naked photos of Bleger in the adult magazine.

Bleger could have been stripped of her title and forced to return any gifts she received as Miss France.

"I expected anything but this from Laetitia Bleger. We can't let this go. The Miss France winners have a status to uphold and they know it," Fontenay said.

For all official Miss France gatherings for the next six months, Bleger will be replaced by 2004 runner-up Lucie Degletagne.

Isabelle Turpeaut, Miss France 1983, lost her title after suggestively posing for Paris Match magazine.

US actress and singer Vanessa Williams, the first black woman to be crowned Miss America in 1983, was forced to resign two months before the end of her reign after photos taken of her when she was a teenager appeared in Penthouse. - Sapa-AFP

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Playboy pics could cost Ms France her title


Author:
French Wire
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/27/05 9:57:06am

Paris - Miss France 2004, Laetitia Bleger, could be stripped of her title after posing for Playboy, as the committee which runs the beauty pageant forbids "licentious" behaviour for six years after taking the crown.

The president of the Miss France committee, Genevieve de Fontenay, said on Monday that she was "dismayed and appalled" by the half-naked photos of Bleger in the adult magazine.

"We're going to call an emergency meeting of the committee's management board," she said.

According to Fontenay, a Miss France can be stripped of her title during the year of her reign and for five years afterwards for improper behaviour, including "licentious photos, even if only partially revealing".


Bleger could also be forced to return the gifts she received as Miss France.

"I expected anything but this from Laetitia Bleger. We can't let this go. The Miss France winners have a status to uphold and they know it," Fontenay said.

Isabelle Turpeaut, Miss France 1983, lost her title after posing as a pin-up for Paris Match magazine.

US actress and singer Vanessa Williams, the first black woman to be crowned Miss America in 1983, was forced to resign two months before the end of her reign after photos taken of her when she was a teenager appeared in Penthouse. - Sapa-AFP

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: HIDDEN BEAUTY


Author:
Story by SUKANYA JITPLEECHEEP and BAMRUNG AMNATCHAROENRIT
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/25/05 2:32:10pm



Models show off dresses and swimsuits created by BSC, a brand owned by Thailand's ICC International Plc, which will provide swimwear for the Miss Universe contestants. — APICHART JINAKUL
Benefits from staging Miss Universe far outweigh the costs

Why should the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) buy commercial spots on CNN for 147 million baht? Or spend millions of baht on international road shows, involving first-class tickets and five-star accommodations to promote Thailand and Thai-made products?

Isn't it more economical to put up 248 million baht for a 90-minute internationally televised show and let the private sector make up the difference of the 650 million baht budget for the Miss Universe Pageant? After all, there are many private companies battling just to have their logo on the Miss Universe banner _ firms like Boon Rawd Trading Co Ltd, the maker of Singha beer, which has poured 100 million baht into the pageant to support the contestants in various activities in their 30-day visit.

Sure, for the government, that's 100 million baht more than a CNN package. But it comes with an estimated audience of more than 1.17 billion viewers in 170 countries (the fourth largest audience after the Olympics, the World Cup and the Super Bowl), coverage from over 1,700 international media representatives, a slew of sponsorships, plus numerous added incentives such as 88 beautiful ladies from all over the world parading about in swimsuits. Oh, and they also have talent.

According to marketing gurus, hosting international events is far more effective in promoting Thailand and Thai-made products than traditional media.

The Miss Universe 2005 Pageant scheduled to take place at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani on May 31 is a prime example of an innovative medium to promote Thailand and Thai-made products globally.

Facets of Thailand will be on stage, at a cost $1.5 million (60 million baht).

The concept of the event is to show the uniqueness of Thai culture, by decorating the stage with a replica of a traditional Thai house and boat, according to Tom Kruesopon, chief organiser of Miss Universe 2005 Thailand.

Mr Tom said the costs of combined media time in 177 countries would be around $200 million, or eight billion baht. Spending 248 million baht is a bargain.

There are players other than taxpayers eager to foot the bill _ event organisers, brand owners and service providers.

Take ICC International Plc, for example. The marketer of BSC swimwear will be stacking the 88 contestants into its swimwear. "Considering the exposure, it's more than worth the investment," said Mrs Thirada Ambhanwong, brand manager of BSC swimsuits. She hoped the pageant will introduce BSC's "modern and sexy" swimwear to the world.

"It's a smart way to debut the BSC brand to the world," said Chalit Limpanavech, a marketing professor at Assumption University.

Mrs Thirada said although BSC products were not exported internationally this year, the brand will be recognised by foreign viewers who then visit Thailand.

ICC International also plans to host events such as a gala dinner and a fashion show featuring pageant contestants.

Sponsorship for the pageant includes more than just the 90-minute show. Miss Universe is a month-long programme. Besides marketing and brand-building, the pageant also boosts the local economy.

According to Sukanya Janchoo, assistant vice president for sales and marketing at Dusit Thani Hotel, 100 rooms at the hotel, which also hosted the 2003 APEC summit, are already booked for Miss Universe.

"With each event, the hotel's reputation grows and guests keep coming back,"said Mrs Sukanya.

Chaipranin Visudhipol, president of the Advertising Association of Thailand and managing director of TBWA/Thailand Co, said that in the face of recent negative news over violence in the South and the ongoing impact of the tsunami, the pageant would create positive awareness for Thailand as a brand.

"It will draw worldwide attention and bring back optimism," he said.

Moreover, the Miss Universe Pageant is viewed by marketing gurus as the gift that keeps on giving.

According to Mr Tom, the pageant isn't like a 30-second commercial spot. The 88 contestants, in effect, become ambassadors for Thailand and Thai-made products.

Picture this: When Miss Germany returns to her country and a reporter asks for her impressions of Thailand, what sort of answer could she possibly give? She's a beauty queen, after all.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Wheelchair pageant a confining affair


Author:
Mike Nichols
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/25/05 2:22:21pm


Cinda Hughes, a former Ms. Wheelchair America, is - along with many other things - a quadriplegic. Which means she can't use her hands the way many of us do.

"Someone cuts my food for me," she said Friday, "and I bend over and pick the food up with my mouth."

The Oklahoma resident has been doing it for over 40 years, she said, and is actually very skilled at it - though not skilled enough apparently to suit some.

Hughes said Friday that the executive director of the pageant organization called her at work just a week after she won the 2004 crown and instructed her not to accept speaking engagements where a meal would be served because she thought others would be disturbed by how she consumes her food.

The comment was so ludicrous that Hughes thought it might be a "deliberate attempt to provoke anger."

Advertisement

She responded, she indicates, by telling the woman, Pat O'Bryant, that she believed part of her job was to "show what our lives are really like on a daily basis."

There's plenty of ignorance about that.

Hughes' roommate down in Oklahoma is Christina Gilmore, a Kenosha native with cerebral palsy who was Ms. Wheelchair America in 1999.

Gilmore said in a phone interview Friday that she sometimes uses a scooter rather than a wheelchair and, during an appearance in Tennessee, had to use a bathroom accessible only for the latter. As a result, she had to brace herself against a wall and walk into a bathroom stall that didn't have proper access - a struggle for which she says she was reprimanded by Ms. Wheelchair America leaders.

Gilmore says, after that, the leadership made her sign a new contract stating that the titleholder must use a wheelchair the majority of the time - even if, I guess, the titleholder really, really needs to go.

"Exactly," Christina said.

At the time, she said, those leaders did not include O'Bryant or the current board president, Gail McKoon. But she, like her roommate, thinks they need to go.

In a state competition in Oklahoma, Hughes and Gilmore say, a woman by the name of Sherri Kelly won. Kelly has severe cerebral palsy, communicates by typing on a keyboard with a head wand and, as a result, needed extra time during a national competition to respond to questions. O'Bryant refused to give it to her, Hughes and Gilmore contend.

"She was denied," Gilmore said. "I don't know if 'no' was the exact word."

When the time's up, the message apparently was, it's up.

The anecdotes seem endless. Lisa Wartchow, Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin 2003, said Friday that she has a service dog named Max.

"He is my right hand," the New London resident told me Friday. "He is part of me." If she drops something, Max picks it up. He takes her socks off. He turns on her lights.

Still, she says that when she was in the national pageant, she was told by O'Bryant not to bring Max onstage with her because it would be too distracting to the audience.

O'Bryant did finally allow Max onstage after an outcry from other contestants, she said. Outcry is something there is plenty of.

Neither O'Bryant nor McKoon is disabled, and each seems to have a lack of understanding of what the term means, all of the women feel. McKoon didn't return a call Friday, and O'Bryant wouldn't comment.

Given the current controversies involving the wheelchair pageant in Wisconsin, I have to agree.

Time's up.

There's one concept they ought to be able to understand.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: The road to rodeo royalty


Author:
By MIKE McCLEARY/Tribune
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/25/05 2:16:39pm

There's more to being a rodeo queen than riding a horse around an arena between rodeo events. Queen and princess rodeo pageant royalty and participants must perform a number of skills, from modeling to public speaking to horsemanship.

Miss America never had it so tough.

Last weekend, a dozen current titleholders and other queen and princess pageant participants honed their skills while listening to advice from four former rodeo queens at the annual seminar sponsored by the Miss Rodeo North Dakota Pageant Association.

On the first day of the seminar, the cowgirls learned to coordinate their clothes, boots and hairstyle, to stand appropriately with their feet in a T-position, to always turn to the left, pay attention to the crowd, memorize pageant walk patterns, pay attention to the tempo of the music, adjust walking pace accordingly and answer the judges' questions in a positive manner.

And, most of all, to have fun, be creative and show personality as the judges examine everything. Oh yeah, and smile the entire time.

On day two of the seminar the cowgirls learned that, at most pageants, you may have to ride an unfamiliar horse, how to mount and dismount the saddled horse with the grace of a ballerina, to maintain posture and elegant hand position as you hold the reins while sitting and riding, adapt yourself and the horse to the arena, learn and perfect the required horsemanship skills, know when to canter, trot and gallop the horse and wave to the crowd.

And remember to smile.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss America's survival may


Author:
The Associated Press
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/25/05 1:36:28pm

Miss America's survival may
hinge on getting down, dirty
Pagaent to use reality tactics to lure
new TV partner, better ratings
A "Fear Factor Miss USA" contestant lies in a tank containing fish during a stunt on the NBC reality show. The show, which aired as a lead-in to the Miss USA Pageant, showed five contestants having live worms, fish and fish oil dumped on them. The rival Miss America pageant, currently without a television deal, is considering some sort of reality TV twist in hopes of persuading a cable network to air the annual pageant.

How about Miss Arkansas in a cat fight with Miss Texas? Or Miss Alaska plotting with Miss Tennessee to get Miss Maine voted off the runway? Or a swimsuit contest featuring bikini-clad women walking the runway while covered in leeches?



For Miss America, such scenarios would’ve been unthinkable once — when all it took to win was a fetching smile, a modicum of talent and a tight swimsuit.

But Miss America’s in for an extreme makeover.

Dropped by two networks as a ratings loser, the pageant is desperately in need of a lifeline of its own, apparently ready to shuck its squeaky-clean demeanor in favor of the snarky negativity that fuels reality TV.

The pageant has reluctantly embraced the craze in recent years, tweaking its age-old formula by adding a pop quiz, curtailing the talent competition and interviewing contestants backstage — to no avail.

There is more urgency now, though. Cast off by ABC after a record-low 9.8 million people tuned in for last September’s pageant, Miss America is without a TV outlet for the first time in 50 years and is facing the prospect of having no pageant at all in 2005.

Miss America officials, who have hired talent agency William Morris and made several trips to California to pitch TV producers and executives in recent months, declined repeated requests for comment on the status of their hunt for a new spot on the dial.

“What we are proposing out in Los Angeles is that we open up the sacred doors of Miss America,” Miss America Organization CEO Art McMaster recently told The New York Times.

Strong stomachs and poise and grace
Whether the pageant is ready to resort to “Fear Factor”-inspired gross-outs, “Survivor”-style conniving or week-to-week eliminations a la “American Idol” remains to be seen. If the fates of rival Miss USA are any indication, though, future contestants may need strong stomachs more than singing ability.

In a “Fear Factor Miss USA” that aired before the Miss USA pageant earlier this month, five bikini-wearing contestants had 55-gallon drums of live worms, fish and fish oil dumped on them during one stunt.

Is that the future of Miss America?

“Oh, God, I hope not,” said Bob Arnhym, who runs the Miss California Scholarship Pageant.

“I think the audience that watches reality TV has a coliseum mentality. They are cheering for the lion, not the gladiator. I don’t know at what price we’re prepared to pander to that audience. But anything that is degrading to them, or humiliating, or holds them up to public ridicule, none of those things are going to be acceptable,” he said.
Founded in 1921 as a bathing beauty contest on the Atlantic City boardwalk, Miss America took to the air in 1954 and was a ratings darling for decades. It offered a little leg, the trappings of royalty and a live crowning to a viewing public that had almost no other place to ogle pretty, scantily clad young women.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Georgetown girl Outstanding Teen


Author:
By Jshuane Melton, Delaware State News
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/25/05 1:24:02pm

DOVER — Thirteen of the State's most intelligent, talented and beautiful young women took to the stage Sunday aiming to become the first Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen.

The Outstanding Teen program began nationally just months ago in March when the Miss America Organization formally announced the launch of the competition.

Carly Rae Economos, 16, of Georgetown, was crowned as the first Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen after the votes had been tabulated.

The Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen pageant is far from a beauty show.

While all of the contestants were undeniably pretty, organizers say the scholarship program promotes scholastic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living and community involvement.

The contestants were judged on a private personal interview, talent, evening wear, active wear and lifestyle/fitness.

The personal interview carried the most weight in judging, counting for 40 percent of the contestants overall score. The talent competition counted for 30 percent and the remaining categories counted for 10 percent each.

Sunday's competition, held in the Wells Theatre on the campus of Wesley College in Dover, would decide which young lady would represent Delaware in the national Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant, which will be held in Orlando, Fla., later in the summer.

The competition was hosted by reigning Miss Delaware Linda Kurtz, who entertained the crowd between competitions with stories of her activities as Miss Delaware.

As entertaining as Ms. Kurtz was, she couldn't steal the show from the 13 ladies selected to compete for the title.

During the talent portion of the competition, attendees were treated to interpretive, hip-hop and ballet dancing, various vocal performances, a pianist, baton- twirling and even the famous "wire hangers" scene from the movie "Mommie Dearest" performed as a monologue.

A panel of six judges watched as the girls demonstrated their physical fitness, danced together, performed their talents, and answered one interview question in front of the audience while wearing their evening gowns. Then came the task of choosing one girl to crown.

After Miss Economos' crowning, Kayla Martell, 16, of Milford was named first runner-up, and Brittany Mumford, 17, of Magnolia was named second runner-up, giving Downstate the top trio.

Jamie Parker, 17, of Millsboro completed the sweep as "People's Choice," a winner decided through a process in which donations are placed in each girl's basket and the winner gets to keep the money in her basket.

Carly's crown has earned her a $1,000 savings bond, a paid $1,000 entry fee for the national pageant, flowers, her crown, a profession photo shoot for the national pageant, airfare and hotel accommodations for the national pageant, a sterling silver Miss America bracelet, competition wardrobe assistance, participation in the Miss Delaware state pageant, and tickets for the Miss Delaware State Pageant.

The first runner-up received a $500 savings bond and flowers, and the second runner-up received a $300 savings bond and flowers.

For Carly, this is just the beginning.

She'll perform her talent, singing, at the Miss Delaware competition before heading to the Miss America's Outstanding Teen competition, where she'll vie for more than $150,000 in college scholarships.

As a winner at the national level, Carly could earn as much as $30,000 of the total pool.

"I'm just shocked and really excited," Carly said after earning her new title.

"I'm so excited, I just want to go and call all of my friends and tell them," she said.

Carly's parents, Greg and Joann Economos, smiled as Carly enjoyed what could be one of many moments in the spotlight.

"This is Carly. She loves this," said Mr. Economos.

"She's been driving for this her whole life. She's been singing and performing since she was 3 feet high. She's really a driving force behind this," he said.

Carly, a student at the Center for the Performing Arts at Sussex Central High School, hopes to use this experience as a stepping stone to her dream career.

"I want to perform on Broadway," she said.

Right now, though, she's just looking forward to representing Delaware in the national competition.

And her parents couldn't be more proud of her.

"There's nothing like a trip to Florida," Mr. Economos said.

"And it's her taking us there this time."

Staff writer Jshuane Melton can be reached at 741-8225 or jmelton@newszap.com.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss America fights to stay on air


Author:
By John Curran
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/25/05 1:18:35pm


Survival might hinge on embracing reality TV gimmicks
Published Monday, April 25, 2005


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- How about Miss Arkansas in a cat fight with Miss Texas? Or Miss Alaska plotting with Miss Tennessee to get Miss Maine voted off the runway? Or a swimsuit contest featuring bikini-clad women walking the runway while covered in leeches?

For Miss America, such scenarios would've been unthinkable once, when all it took to win was a fetching smile, a modicum of talent and a tight swimsuit.

But Miss America's in for an extreme makeover.

Dropped by two networks as a ratings loser, the pageant is desperately in need of a lifeline of its own, apparently ready to shuck its squeaky-clean demeanor in favor of the snarky negativity that fuels reality TV.

The pageant has reluctantly embraced the craze in recent years, tweaking its age-old formula by adding a pop quiz, curtailing the talent competition and interviewing contestants backstage.

There is more urgency now, though. Cast off by ABC after a record-low 9.8 million people tuned in for last September's pageant, Miss America is without a TV outlet for the first time in 50 years and is facing the prospect of having no pageant at all in 2005.

Miss America officials, who have hired talent agency William Morris and made several trips to California to pitch TV producers and executives in recent months, declined repeated requests for comment on the status of their hunt for a new spot on the dial.

"What we are proposing out in Los Angeles is that we open up the sacred doors of Miss America," Miss America Organization CEO Art McMaster recently told The New York Times.

Whether the pageant is ready to resort to "Fear Factor"-inspired gross-outs, "Survivor"-style conniving or week-to-week eliminations a la "American Idol" remains to be seen. If the fates of rival Miss USA are any indication, though, future contestants might need strong stomachs more than singing ability.

In a "Fear Factor Miss USA" that aired before the Miss USA pageant earlier this month, five bikini-wearing contestants had 55-gallon drums of live worms, fish and fish oil dumped on them during one stunt.

Is that the future of Miss America?

"Oh, God, I hope not," said Bob Arnhym, who runs the Miss California Scholarship Pageant. "I think the audience that watches reality TV has a coliseum mentality. They are cheering for the lion, not the gladiator. I don't know at what price we're prepared to pander to that audience. But anything that is degrading to them, or humiliating, or holds them up to public ridicule, none of those things are going to be acceptable."

Founded in 1921 as a bathing beauty contest on the Atlantic City boardwalk, Miss America took to the air in 1954 and was a ratings darling for decades. It offered a little leg, the trappings of royalty and a live crowning to a viewing public that had almost no other place to ogle pretty, scantily clad young women.

At its peak, more than 80 million viewers tuned in to watch Bert Parks crown some small-town unknown and send her down the runway in Convention Hall. But that was before the communications revolution put cable TV, Internet porn and catty reality shows in everyone's homes.

Now Miss America the TV show isn't able to compete, although competitors Miss USA and Miss Universe are still on the air, thanks in part to being co-owned by NBC and Donald Trump.

Viewers, it seems, would rather see young beauties get down and dirty than listen to them play Chopin or talk about world peace.

The "Fear Factor Miss USA" show drew 9.2 million viewers, compared with 8.1 million for Miss USA, which followed it on NBC, according to Nielsen Media Research. It's the third year in a row Miss USA has been preceded by a "Fear Factor Miss USA."

Each time, the lead-in drew more viewers than the pageant itself.

Some long-timers, however, would rather see Miss America hang up her sash than resort to such things.

"If they're looking at that kind of thing to save the program, then forget it," said 68-year-old Lois Elaine Smith-Zoll of Vancouver, Wash., who has been involved in the Miss America system as a volunteer and state pageant judge for 39 years. "That's not what we're about."

McMaster has said he'd like to see Miss America become a serial, with several weeks of shows building up to the one where they choose Miss America. The idea: to help viewers get to know the contestants and root for them, which is next to impossible with the pageant airing once a year for two hours on a Saturday night in September.

Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, said Miss America has suffered because its contestants have become too polished for viewers to relate to.

"A Miss America has to have this image of being this wholesome, holier-than-thou, up-on-a-pedestal woman. In this day and age of reality TV, when people want the nitty gritty and the foibles, that's diametrically opposed. You really need to get to real women letting their hair down," Shugart said.

But persuading a network to devote prime-time spots to a franchise that has proven it can't hold on to viewers -- the pageant has been dropped by two networks in the last eight years -- might not be possible for Miss America.

"What they've been doing no longer works," said former pageant staffer Angela Osborne, author of "Miss America: The Dream Lives On." "It just can't continue in its present form."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: For Miss America, survival may hinge on getting down and dirty


Author:
By JOHN CURRAN
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/23/05 5:54:38am

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - How about Miss Arkansas in a cat fight with Miss Texas? Or Miss Alaska plotting with Miss Tennessee to get Miss Maine voted off the runway? Or a swimsuit contest featuring bikini-clad women walking the runway while covered in leeches?

For Miss America, such scenarios would've been unthinkable once - when all it took to win was a fetching smile, a modicum of talent and a tight swimsuit.

But Miss America's in for an extreme makeover.

Dropped by two networks as a ratings loser, the pageant is desperately in need of a lifeline of its own, apparently ready to shuck its squeaky-clean demeanor in favor of the snarky negativity that fuels reality TV.

The pageant has reluctantly embraced the craze in recent years, tweaking its age-old formula by adding a pop quiz, curtailing the talent competition and interviewing contestants backstage - to no avail.

There is more urgency now, though. Cast off by ABC after a record-low 9.8 million people tuned in for last September's pageant, Miss America is without a TV outlet for the first time in 50 years and is facing the prospect of having no pageant at all in 2005.

Miss America officials, who have hired talent agency William Morris and made several trips to California to pitch TV producers and executives in recent months, declined repeated requests for comment on the status of their hunt for a new spot on the dial.

"What we are proposing out in Los Angeles is that we open up the sacred doors of Miss America," Miss America Organization CEO Art McMaster recently told The New York Times.

Whether the pageant is ready to resort to "Fear Factor"-inspired gross-outs, "Survivor"-style conniving or week-to-week eliminations a la "American Idol" remains to be seen. If the fates of rival Miss USA are any indication, though, future contestants may need strong stomachs more than singing ability.

In a "Fear Factor Miss USA" that aired before the Miss USA pageant earlier this month, five bikini-wearing contestants had 55-gallon drums of live worms, fish and fish oil dumped on them during one stunt.

Is that the future of Miss America?

"Oh, God, I hope not," said Bob Arnhym, who runs the Miss California Scholarship Pageant.

"I think the audience that watches reality TV has a coliseum mentality. They are cheering for the lion, not the gladiator. I don't know at what price we're prepared to pander to that audience. But anything that is degrading to them, or humiliating, or holds them up to public ridicule, none of those things are going to be acceptable," he said.

Founded in 1921 as a bathing beauty contest on the Atlantic City boardwalk, Miss America took to the air in 1954 and was a ratings darling for decades. It offered a little leg, the trappings of royalty and a live crowning to a viewing public that had almost no other place to ogle pretty, scantily clad young women.

At its peak, more than 80 million viewers tuned in to watch Bert Parks crown some small-town unknown and send her down the runway in Convention Hall. But that was before the communications revolution put cable TV, Internet porn and catty reality shows in everyone's homes.

Now, Miss America - the TV show - isn't able to compete, although competitors Miss USA and Miss Universe are still on the air, thanks in part to the fact that they are co-owned by NBC and Donald Trump.

Viewers, it seems, would rather see young beauties get down and dirty than listen to them play Chopin or talk about world peace.

The "Fear Factor Miss USA" show drew 9.2 million viewers, compared to 8.1 million for Miss USA, which followed it on NBC, according to Nielsen Media Research. It's the third year in a row Miss USA has been preceded by a "Fear Factor Miss USA."

Each time, the lead-in drew more viewers than the pageant itself.

Some longtimers, however, would rather see Miss America hang up her sash than resort to such things.

"If they're looking at that kind of thing to save the program, then forget it," said 68-year-old Lois Elaine Smith-Zoll of Vancouver, Wash., who has been involved in the Miss America system as a volunteer and state pageant judge for 39 years. "That's not what we're about."

McMaster has said he'd like to see Miss America become a serial, with several weeks of shows building up to the one where they choose Miss America. The idea: to help viewers get to know the contestants and root for them, which is next to impossible with the pageant airing once a year, for two hours on a Saturday night in September.

Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, said Miss America has suffered because its contestants have become too polished for viewers to relate to.

"A Miss America has to have this image of being this wholesome, holier-than-thou, up-on-a-pedestal woman. In this day and age of reality TV, when people want the nitty gritty and the foibles, that's diametrically opposed. You really need to get to real women letting their hair down," Shugart said.

But persuading a network to devote prime-time spots to a franchise that has proven it can't hold on to viewers - the pageant has been dropped by two networks in the last eight years - may not be possible for Miss America.

"What they've been doing no longer works," said former pageant staffer Angela Osborne, author of "Miss America: The Dream Lives On. "It just can't continue in its present form."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: End of the universe


Author:
Daily Telegraph
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/23/05 5:47:11am



April 23, 2005

SOMEWHERE between West 33rd St and 10th Ave, Jennifer Hawkins is in the back of a super-stretched, black limo, enjoying the first of New York's warm spring days.

The choice for a new generation...
Jen is one of the faces of Pepsi in Australia

She winds down the window and, like a wide-eyed child in the Big Apple for her first time, checks out her surroundings – still awe-struck after 12 months in her adopted city.

Within seconds, the first of the wolf whistles. "You're gorgeous girl. Dang!" shouts a man with thick New York accent.

Miss Australia, Jennifer Hawkins, Miss Dominican Republic, Larimar Fiallo, Miss Switzerland, Bianca Nicole Sissing, Miss India, Tanushree Dutta, Miss Brazil, Fabiane Niclotto and Miss Venezuela, Ana Karina A-ez Delgado.

"Mmm, hmm. You a model?" asks the sweaty guy at the wheel of the truck beside her.


Hawkins has been getting this kind of attention for a year now but it's still enough to make Miss Universe blush.

Miss Australia Jennifer Hawkins and Miss Dominican Republic, Larimar Fiallo.

"Oh my God, I love that song," she screams at the limo's stereo, changing the subject.

"It's No Doubt. I love it," she tells her entourage, which includes two The Daily Telegraph competition winners.

Twelve months on from being crowned Miss Universe in Ecuador, the sometimes childlike 21-year-old has blossomed into a savvy, sophisticated New Yorker.

She has travelled no less than 400,000km around the globe, from her office on the Avenue of the Americas to the World Aids Summit in Thailand, lunches with diplomats, hospital tours and the odd weekend away with Donald Trump.

"It makes you grow up really fast," she said of being crowned Miss Universe.

"In that first six months, I changed a lot, became more worldly."

"I used to be really shy. But now I feel more confident talking to people."

Just days after being plucked from obscurity, Hawkins found herself delivering a speech to Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, actor Richard Gere, the Thai Prime Minister and other world leaders at the International Aids Conference in Thailand.

"I nearly fainted out the back. I was so anxious," she said.

But the conference proved to be a turning point. She decided to tackle her shyness and simply be herself.

Today, as the end of her reign approaches, Hawkins is meeting some competition winners.

Simon Hook and his sister Sarah from Newport have been sent to New York to spend a day with the Pepsi ambassador.

As their limo pulls up outside Trump Place in New York's Upper West Side, Hawkins bolts down from the 30th floor apartment she shares with Miss USA and, when she's not at school, Miss Teen USA.

"Limo! Alright!" she says, checking out the interior before introducing herself to Simon and Sarah.

The group is dropped off outside Barneys department store.

"Oh, no. Let's go somewhere we can actually afford to buy something," she says.

Hawkins takes charge and they head off to H + M – one of the cheapest stores in NY.

"I like buying lots of cheap tops and stuff because now I'm not supposed to wear the same thing twice or people write about it. It's stupid."

Over lunch at the trendy NY institution Serendipity, Hawkins describes her year.

"Different, stupid things have been the most exciting, like the New York Knicks game at the weekend.

"We sat right in the front row and there were cameras all around us. I was really, really spun out by it. Oh, it was the best."

Meeting her childhood idols Nicole Kidman and Mel Gibson and being mobbed in the streets of Brazil have also ranked highly.

Without doubt, the hardest thing has been being away from her family.

"In the first month it was the worst. I felt really lonely."

Rather than feeling puppeteered by the Miss Universe organisation, Hawkins is emphatically grateful for the chance to be herself on a world stage.

She has maintained her inner Aussie ocker, never pretends to be anything other than that cheerleader from Newcastle and, most importantly, laughed off the hurtful side of fame.

She laughed off the catwalk wardrobe malfunction, the stacking down the stairs incident.

And she has also dismissed a thousand questions about her boyfriend Jake Wall.

"I have gotten a little bit upset but I've thought, well, people who know me, know me."

The carefree attitude won over an Aussie fan base – and advertisers.

Already signed with Seven's The Great Outdoors, she has been offered countless advertising contracts, radio work, acting gigs and even a recording contract.

When she hands back her Miss Universe crown on May 30, she will be focusing on her TV career.

"I'm going to start off in television because you can be yourself in front of the camera whereas acting is something totally different."

As the day draws to a close, Hawkins is transformed into a big-haired, cat-eyed goddess for the official Miss Universe 2005 program – and her last official Miss Universe shoot.

And as she is welcomed by the crew, it's clear Hawkins has had as big an impact on New York as it has had on her.

"We love this girl. We love her," cries Hawkins' larger than life NY assistant.

"She is not, I repeat not going back to Oz – we're keeping her, thank you."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Beauty Sammie competes in her first international pageant


Author:
Guardian
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/23/05 5:30:26am



ELEGANT MISS: Waltham Abbey beauty queen Sammie Hoy with her Miss Elegance trophy from the Miss Teen World 2005 contest (E3778-5)

WALTHAM Abbey teen Sammie Hoy dazzled judges with poise and good looks to take the special title of Miss Elegance in the Miss Teen World 2005 pageant.

Sammie, 18, a dance student at Harlow College, represented England at the international contest in Trinidad and Tobago and reached the final round, finishing fourth overall.

She said: "It was a wonderful experience. There were girls from all over the world taking part. It was interesting meeting all different people. It was my first international pageant and I'm really pleased with how well I did."

She added: "Trinidad and Tobago were beautiful. It was my first time visiting the Caribbean and I really enjoyed it."

Sammie jets back across the Atlantic on April 27 to represent Essex, England at the Miss Hawaiian Tropic International contest in Las Vegas, the world's biggest swimsuit contest.

She said: "I'm enjoying doing the pageants. Things are going well, but ultimately I would like to be a model."

She finishes her national dance diploma, incorporating ballet, tap, contemporary, jazz and hip-hop, this summer.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: India’s Miss Universe contender wants a Bollywood role! :


Author:
India News
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/23/05 5:26:51am

India’s Miss Universe contender wants a Bollywood role! :

[India News] Chandigarh, Apr.22 : India’s Miss Universe title contender says she is not opposed to joining Bollywood some time in the future, provided she receives good offers.

Amrita Thapar, 23, beat 23 contestants to win the Femina Miss India Universe title last month.

The 23-year-old fashion designer was in Chandhigarh to attend a function. She said that her immediate goal was to win the Miss Universe title in June this year.

“As of now I have not got any offers. Like I said, I am not ruling out any possibilities. But, my immediate goal right now is to concentrate on the pageant. I want to bring home the Miss Universe title. My immediate goal is just that and I’m really not thinking beyond that. I’m really not saying no to opportunities and will pick and choose what comes my way,” Thapar said.

The five-foott-eight-inch beauty who also practices kickboxing, is an adept sketcher, has rich modeling experience and is even a keen rappler and mountain climber.

India has so far won eight international beauty pageants, including two Miss Universe titles.

The slew of pageant victories has boosted the country’s nascent fashion industry triggering a craze amongst young urban boys and girls, who are increasingly seeking it as a serious career option. (ANI)

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Hawko's flat search


Author:
From Sydney Confidential
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/22/05 3:14:57am

22apr05

Coming home ... Jennifer Hawkins' reign is drawing to a close


ONE year ago, an unknown model by the name of Jennifer Hawkins was renting a rundown unit in Bondi with a friend.

Six months into the lease, she told her flatmate she had a pageant thingy to go to.
"I didn't even tell her I was going in Miss Universe. I just said, 'I've got this thing on' and then I never came back," she laughed when Confidential caught up with her in New York this week. "As if I thought I was ever going to win!"

When Hawko returns crownless to Sydney next month, she says she'll be back to normal, or sort of, and playing the Saturday morning rental game.

"I'll probably be able to get a bit better place now," she said.

She could also 'probably' afford to buy a place rather than rent, but doesn't trust herself, she says.

"I wouldn't buy straight away otherwise I'll get too excited and I'll just go, 'I want that one. I want that one,"' she said.

"See, I get really excited, excitable, or whatever."

While her hometown of Holmesville will be Hawko's first pit stop, she will be looking to make her base back by the sands of Bondi.

"I'd like to live in Manly but the only thing is the Bridge. It would really annoy me. Coogee's all right. It's a bit, mmm, I don't know," she said.

"Bronte is my ultimate. Or Tamarama. I looooove that place."

Just don't ask who she plans on nesting with. "People keep asking these full-on questions about us and I'm like, hoooold on a second," she said, referring to her boyfriend Jake Wall.

"We're together but it's not like were getting engaged or anything like that. It's not like that. It's just chilled," she said.

Wall is based on the Central Coast but comes to Sydney for modelling - that's as much as she'll reveal about their future: "I'm not sure. We're not sure. It's all going to be a bit weird."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Wayzata salon employee competes for Miss USA


Author:
By Troy Pieper
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/21/05 5:49:46pm

Around 30 of Miss USA 2005 contestant Carrie Lee’s coworkers at Twiggs Salon in Wayzata filled three tables at Northcoast restaurant to watch her vie for the prestigious title on April 11. They cheered whenever the camera focused on her, and loyally criticized other contestants for looking “really nervous” or having “such bad hair.”

Lee, 25, a resident of Minneapolis, grew up in Sebeka, a town of 600 in northwest Minnesota. She’s been modeling since she was 15, and when she turned 16 she decided to see where competing in beauty pageants could get her, she said. But it was her decision, she said. “My mom never pushed me,” she said.

In the following years, Lee was Miss Sebeka, Miss Wadena County and now she’s the reigning Miss Minnesota. To supplement her modeling career, Lee studied aesthetology at the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis. One skill she learned was the art of eyebrow waxing and tinting, for which she has discovered she has a natural talent.

“Her clients call her the eyebrow queen,” said Twiggs Salonspa owner Shauna Raisch. She said that before Lee left for Baltimore, where the Miss USA competition was held, her clients joked that they would sabotage her somehow so that she would not win the competition and would not have to stop working at Twiggs. Once chosen, Miss USA must fulfill certain responsibilities.

Kristy Solheim comes all the way from Champlin to have Lee work her eyebrow magic. She said she wanted Lee to win so that she could say, “Miss USA used to do my eyebrows.”

Solheim said one would never guess the aesthetician was Miss Minnesota.

Twiggs manager Susan Spight, 34, of St. Paul, said, “She looks so different.” She said Lee has a natural beauty and never wears makeup. She is also very down to earth, according to her coworkers.

“She drives a little white pickup truck,” said Raisch.

“Carrie knows everyone by name, and is always in a good mood,” said fellow eyebrow waxer Becca Lillemo, 20, of Maple Plain.

Lee said she loves her work at Twiggs and is thankful for the support she has received from her fellow employees, “They’re great to let me have time off to pursue my dreams.”

To prepare for the competition, Lee said she worked out five days a week, lifting weights and practicing yoga. She also had a difficult time finding the perfect evening gown, eventually deciding on a strapless Monique Lhuillier number.

The competition in Baltimore included an evening gown portion, a swimsuit portion and an interview. The panel of 10 judges asked her questions like “What makeup item could you not leave the house without?” “Lip gloss” was her answer, she said.

Naturally, Lee was disappointed when she didn’t advance to the top 15 in the Miss USA competition, but she said she is a very optimistic person. Her motto in the competition: “Shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

She said she is proud to have represented Minnesota in the competition, and the exposure she received will help her career as a model. Lee has modeled for Best Buy, St. Ives and Coca Cola, among others and appears weekly on a Twin Cities Public Television workout show.

Lee also wants to work on establishing a mentoring program for children of divorce. A child of divorce herself, Lee said she thinks children going through their parents’ divorce would benefit from spending time with adults who had a similar experience as children.

This was her last beauty pageant, Lee said. At 25, she is “aged out” of the pageant world, she said. But she is glad to have had what she called a wonderful opportunity for young women. It is a chance to shine for women who, in addition to being beautiful, are strong and independent.

To learn more about Lee and the Miss USA pageant, visit www.futureproductions.net.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Gloria Diaz: Simply fabulous at 54


Author:
By Nini Valera
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/21/05 5:40:05pm


Posted 01:58am (Mla time) April 22, 2005


GLORIA Diaz: “I don’t compete with younger women.”

GLORIA DIAZ still keeps a pair of jeans that she's had since she was 24.

"I look at it now and I can't believe how small I used to be," said Gloria, who's now a fabulous 54.

"I'm probably 25 pounds overweight now," she told Inquirer Entertainment in an exclusive interview. "But I think older women should be heavier than when they were younger.

The weight gain was her own doing, she admitted. "Food just tastes so much better now.

I love eating things like osso buco or paella with all the sahug. And I always have dessert."

Tennis is Gloria's main exercise. She plays regularly for about two hours, starting at 5:30 a.m.

"After tennis, I am so tired, I don't go to the gym anymore," she said. "I am so tamad. But I'm going back to the gym."

The former Miss Universe did not plan on an acting career. But after doing a couple of films, she discovered that she loved it: "It's like going on a picnic," she said.

Thus began one of the longest-running movie careers after she was cast in director Celso Ad Castillo's "Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop Sa Balat ng Lupa" in 1974.

After about 150 lead roles in the '70s and '80s, Gloria has remained on top of the heap. She stopped counting the number of movies she has done after she began tackling second lead roles.

Less pressure

"I enjoy doing second leads [better] than being the star of a movie," she confided. "When you make a movie as its star, and the movie doesn't make money, you're under pressure. But as second lead, there's no pressure. You're allowed to do what you want with your character. (Maybe it's my way of rationalizing it.) But the director is no longer as focused on you as ... when you're the star."

She continued: "The second best part about doing second leads is you don't have kissing scenes anymore. Kissing scenes are kind of traumatic for me. It's got nothing to do with acting. You just have to be willing."

No one ever imagined the glorious Gloria to be squeamish about kissing. After all, she was the ultimate bold star of the big screen before the term was invented.

Shifting gears, she went on to do comedy, transforming herself into a sexy icon in the tradition of Goldie Hawn in movies like "Sa Totoo Lang," and the "Andres de Saya" series, in which she starred with her then lover, the late Vic Vargas.

Gloria has since appeared, too, as mainstay in TV sitcoms.

Playing second lead to younger stars in these programs as well, she showed a comic dimension of herself and gained the confidence of an actress which, she claimed, she never had when she was doing dramas.

"On TV, you get hasang-hasa, and that counts a lot for your self confidence," she said. If you're sure of yourself, one, two seconds or a split second is all you need to get the timing right. Otherwise, you fall flat on your face."

She looks at Dolphy, the late Eddie San Jose, Vic Sotto, and even Willie Revillame as gods of comedy.

"If you notice, they're all poker face," she said. "More than drama, comedy is harder to do, especially since we don't have great scripts and we have to improvise a lot. Given a choice, I'd do comedy."

In director Cholo Laurel's "Nasaan Ka Man," Gloria has the best of both worlds. The movie showcases her dramatic talent, and she also has comic moments with co-star Hilda Koronel. Like Hilda, Gloria is one of the few local actresses who have endured in a business that adore youth.

How does Gloria account for her staying power?

"I'm still around because I like doing what I do," she explained. "In my mind, the movie I'm doing now is always my last movie. I'm never in a bad mood on the set-maybe only once or twice. Being in the movies is a privilege, not a right. This is what I always tell my children, nephews and nieces who want to be in the business. It's also about attitude. If you've been in the movies as long as I have, you'd know what it should be like to remain here. You can't have moods when you're in front of the public. This is where I want to be. My personal life must not affect my work."

About six months ago, when her 88-year-old mother, Theresa, died, Gloria was doing the finals of "Star Circle Quest." She was also taping for the show at 3 a.m. when she learned that her youngest sister Rio was slipping away.

Compartmentalize

"I still had to work," she recounted, "[though] I couldn't be as funny as I used to be. It's really all about attitude. I can't not shoot because my baby sister is dying. You have to compartmentalize your life."

Gloria entered the movies five years after she was crowned Miss Universe in 1969, when Philippine movies was just entering its glorious stage.

"My practice arena has always been actual filming itself," said Gloria. "Unlike today, when newcomers go to acting workshops and get all sorts of help.

Gloria has also been spared from intrigues and intriguing entanglements with her leading men.

"Erap, for example, was my leading man in several movies," she related. "But I was his unreachable friend. I was his type of girl, but I never made patol. Erap was happy to be my friend."

At 36, Gloria married longtime friend Bong Daza. They had two children, Isabel, now 17, and Ava, 14. Their marriage ended in separation, but they have remained friends.

Since about eight years ago, Gloria has been dating banker Mike de Jesus, whom she described as a nice, calm person.

Mr. Almost Perfect

"With him, I'm always right," she said, laughing. "But he's not a pushover. He allows me to do anything, and anything I want is good. He's very low key. He's not impressed with artistas, although he likes to talk to them and find out what makes them tick. He's never been married. Why would I go out with a married man? I already have so much baggage. Mike is almost perfect."

It wasn't hard for Gloria to begin aging.

"I'm 54, but I'm so confused with my age," she explained. "I don't feel it. I only feel my age when I see myself on the camera, like my skin is loser and not as tight [as when I was younger], and when I gain weight easily. The first signs that I'm aging are the freckles on my face. I see them growing bigger. I don't really see wrinkles. But I have a few strands of white hair. I think it's too late for me to go for beauty procedures now, but I'm not against them."

Best of all, she said, "I don't compete with younger people. For me, aging [well] is the acceptance of it."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Boutique sales assistant Lee is Malaysia’s top model


Author:
CHRISTINA KOH
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/21/05 1:32:12am


IPOH: With a burning ambition to be a top-flight international model, Perlis lass Kelly Lim entered the Miss Malaysia Model of the World 2005 contest.

Yesterday, the boutique sales assistant beat 18 other aspirants to win the coveted crown.

“I never expected to get so far. I only joined the contest to gain experience,” said the 18-year-old, adding that it was her first attempt at a beauty pageant.

“To my mother and father, thank you for encouraging me to take part,” said the ecstatic Lim.


GLAMOUR GIRLS: Lim flanked by Lee (right) and Su after being crowned Miss Malaysia Model of the World 2005 during the beauty pageant in Ipoh on Sunday night.
Previous winner Ada Cheong crowned Lim at a glittering ceremony at the Syuen Hotel here on Sunday night.

She took home RM5,000 in cash, a crystal crown worth RM1,000, a photography portfolio worth RM600 from France Taipei, sunglasses worth RM1,000 from the England Optical Group and a pair of shoes from Alena Shoes.

Lim will represent Malaysia at the 17th Model of the World pageant in China in September.

Trans Asia Pacific Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd will sponsor her trip for the international pageant.

The Model of the World event started in Turkey in 1988, and has since seen participation by 40 countries.

This was the second straight year that Ipoh had hosted the pageant, which was organised by Star Avenue Production.

Sales executive Jasmine Lee, 23, from Johor, was the first runner-up and Sarawak lass Shirley Su, 22, a business studies student, was second runner-up.

Shirley also took the Miss Beautiful Legs subsidiary title.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: MISS INDIAN WORLD: Fulfilling a lifelong dream


Author:
By Elisa L. Rineheart
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/17/05 3:51:48pm



Herald photo by Jackie Lorentz
Miss Indian World Delana Smith, a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa spoke and danced at Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks.

Red Lake beauty queen talks about her dreams and relentless battle to succeed

She dreamed of becoming Red Lake's beauty queen, and she did, twice.

She visualized a successful college career, and she graduated with a 4.0 grade point average from the former Northwest Technical College with a degree in early childhood education.

What Delana Smith, 2004 Miss Indian World, never imagined was that she would bring a message of hope to Red Lake reservation children when they needed it the most.

Smith, 24, a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, spoke Thursday about her life experiences to a crowd of about 50 people in the Commons of Northland Community and Technical College, East Grand Forks.

Smith, a Head Start teacher at Red Lake, made the crowd laugh, cry and cheer with her eloquent and unscripted storytelling and her traditional jingle dress dancing.

When Northland invited her to be a guess speaker as part of Indian Images Month, organizers asked her to talk about hope.

Sharing her personal life experience was her idea.

"I spoke about my life because that is what I know, and I can speak from the heart," Smith said.

Demographic statistic

She spoke about the low self-esteem of her teenage years. She said it was a byproduct of being discriminated against in a Minneapolis school and being physically abused by her boyfriend at the age of 18.

"I couldn't stand to look at myself in the mirror," said Smith with a trembling voice and teary eyes. "I didn't like the girl that was staring at me on the other side."

She spoke about her battle to build strength and character in the face of demographic statistics predicting that she would become an American Indian failure.

She spoke about her transitioning into womanhood with a renewed sense of direction and ethnic pride.

She spoke about how her mother, the director of the Red Lake Head Start center, taught her to keep her head up high, look at herself in a positive light and take pride in her culture.

And when the crowds of children and students asking for her autograph dissipated, she spoke about her involvement in Red Lake's recovery efforts after the March 21 school killings that shook the reservation.

"Personally it was really emotional," said Smith, who teaches four- and five-year-olds at the Head Start Center. "I knew some of the victims."

Smith said that Miss Indian World donated money to the families of the victims on her behalf.

The National Head Start also donated food for spiritual dishes, a Native American funeral offering.

"Before you eat, you put small pieces of food on a plate and you put it out there for the loved ones that have passed on so they have some food as they go into the spirit world," she said.

Smith said she knew three of the shooting victims. She said she was devastated for the families of the teens she knew and for her co-workers who lost family members in the tragedy.

"We were listening to it on the bus radio as it was happening," she said, stopping for a moment to regain her speech.

"We heard the students call for help over the bus radio," she said. "I felt hopeless."

New dream

That frustration has turned into hope and a new dream, she said.

At the pageant last April, Smith won the audience's heart with a skillful animation of the dream catcher history, but it was her commitment to reinforcing true native American values to the new generation what won her the Miss Indian World crown, she said.

Her reign ends April 30 at the Gathering of Nations powwow in Albuquerque, N.M.

Smith has arranged for her students and some of their family members to take a 24-hour bus ride to Albuquerque to witness the event.

Her sister is making new costumes for all of the children. She said she wants to have them on stage with her as she hands down the crown to the upcoming queen because she wants them to know that "if they hold on to their dreams, chances are they'll come true."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Much more noteworthy young ladies to discuss on this message board


Author:
Serving Justice
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/17/05 3:50:52am

Lets stop giving the Michigan girl so much darn attention and begin talking about the delegates with the classic beauty and intelligence that got them to the nationals.
Over the past few years I have heard so much about Michigan and its directorship problems, yet no solutions. If you people can't get her out, then just don't participate in her pageants. I would think all of your complaining should be heard by the Organization responsible for giving her that position. Although I feel bad for the participants in your state, I do think that there are 49 other girls that deserve the attention they earned fairly.
Most of the young ladies deserved a standing ovation for jobs well done. My applause to all of them.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: There she is...still smiling


Author:
By Bruce R. Miller Journal staff writer
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/17/05 2:56:49am


Today, Phyllis George is an entrepreneur, author, actress and speaker.

When Phyllis George got together recently with a group of friends, they wanted one thing: To see the crown.

"These are all very accomplished women," she says. "But they were still fascinated with that crown."

Now residing in a china cabinet in George's New York home, the Miss America tiara "still looks good," the 1971 titleholder says. "It has a little Dippity Do and Adorn hairspray on it, but it's still in good shape."


Since winning it, George has had countless other, resume-noteable achievements -- first female sportcaster, first lady of Kentucky, author and entrepreneur.

Add in mother of two (Lincoln, 24, and Pamela, 21) and actress ("Meet the Parents") and she's more than accomplished.

But it all goes back to that career-launching pageant. "I could land on the moon, be president of the United States and win an Academy Award and they'd still say, 'Former Miss America Phyllis George,' " she admits. "And that's OK. I'm very proud of it."

But so much has happened since that win George feels like a different woman.

"Change is inevitable. Change is good," she says. "I know it challenges us, frightens us and makes us feel wobbly, but we've got to hang in there. Change keeps you growing. Change keeps you young and interesting."

Change also keeps George busy. Currently promoting her own skin care line, she will be in Siouxland April 27 for the United Way of Siouxland's Fifth Annual Women's Power Lunch. Her message: The power of positive thinking.

George had an opportunity to practice what she preaches when, in one year, her father died, she got divorced, she moved to New York City and she became her mother's primary caregiver.

"I don't think we're ever prepared for it," she says of those trying times. "You just have to know that tomorrow's another day. If you can remain patient, things will get better."

Her saving grace: Faith. "I have always been strong in my religious beliefs," she says. "There are days when you want to throw up your hands and put 'Do not disturb' on your door. But you do get strength from above."

And from friends. That group of friends who wanted to see the tiara have been a source of comfort. They get together regularly, "have dinner and share."

George also believes it's important to have a soul mate. Although she won't elaborate, she does say, "I have somebody I can share my innermost thoughts with. Having love in your life is very important, but I don't think I'll ever get married again." And the friends say? "Never say never," George says with a laugh, citing the title of her most recent book.

In truth, George says it's great to be alone. Following her divorce from former Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown, she wasn't sure what she was going to do. She moved to New York, though, and opened the book on the next chapter of life.

"After all those years in the public eye I had to learn to be alone...and I loved it. Now, I find I have to meditate every day and that keeps me centered and focused."

George's trick: She lights a candle, puts on some music and turns everythign off. Sometimes she sits backwards in a chair, puts her feet on the wall and lets the blood rush to her head. "It's like a drug for me. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of everybody else." All it takes? Ten minutes.

That's not long considering George is traveling extensively to promote her beauty line (sold on HSN), her books and her acting career.

"I did my first movie at age 50," she says of "Meet the Parents." "It fell into my lap but it was the most incredible time. De Niro was amazing. Blythe (Danner) and I became very good friends. When you're on a set for three months, you become like a family." An acting career? "If you think you can do it, you will. If you think you can't, you won't.

"I never thought I'd be a sportscaster. I never thought I'd be in the chicken business. I didn't think I'd have a skin care line. But it all happened...and I'm proud of my accomplishments."

Son Lincoln is on his own, daughter Pamela has one year left of school and then the Empty Nest Syndrome is official. Mom's advice? "Have some failures...grasp life. It's good for you."

That "never say die" attitude comes through vividly during a conversation, but George isn't just spouting new age philosphy. She has the experience to back up her words and, as sunny as she may seem, she has had those clouds every now and then. "Three people who were close to me were diagnosed with cancer in one year," she says. "You learn you have to enjoy life, every day. You can't wait for the other shoe to drop."

You also can't wait for the kids to cherish the same things you did. For years George saved antique furniture she thought she'd give to her children. "I had put it in storage and I was just hanging on to it. They didn't want it and I didn't have room for it in New York." George's solution? Sell it. "That was huge for me, but I realized I didn't need to hang on to it anymore."

The crown, however, doesn't have the same fate.

As a child, Pamela used to play with it every year when the Miss America Pageant was on television.

"We had Miss America parties. She and her friends would do their talent and we'd name someone a winner."

When Pamela got older "she couldn't have cared less." College beckoned and she was on to other things. Then, George says proudly, "she invited me to visit her. We went to a party and I just sat in a corner." Gradually, Pamela's friends came over and began to talk. "We had a great time," mom reports.

And the crown? It's cool again. "I'll bequeth it to her," George says. Meanwhile, it has a home in a green-and-white checked box, a remembrance of the Phyllis who once was.

"It really did ground me and give me a foundation," she says of the Miss America title. "It gave this girl from Denton, Texas, a marvelous opportunity to do amazing things

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: boy, michigan oughtta be proud!!


Author:
View Master
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/16/05 4:59:26pm


WHERE'S SAM TANG WHEN YOU NEED HIM, CRYSTAL???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
Replies:


Subject: Busted Impants


Author:
By Cliff Albert - Clear Channel, San Diego
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/15/05 3:58:54pm


Sometimes different things happen but they send a similar message.

Did anyone else find it at all ironic that the morning after the Miss USA beauty pageant, federal health advisers in Washington recommended that after a 13 year ban…silicone-gel breast implants should be okayed for women in the U.S.

That’s right…the morning after network television brought us the swimsuit parade of Miss USA contestants showing off all their curves and their who-knows-how-natural figures, a government panel said it’s okay with them for women in America to bust up their busts with the implants.

A lot of people still think it’s risky….but the federal health panel okayed the return of the silicone gel breast implants after seeing more convincing research that found they now only rarely break inside the woman’s body after they're inserted. But they warned women who get them to have occasional MRI’s just to make sure.

A surgeon who agreed with the recommendation said…it should be left up to patients to determine whether it’s worth it for them.

I got to wondering how many of those beauty contestants in the Miss USA pageant would think it was worth it. As they paraded around the stage that night showing off just enough to let everyone know they had plenty to show off...you have to wonder.

And while I’m a normal American male, you also have to wonder why women who may or may not ever be in a beauty pageant would want to risk their health in order to up their cup…so to speak.

But then in a culture that puts so much emphasis on appearance and often pressures girls into thinking they’re supposed to look a certain way, it probably should be no surprise.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
Replies:


Subject: Miss Universe Explores a New World


Author:
Herald Sun
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/15/05 12:13:28pm


Still making a splash: Her reign as Miss Universe is almost over, but Jennifer Hawkins is not slowing down. Swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas is among her new interests, thanks to her role on The Great Outdoors.


Miss Universe explores a new world

OUR Jennifer Hawkins is in the last weeks of wearing her crown as Miss Universe.

But just because she will no longer be Miss Universe, Hawkins won't be bored.
Her role on Channel 7's The Great Outdoors continues to take her around the world - this time swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas.

Hawkins had no problem settling in with them.

As for her personal life, there has been no sighting of her boyfriend Jake Wall for a few months. Could there be trouble in paradise?

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Body Building - Derry's 'Body Beautiful' On Show Tomorrow


Author:
Amanda Williams Reports
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/15/05 12:09:23pm

It's no secret that that when it comes to the body beautiful and looking good, Derry is right up there with the best and if you want to see just how far some will go to achieve the ultimate in aesthetic perfection, then the Millennium Forum is the place to be this weekend.

Tomorrow's Derry's health and fitness fanatics will converge at the local venue to compete for the coveted IBFA "Mr & Mrs Ireland" body building titles under the watchful eye of our own "Mr World" contender Liam Stewart, "Miss Universe/Miss World" Andi Black and current "Mr World" Dave Steel.

I took the opportunity to speak with Dave ahead of tomorrow's event to find out more about why body building has become such a popular pastime for Derry's lads and lasses.

Dave, a retired professional rugby player who has dedicated the past 28 years of his life to body building and won a host of titles ranging from the UK Championships to European and World titles, says for many, himself included, body building is a way of life.

"I originally became involved in the training side of body building" he said.

"I was playing professional rugby league and when the guys got injured they had to train in the gym rather than on the track - I was involved in that and it just stemmed from there," he added.

It's been a hectic 28 years since Dave first got hooked. He's travelled the world competing in various competitions, nabbed some of the most-wanted body building titles and even opened his own gym, all of which stand him in good stead to offer advice to the many Derry hopefuls who will be at the Forum tomorrow at the city's biggest ever body building show to date.

Body Building - Derry's 'Body Beautiful' On Show Tomorrow

Friday 1st April 2005

"The dedication to body building in this city and the huge following is phenomenal" continued Dave. "I got a real eye-opener when I first came over here two weeks ago and met some of the guys. They're very good and there's a lot of future potential here. I've seen dedication that will go the distance. And it's not just the boys either, there's a lot of women getting into the sport, in fact my wife is a body building title holder and the women deserve every credit, it's a very difficult discipline."

Talking of sport, what did Dave think of critics who refuse to class body building as one?

"Body building requires complete and utter dedication to training and diet, just like all other sports. It's very wide ranging and it's followed by thousands across the world. Anyone who says it's not a sport doesn't know what they're talking about!" Dave maintained.

If you're still not convinced why not check out bodybuilding for yourself tomorrow at the Millennium Forum where Dave will be answering questions on all aspects of body building and signing photos as well as being the guest performer at the IBFA "Mr & Mrs Ireland" competition.

On the day there will also be a health and fitness trade fair which is open to the public from 11.00 a.m. until 8.00 p.m. In fact, there will also be a few special surprises on the night too!

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Nice work if you can get it


Author:
JEFFREY MARTIN
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/14/05 12:53:25pm

BALTIMORE — The quarterback was struggling. Again.
Kyle Boller misfired on his first few passes, actually overthrowing his intended target on a couple of occasions.

Later, he was intercepted. Twice.

Afterward, though, he was all smiles, even bothering to check on the health of one of his vanquished foes.

Of course, when the injured foe in question is Miss Florida, you make the time.

Boller and three of his Baltimore Ravens teammates — cornerback Chris McAlister, defensive end Anthony Weaver and offensive tackle Marques Ogden — welcomed, greeted and basically flirted with 10 of the 2005 Miss USA pageant contestants Thursday at M&T Bank Stadium.

The ladies, in town for the 54th annual competition, received all sorts of athletic instruction from the players.

And some of it was legitimate.

Basically, it was just a means of providing some filler for NBC's live telecast on April 11. And from that standpoint, the day was an emphatic success.

There was Weaver, who reportedly dates Miss Maryland, Marina Harrison, assisting the pint-sized Lil' Ravens Cheerleaders during a routine. Ogden, the playful little brother of Baltimore's All-Pro Jonathan Ogden, couldn't stop laughing, nearly falling over because of a lame celebration by Miss Delaware.

Even McAlister, never noted for his sunny disposition, was enjoying himself. Wearing a Cincinnati Reds baseball cap that clashed with his purple jersey, McAlister eagerly provided hands-on guidance when necessary.

Fittingly, Miss Idaho — after some apparent "tutoring" earlier in the morning from the Pro Bowl cornerback as they walked off the field, arm-in-arm — baited Boller into his first interception during the flag football finale.

It was a simple case of the quarterback locking into his receiver.

But given that the receiver was Miss Tennessee, a statuesque 5-foot-11 blonde, can you blame Boller?

He wasn't dwelling on the negatives afterward because there weren't any. His team had won, somehow.

Given the flimsy rules — multiple forward passes on the same down? — and the "competition," the outcome was obviously irrelevant. Consequently, the quarterback wouldn't be blamed.

Boller, who is pleased with the organization's offseason acquisition of wide receiver Derrick Mason, beamed as he conducted interviews with the various media types gathered.

Given that Miss Florida, Melissa Witek, was waiting to exaggerate the severity of her alleged injury to him once he finished, Boller showed amazing composure and restraint. If he's half as calm in the pocket this season for the Ravens, the Baltimore offense should be vastly improved.

It was a fun and light day, a reminder that athletes are normal people, too.

Normal people not opposed to being set up to meet attractive members of the opposite sex.

Whoever came up with this concept — rich, young athletes mingling with photogenic, impressionable young ladies — deserves a promotion. The only mystery is why anyone wouldn't want to be involved. Safety Will Demps was scheduled to appear but was a no-show. Short of a family emergency, he likely wasted a golden opportunity.

Known as a ladies' man, Demps' absence probably worked out best for the remaining Ravens. The Miss USA contestants paid the most attention to Boller and McAlister.

If they'd paid too much attention to Weaver, Ms. Harrison probably would have objected.

"We're all competitors here who want to win," she said.

As for Ogden, well, chicks just don't dig linemen. Jeffrey Martin is a sportswriter for the Daily Record and Sunday News. Reach him at 771-2080 or jmartin@ydr.com.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
Replies:


Subject: She stands alone


Author:
PNB
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/14/05 4:20:54am


Roseli Terzinha de Farías will represent Brazil at Reina de la Belleza Panamericana 2005 in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in April 2005.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss USA in Baltimore


Author:
TBN
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/13/05 9:38:09am

There's no such thing as too many clothes

Miss USA 2005

What are you most looking forward to about the Miss USA pageant?
The Baltimore commercials
Donald's hair
Evening gowns
The judges
Miss USA "Fear Factor"
Swimsuits
When you see them on television Monday night, the 51 Miss USA contestants will be fashion eye candy, in little red dresses, identical floral-print bikinis and fabulous, floor-sweeping evening gowns.

Three outfit changes in one two-hour evening? For these women, that's a piece of carb-free cake.

By the time one lucky lady is crowned Miss USA at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre, the contestants will have changed clothes about 1,071 times, over 18 jam-packed days. They will have lugged more than 600 suitcases, trunks, boxes and garment bags to town with close to 1,300 pairs of shoes, and hundreds of gallons of shampoo, conditioner, liquid foundation, self-tanners and lip gloss.

Miss Washington, Amy Crawford has a mortified look on her face as crabs are dumped on the table at Bo Brooks. Miss Maryland, Marina Harrison, (right) an old pro with the crabs, looks eager for the dinner.

Miss Utah, Marin Poole, takes a nap during the five-minute break from pageant night practice at River Hill High School.
We won't even try to count the bobby pins.

Miss Connecticut, Melissa Mandak takes advantage of the five-minute break from pageant practice at River Hill High School to make a phone call.


The excess is absolutely necessary, the beauty queens say. Over the three weeks on location, there are events every day, each requiring a different style of dress. And even if no judges are present, cameras are flashing, the public is scrutinizing. Every day is a day they have to be "on."

Miss New Hampshire, Candance Glickman, and Miss Illinois, Jill Gulseth, use a break from pageant night practice to work out while others just sit and unwind.

Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller hands off to Miss Colorado, Lauren Cisneros, during an event at M&T Bank Stadium where nine Miss USA delegates learned football from Ravens players and the Ravens learned how to strut and wave like the pageant contestants.
"When you're at a competition like this, you always want to look your best and reflect your own personal style," says Sarah Medley, Miss South Carolina USA. "They look at things like that. They want to see how you present yourself, that you're a stylish, modern woman."

Brittany Hogan, Miss California USA 2005, and Jennifer Fairbank, Miss Hawaii USA 2005, pose at Power Plant Live!

Out of all the pageants, Miss USA is the most fashion-forward. The young women, ages 18 to 26, who participate in the event have grown up in a time where the image of the girl-next-door is more likely to be a Louis Vuitton-toting Jessica Simpson, not Gidget.

So when these women plan for the pre-competition events, they don't pack light. They bring out all their best rags and designer duds, plus some that belong to stylish friends.

Amy Colley, Miss Tennessee USA 2005; Jana Murrell, Miss Nebraska USA 2005; Marina Harrison, Miss Maryland USA 2005; Sade Alexandra Aiyeku, Miss Idaho USA 2005 and Marin Morgan Poole, Miss Utah USA 2005, show off their conductors hats at the B & O Railroad Museum.

"I feel sorry for the people who helped us in the hotel," says Jana Murrell, Miss Nebraska USA. "Those poor bellhops."

"You have to be prepared for every little thing," says Chelsea Cooley, Miss North Carolina USA. "You have two to three outfit changes a day. So it's better to bring more than you need, and borrow some from friends if needed."

The women sometimes spend more than $1,000 of their own money on apparel and products. To cut costs, some accept loans of clothes from stores in their hometowns. Other items are donated by store owners with the hope that having a beauty queen seen in their apparel will translate into free advertising.

"The smartest girls are the ones who use their capital and their title to encourage businesses to donate things," says Marina Harrison, Miss Maryland USA. "And we have extremely generous parents."

Many of the contestants still were having boxes shipped from home well into Week 3 of the competition.

"There are a ton of events. And there's so many things that you forget," says Brenda Brabham, Miss Pennsylvania USA, who brought a suitcase just for hair-care products. "I thought I had too much stuff, but it turns out, I didn't have enough. So I had my mom send me an additional two boxes, and I have another one on the way."

Cooley - a self-described "shoe freak" - brought 34 pairs of shoes, stuffed into one suitcase. She packed that bag, along with five others, a collapsible hanging-garment rack and several shoe racks into her Honda and drove eight hours to Baltimore, peering through the cracks between luggage to see out her rear-view mirror.

Lucky Cooley was close enough to drive, says Rachel Saunders, Miss Kansas USA. Coming from Tonganoxie, 1,500 miles away, she flew to Baltimore and shipped three of her boxes to the hotel two weeks ahead of time. And wouldn't you know it? The box with her shoes was missing for a day.

"I was a little frantic," says Saunders, 21.

Happily for her, the box turned up. And lucky for her roommate, Miss Nebraska, Saunders packed a relatively few pairs of shoes - 15 to 20 - instead of the average 30 or so.

When Saunders checked into her hotel room, Miss Nebraska (Murrell) had already used nearly every bit of space for her shoes and clothes - hanging her high heels on the doors of the TV cabinet and all along the valance rod at the hotel window. She only had to make a relatively little bit of room for Saunders' footwear.

"There's three drawers and one closet for two girls who are here for 2 1/2 weeks and trying to look their best every day," says Murrell, 23, who packed 19 workout outfits alone. "We have to maximize our space."

Amazingly, contestants in earlier years brought even more stuff, says Rosalie Monte, the show's contestant manager.

"The girls used to need more hair products, because there was more rolling and hair drying, bigger hair," Monte says.

Designer Tadashi Shoji, who created the contestants' flirty red opening-number dresses, had to take the ladies' stylishness into account when he sat down to make contemporary dresses for 51 different beauties.

"All of the delegates are in tune with fashion and looking their best on and off stage," Shoji says. "Gone are the days of stereotypical 'pageant dresses.' "

"We're all stylish girls," says Murrell, whose evening gown is sexy in turquoise, with a sheer bodice. "But we have to be more so while we're here. You don't want any bad pictures of you out there. You don't want that camera to snap that one day you say 'Oh, it doesn't matter.'"

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss USA facing a new reality with dwindling TV audences


Author:
Abigail Tucker
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/12/05 4:55:33am

Miss USA facing a new reality with dwindling TV audences

The Baltimore Sun
Posted April 11 2005

Miss USA pageant

It's more than an 11-carat diamond crown that hangs in the balance for the 52 beauty queens competing in tonight's Miss USA pageant. The contenders are fighting whitened tooth and lacquered nail for a place on network television, and in the popular culture of the 21st century.

Miss USA 2005, which airs live tonight on NBC from Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre, will be the first nationally televised traditional beauty pageant since ABC announced its historic decision to drop the reigning queen of such shows, Miss America, this fall.

The broadcast's ratings are "crucial for the future of Miss USA and Miss America as national phenomena with a mass television audience," said Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University. "You're going to see a huge spike in how much attention executives pay to it."

And -- unlike the panel of celebrity judges who look for toned triceps and firm thighs -- TV executives have eyes for hard numbers only.

For the past decade or so, those numbers have been nothing to flaunt. Since their peak in the '50s and early '60s, when Miss USA and Miss America first aired on national television, the ratings of both shows have fallen like flaming batons. In 1980, more than 31 million viewers tuned in to Miss USA; last year, only about 13 million watched, according to Nielsen Media Research. Miss America drew just 9.8 million viewers last year, its smallest audience ever, and now enters its 84th year with no network home and no guarantee that it will get one before the next pageant in September.

The pageants' declining ratings are due, in part, to the competition from cable channels that have hurt network programming. But they've also suffered because a number of new concepts stole aspects of the pageants' appeal: Reality shows, for instance, involve the same scrutiny of "regular" people -- only most of the folks on those shows have a lot more flaws than, say, the reigning Miss USA, a children's book author, an advocate for the disabled and a statuesque blond to boot. And even if Shandi Finnessey were hiding a modicum of cellulite, the judges would never highlight it with a laser pointer, as the hosts of the recent show Are You Hot? were wont to do.

"Maintaining the girl-next-door image in the era of Paris Hilton may not make the numbers" the networks need, Thompson said.

Even mother-daughter combos no longer watch pageants with the same dreaminess they once did, according to Sarah Banet-Weiser, a media professor at the University of Southern California and the author of The Most Beautiful Girl in the World: Beauty Pageants and National Identity.

"The definition of femininity produced by beauty pageants doesn't fit in," she said. "Little girls don't want to grow up to be Miss America anymore. I'm not sure what they want to be, but it's not Miss America."

But the nation's aspiring beauty queens are not lying around with chilled spoons on their eyes (the pageant pro's remedy for post-cry puffiness).

"Are pageants still relevant?" said Carl Dunn, CEO of Pageantry Magazine, the publication known as the beauty queen's bible. "Of course. So is any kind of competition. Our whole society is based around that."

He said that pageants still have a lock on the popular imagination, as evinced by recent knock-offs such as The Swan, a reality show where women competed in a beauty pageant after undergoing extreme plastic surgery, and movie spoofs such as Miss Congeniality and its sequel.

What's vital, though, is that producers recognize the need to update pageant styles, he said.

Miss USA traditionally has been willing to do this, which is perhaps why its ratings recently stabilized and even started inching back up.

While Miss America promotes itself as a scholarship competition, Miss USA has conceded the power of female flesh and has never included a talent component.

Perhaps more importantly, Miss USA is a made-for-television pageant. Miss America started in 1921 as a gimmick to lengthen the Atlantic City tourist season, and has decades of protocols and traditions that predate TV. Miss USA, however, was born onto the TV screen and seems to have a more natural relationship with the medium. And the pageant's ties to the TV industry are strengthened by its present ownership: While Miss America has long been controlled by a board of directors, NBC bought half of Miss USA in 2002. The other half is owned by Donald Trump, who has lately become a small-screen superstar himself.

These entertainment-savvy owners were part of the force behind the pageant's relatively good showing last year, according to Paula Shugart, Miss USA's producer and the president of the Miss Universe Organization, the pageant's parent company.

The pageant has also added some reality elements to its broadcast: This year the pageant's preliminary rounds feature a virtual judge -- meaning that the public can log onto www.CoverGirl.com and cast votes that help select the 15 finalists.

Shugart said it's unlikely that the pageant will ever adopt a pure reality-show format. But tonight's broadcast will be preceded by a special Miss USA episode of the gross-out reality show Fear Factor, in which the maidens will presumably be required to eat and drink disgusting things. Miss USA is also harnessing the power of other NBC shows: The Contender co-host Sugar Ray Leonard will serve as a judge, and Trump will attend the broadcast. In the weeks leading up to the big night, Trump has trumpeted the pageant alongside his own hit show, The Apprentice.

This cross-promotional approach to Miss USA "has been very successful for us," said Curt Sharp, NBC's vice president of primetime and alternative programs and specials. "I hope it continues. Knock on wood."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Whats with the nose twitching and face srinching with Miss Michigan?


Author:
Yuk
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/11/05 2:57:04pm


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
Replies:


Subject: UW junior competes in Miss USA pageant


Author:
Star Tribune
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/10/05 3:46:50pm

UW junior competes in Miss USA pageant

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Abby Norman, Miss Wyoming USA 2005, will represent Wyoming at the Miss USA Pageant in Baltimore on Monday, beginning at 7 p.m., on NBC.

She has been in Baltimore since March 25, spending the first week making public appearances and meeting with the press and the second week rehearsing for the pageant.

A junior at the University of Wyoming, she is majoring in finance in the UW College of Business.

She is the daughter of Dave and Marilyn Norman and the granddaughter of Dave and Jane Norman of Moorcroft and the late Myron and Evelyn Martin, formerly of Bates Hole near Casper.

The official cause of every Miss USA is breast and ovarian cancer. Whne a woman takes the crown, she spends the next 12 months working to continue awareness and fund-raising with organizations that champion to fight the deadly diseases.

This is the first year for a new preliminary judging process at Miss USA. Last week, the public was able to vote online, with fan ballots counting as one "judge" on the preliminary panel in evening gown, swimsuit and interview criteria.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: New City designer's dresses displaced


Author:
KHURRAM SAEED
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/10/05 3:45:13pm

THE JOURNAL NEWS

Watch the pageant On the Web

Miss USA will be shown at 9 p.m. tomorrow on NBC.

www.missusa.com

When Miss New York, Miss Pennsylvania and Miss Massachusetts take the stage for the Miss USA Pageant's opening number tomorrow night, New City resident Nime Jamal had been counting on seeing the women wearing the dresses she designed for them.

Instead, all 51 contestants will be wearing outfits conceived by Japanese designer Tadashi Shoji.

Jamal, who has been involved with Miss USA Pageant since 1993, learned Friday of the decision to switch, which was made more than a week ago. She worked with the three contestants to create dresses for them, traveling to Manhattan several times and once to Philadelphia.

Jamal, who is leaving for Baltimore today to attend the pageant, is a sponsor of several of Miss USA's state and teen pageants, which entitles her to design outfits for the winners from seven states, including New York. She does not get paid for the clothes or her time.

"I'm an artist and I like just to see my art being worn," Jamal said. "You get a real high."

She said being involved with the pageant wasn't only about displaying talent. Jamal spent two days last week in Baltimore, watching the preliminary competition, attending rehearsals and parties, sightseeing around the Inner Harbor, catching up with old friends and making new contacts.

"Everything that excited me was already done," Jamal said about the pageant experience.

Miss New York, Meaghan Jarensky, said it was a shame that Jamal's work wouldn't be showcased on national television. She did, however, wear Jamal's red dress, featuring a halter top, lace midriff and pleated bottom, during a pageant photo shoot last week.

Speaking by cell phone on Friday between rehearsals, the 26-year-old Jarensky said she preferred Jamal's dress to Tadashi's.

"I like wearing people's personal designs," she said. "I'm disappointed I won't be wearing hers."

Jarensky, of Riverdale, graduated with a bachelor's degree in international marketing from Pace University in Manhattan last year.

Jennifer Watkins, spokeswoman for the company that produces the preliminary pageants for West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Indiana, said they often referred their clients to Jamal, who works out of her New City home.

Watkins said Jamal is able to turn contestants' visions of what they want to wear into reality, which gives them confidence.

"Competition is won from the neck up," Watkins said.

Jamal started working the pageant circuit in 1992 with Miss Rockland. Today, she is involved with Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Latin Image pageants. She also is negotiating to design for Mrs. USA, she said.

"Just give me material and a pair of scissors and I'm glad," said Jamal, whose 23-year-old daughter, Manal, recently graduated with a degree in fashion marketing and is now working as a fashion buyer in New York City.

Jamal's pageant work has raised the profile of her business. Nime Jamal Haute Couture sells outfits for weddings, bat mitzvahs, proms and other special occasions. On Friday morning, Jamal was busy fitting 7-year-old Abby Fitzgerald with a custom-made dress for her First Communion in May.

Abby's mother, Maureen, had worked with Jamal before and was pleased with her designs. It was one more bonus that Jamal has dressed women whose clothes are judged for their style and grace.

"It's just exciting to know that's she involved with the Miss USA pageant and that she's designing my daughter's dress," said Fitzgerald, who lives in Nanuet.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Pageant Controversy Highlights Divide In Disabled Community


Author:
ROBERT IMRIE The Associated Press
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/10/05 3:41:52pm

Published: Apr 10, 2005

WAUSAU, Wis. - Elegant in a chocolate-brown, strapless taffeta gown, Janeal Lee beamed as she was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin in her three-wheeled scooter, her tiara sparkling in her hair, a bouquet of yellow roses in her lap.
Gifts were heaped on her, too - a new scooter, jewelry, a two-night stay at a Wisconsin resort - and there were hugs of congratulations, lots of pictures and a Marine to escort the 30-year-old math teacher with muscular dystrophy off stage.

Just weeks after the joy of that January night at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Lee has been stripped of the title - and made to return the prizes - including the scooter - after she was seen in a newspaper photo standing up.

Now the Ms. Wheelchair America pageant is in an uproar about just how disabled a woman must be to wear the crown.

A national advocacy group complained that the dethroning reflects ``backward thinking'' on the part of the pageant.

``This policy makes no sense,'' said Andy Imparato, president of the Washington- based American Association of People with Disabilities. ``I think it was interesting the story broke on April Fools' Day. I think a lot of us who saw the headlines thought it was an April Fools' joke.''

The World Association of Persons With Disabilities, based in Oklahoma City, called for Lee's reinstatement.

``This is just a very bad message. It is the wrong way to project this whole thing. We feel that a person with a disability should not be characterized as practically dead,'' said George Kerford, chairman emeritus.

The Kaukauna High teacher was shown standing in her classroom in a picture carried in a supplement to The Post- Crescent newspaper of Appleton. The pageant organization said candidates for the crown have to ``mostly be seen in the public'' using their wheelchairs or scooters.

Lee says she can walk up to 50 feet on a good day and stand while teaching but uses a scooter as her main way to get around.

``The treatment I've received from the board doesn't say much for the organization,'' Lee said last week.

But Gina Hackel, who won the 2004 Ms. Wisconsin Wheelchair title and is the coordinator of the pageant this year, said: ``The eligibility criteria is very specific, just like Special Olympics. Kids who don't have cognitive disabilities are not eligible for Special Olympics, and nobody has a problem with that.''

In the furor over Lee's dethroning, the runner-up in the pageant refused to accept the crown, and Lee's sister, Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota, withdrew from the national competition in protest. A pageant leader in Minnesota resigned.

Kim Jerman, the second runner-up in the Wisconsin pageant, accepted the title. Jerman, 30, who has cerebral palsy and has never been able to walk, now advances to the national pageant July 19-24 at Albany, N.Y.

``I feel that it is unfortunate on how I received the title,'' she said Wednesday through an interpreter because her broken speech is not easily understood. But she said people who can walk should not be allowed to compete: ``It is not fair for me who needs a wheelchair all day. It is named Ms. Wisconsin Wheelchair for a reason. It is not named Ms. Disability.''

Ms. Wheelchair America, a pageant now in its 33rd year, is a nonprofit organization.

Ms. Wheelchair America 2004, Cinda Hughes of Oklahoma City, said the pageant's sponsors include businesses with ties to the wheelchair industry.

Executive director Pat O'Bryant disputed that. She refused to identify any of the sponsors but said there are no wheelchair or health-care-related companies among them.

Contestants are judged on their accomplishments, their self-perception and their communication and ``projection'' skills in a series of personal and on-stage interviews and speeches, organizers said. Beauty plays ``zero'' role, Hackel said.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Time for a makeover: Pageants try to improve their image


Author:
MEGAN TWOHEY
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/10/05 3:36:13pm

Posted: April 9, 2005
On a recent Saturday night, eight young women clad in brightly colored bikinis, high heels and broad, stiff smiles stepped onto the stage at Thomas More High School.

Each paraded toward the front, thrusting her hips side to side, then paused as an announcer read her name.

"Woo-woo!" whooped the crowded auditorium. "Oh yeah!"

It was a typical year for the Miss St. Francis competition, one of the more popular beauty pageants in the state.

But St. Francis isn't typical. In Wisconsin, many girls are turned off by tiaras. They say pageants are snooty. Superficial. A waste of time.

"It's all hair and make-up," said Rebecca Gerardo, 17, of Racine.

It's an attitude the major beauty pageant organizations want to change. This year, leaders of the Miss Teen USA, Miss America and Miss Jr. Miss pageants are launching new efforts targeting Wisconsin teens.

Their goal: To convince girls here that pageants are about more than beauty and that everyone, even the Midwestern set, can compete.

"We want to clarify for them that this is down-to-earth," said Jim Clingman, Wisconsin director of the Miss Teen USA organization. "That the girl-next-door can do it."

It's not as if Wisconsin pageants aren't on the verge of extinction.

Miss Wisconsin, the state level of Miss America; Miss Teen USA, a branch of Miss USA; and Miss Jr. Miss have drawn a steady stream of participants in recent years.

Miss Jr. Miss emphasizes academics. Miss Wisconsin focuses on talent and community service (although, as the Miss St. Francis competition illustrates, it still embraces the swimsuit competition). Miss Teen USA proudly maintains an emphasis on looks.

Hundreds of teens and young women from across the state enter the competitions. Some are lured by the possibility of capturing prizes and scholarships. Others love the spotlight.

"I like being on stage," said Stephanie Freimuth, 13, of Franklin, who won was crowned Miss Milwaukee Jr. in a local competitions last year.

"I like to go up and show off," admitted McKenna Marek, 17, of Grantsburg, who competed in Wisconsin's Miss Teen USA in October.

Still, beauty pageants aren't as popular as they once were. That's partly a result of feminism, said Sue Captain, co-executive director of the Miss Wisconsin organization.

"The women's movement was against everything," she said. It turned people off to Miss America and other competitions. So did the 1997 murder of Jon Benet Ramsey, a child pageant star in Colorado whose story has been tabloid fodder ever since.

In Wisconsin, another factor is at play. Pageant participation here pales in comparison to what it is in Alabama and other Southern states.

Participants and other girls attribute that to Midwestern values.

"We like to look good, but we don't care to be in pageants," said Savi Marie Amaya, 17, of Racine, who says she would never enter one. "I think we see them as being for the people who are stuck-up, for the preppy people."

In the South, it's not uncommon for mothers to start grooming their daughters for pageants at the moment they start to walk. In Wisconsin, many girls who compete have to overcome the objections of their parents and the scorn of their friends.

Jayme Dawicki recalls what it was like when, as a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she told her parents in New Berlin that she wanted to compete in the Miss Wisconsin pageant.

"My mom was shocked," said Dawicki, 25, who was crowned Miss Wisconsin in 2002.

But Clingman, of the Miss Teen USA organization, said: "Young women here are afraid to admit that they like participating in pageants."

Clingman and other organizers are also convinced that a major reason Wisconsin girls aren't hip to pageants is a lack of exposure to them.

Widening the field
Until now, official Miss America pageants, whether at the national, state or local levels, have been open only to women between the ages of 18 and 24. This year, the organization is launching Miss Outstanding Teen for girls 13 to 17. It's being designed as a type of Little League, one that will get girls interested in pageants and comfortable with them at a younger age.

Unofficial pageants of this type have been popular in the South for decades. The real target of Miss Outstanding Teen are states such as Wisconsin, where only a handful of communities run such pageants, said Captain, of the Miss Wisconsin organization.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin directors of the Miss Teen USA pageant, which is open to girls 15 through 18, is working to boost its participation. It has begun raising money for scholarships, which they hope will entice more girls to enter.

At the same time, the Miss Jr. Miss pageant, which is open to high school juniors, is soliciting the help of former participants' parents in Wisconsin to help spread the word that the pageant isn't just about looks.

"We're trying to get the word out that this is about more than beauty," said Sue Herman, Wisconsin chairman of the Jr. Miss program. "That they don't have to wear a swimsuit. That they're judged on community involvement and scholastics."

The organizations can draw hope from girls such as Andree Djergou, 18, of Madison. Within the last year, she has participated in Wisconsin's Miss Teen USA competition and a local preliminary for Miss Wisconsin, even though her mother was against it at first.

"I think Wisconsin girls are boxed in by stereotypes about pageants," Djergou said. "But that's because there's not a lot of publicity. If we grow and get some awareness, that will change."

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Miss Idaho: Literally the girl next door


Author:
By Carrie Chicken of the Union-Bulletin
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/10/05 3:33:22pm

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Sade Aiyeku, who grew up in Prescott, is in Baltimore to compete for the title of Miss USA.

PRESCOTT - Sade Aiyeku, Miss Idaho 2005, is taking a few people along on the path of glitter and acclaim in her quest for the title ``Miss USA.'

For her mother, Joni Aiyeku of Prescott, the trip to Baltimore, where the pageant is under way, is a huge excursion.

``This is actually the first real vacation I've ever taken,' said the state Department of Corrections employee.

Sade's (pronounced shaw-DAY) achievement has caught the imagination of at least one Prescott resident.

Don Hollenbaugh, owner of the Tuxedo Bar and Grill, is staging a Miss USA Watch beginning at 9 p.m. Monday, when the finals of the contest will be aired on NBC.

``I think this is a great thing. A girl from a mixed-race family, reaching for the stars and actually reaching them. I wrote a little note to her that she's reaching for the stars, and she's reaching for them for all of us. That even from small schools, big things happen,' Hollenbaugh said.

In a phone interview Tuesday night from Baltimore, Joni Aiyeku, said contestants have been kept very busy for the last two weeks.

``They are going all kinds of places and making appearances,' she said.

Sade has been an Idaho resident since leaving Prescott in 1998 to attend Albertson College. After earning her bachelor's degree in political science, she delayed returning to school for a year, then enrolled in law school at the University of Utah, where she is in her second year.

This is Sade's fourth pageant. In 2003 she ``reluctantly' entered the Miss Idaho USA pageant at the urging of a friend's mother, Joni said. She was chosen Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic and first runner-up.

Then she was chosen as Miss Southwest Idaho in the Miss America preliminary pageant, and was in the Top 10 for Miss Idaho.

In November, she won her current title.

Along with her mother, Sade's entourage of supporters includes two sorority sisters and one of their mothers from Idaho. Her father, Iyiola Aiyeku of New York, will also be in the audience.

Sade was born in Cheney and lived in Prescott from the time she was 5 months old. She made her mark there, too, and was named inspirational and outstanding athlete. She was student body president during her senior year and attended Walla Walla Community College through the Running Start program. She was valedictorian of her graduating class.

Miss USA contestants are asked, among other questions, to tell the titles of their autobiographies.

In the video clip on the Miss USA Web site, Sade says her book would be titled ``Sade Aiyeku - Even Nerds Can be Beauty Queens.'

That may explain in part why Sade pursues the beauty titles, her mother speculated Tuesday night.

However, Sade also considers the pageants good training for extemporary and expository speaking, skills that will be very useful in her law career, Joni said.

Sade also enjoys meeting people, and considers the pageants ``a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,' her mother said.

In many ways, Sade represents America, her mother said. She is 13th-generation American on her mother's side, while her father is from Nigeria. One of her uncles in Nigeria is a tribal king, Joni said.

Joni commented that Sade's heritage and her representing Idaho is something of an oxymoron, referring to Idaho's reputation as a stronghold of white supremacists.

``A lot of times Sade on her own has used that to dispel stereotypes,' her mother said.

Sade is not the first black woman to represent Idaho, Joni said. The first was in 1964.

Some of the contests leading up to the broadcast Monday are already taking place, but the contestants won't know until Monday night who the top 15 are, Joni said.

``We're hoping that April 11 she'll find out she's Miss USA, and she'll have time to go home and pack and get ready for Miss Universe, which happens at the end of May in Thailand,' Joni said.

But Baltimore is enough excitement for Joni. ``I'm not sure I'd be up to biting my nails in Thailand,' she said.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Professional head shots of T'ang Productions


Author:
Jodi
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 9/05 3:21:01pm

Is it my imagination? I have looked at the headshots of all of the girls this year and find that the only headshot that Mr. T'ang took that was exceptional was Crystal Hayes. All of the other state headshots were unflattering. Is this because Mr. T'ang had alterier motives with him managing Crytal Hayes? I think so, because Miss Ohio looks dreadful, and Miss Indiana looks sloppy, West Virginia looks like a Walmart shot, Pennsylvania looks terrible. These girls all are beautiful and yet the pictures that Mr. T'ang took of them certainly does not capture their beauty. I just get the feeling that he made some intenially bad head shots.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
Replies:


Subject: Brainy & beautiful Eunice Elizabeth Olsen


Author:
Lifestyle
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 9/05 7:37:11am


Eunice when she won the Miss Singapore title.

At 27, she is Singapore’s youngest Nominated Member of Parliament yet, and as Miss Singapore/Universe 2000, she is possibly the prettiest. Kee Hua Chee spent an enchanting afternoon with Eunice Elizabeth Olsen in Ngee Ann City, Singapore.

When we first met in Langkawi about two years ago, Eunice Olsen looked the typical beauty queen. She was tall, pretty and full of poise.


Eunice when she won the Miss Singapore title.
Unlike prima donnas, she participated in Omega’s sports activities without once reaching for the mirror to check her make-up. Not once did she moan or whine as we climbed up hill and down dale, glided 120m from one tree to another harnessed to a rope, and finished with a 30m vertical abseil drop!

If anything, her flushed cheeks and tousled hair made her even sexier!

At Ngee Ann City, Singapore, heads turned as she arrived in a black, one-shoulder top and a figure-hugging pair of pants that would give Halle Berry’s Catwoman a run for her money. Vivacious and gorgeous even without make-up, she opened both arms and gave me a hug, oblivious of envious stares shot at me.

My social status in Singapore rose immeasurably as we strolled arm-in-arm towards a small café. She deposited me at a table, told me to look after her (non-designer) handbag and said, “Since you’re a tourist, I’m paying for tea”.

As it was a self-service café, she joined the queue and returned with a tray of drinks and cake. To be served by a Nominated Member of Parliament (the youngest, according to news reports) and beauty queen can be very addictive.

Olsen is obviously Eurasian. “Mum’s Chinese and dad’s Swedish-Portuguese as ‘Olsen’ is very Scandinavian,” she remarked.

Not only does she look fabulous, she’s brainy too. “Excuse me but I can actually read and write!” giggled the effervescent Olsen. “Not only did I go to university but graduated too – how about that? I studied political science and philosophy and passed on my own merit!”

From keyboardist to Miss Singapore/Universe 2000

Among her talents is playing the piano and organ. “I am a musician, and that led me to participate in the Miss Singapore/Universe contest.

“At the time, I was still at the National University of Singapore and part of a band. I was the keyboardist. One of the pageant’s sponsors, talentpage.com, came to interview the band, saw me and said I should take part in the pageant. The rest of the band agreed and I was coerced into it.”

Like all winners, Olsen was “surprised” when her name was announced as she felt her height of 1.69m was not good enough.

After the World Finals in Cyprus, she became involved with charity work. “I wanted to do something worthwhile with my title. I was introduced by the then-American ambassador to the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre. That started off my charity work.

“Later I was a counsellor for Toa Payoh Girls’ Home and taught deportment – don’t laugh, just because the girls were juvenile delinquents did not mean they were not interested in social graces. They just needed a second chance. That was when I realised I love working with youths.”

2002 – a red banner year

After two years of hogging the limelight, Olsen’s star shone even more brightly. She became co-host with Bernard Lim in the hit show The Wheel of Fortune and became known as Singapore’s Vanna White.

“Oh, stop calling me a bimbo just because I pressed the lights for those panels!’’ she protested in mock annoyance.

“Then Omega rang and invited me to be their ambassador, a post which they have kindly renewed each year. It’s been three years now and it’s been great, though I didn’t get to meet Nicole Kidman like you.

“It was a good platform as I was planning to branch out into acting and the music industry. Through the TV show, I learned to cope with the Press and became more articulate. It was a useful position for me to reach out to young people.”

After her counselling stint at Toa Payoh Girls’ Home, Olsen helped out at the Andrew and Grace Home for troubled teens. She did volunteer work for the Eurasian Association and in 2003 became a committee member of Kebun Baru Youth Executive Committee, an offshoot of the People’s Association Youth Movement. She helps kids between 11 and 16 develop creative skills through fun and games.

She has also acted in MediaCorp’s TV drama A Child’s Hope and was applauded for her fluency in Mandarin.

“After that, I decided to return to music, my first love. As luck would have it, I met a producer from Korea who suggested what every aspiring singer dreams of – to cut her own album!”

“Believe” in Korea

Olsen spent five months last year flying in and out of Seoul to record 12 songs for her début album Believe.

“I sang familiar favourites like Here, There and Everywhere by The Beatles, Lately by Stevie Wonder and How Deep Is Your Love? by Bee Gees. All with a distinct bossa nova feel, including a few songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim, the king of bossa nova. I sang in English, Portuguese and Korean. Only one song is original – the lead number Believe, which I wrote. I want to tell young people that if you believe in yourself, your dreams can come true.”

As if recording an album in Korea wasn’t enough, she also got two members of the Australian rock band Fourplay, to perform in her album.

“Bassist Nathan East and pianist Bob James contributed towards the music. My songs are meant to accompany the piano, not the other way around. I am more a pianist than singer, though I am keen to pursue a singing career.”


The youngest NMP appears to be a wise, modest and charming person.
Nominated to be Member of Parliament in 2004

Since the early 90s, Singapore’s constitution has allowed for nine Nominated Members of Parliament (NMP). In August 2004, Olsen returned from Korea to attend her grandfather’s funeral and received a call from the then-Environment Minister Lim Swee Say whom she had 0met earlier at a dialogue session.

The MP was so impressed with her confidence and commitment, he asked her to apply to be an NMP. “He said I was suitable as I was so passionate about the issues of the day. An NMP is non-partisan and not aligned to any party.

“I had to fill in forms and write an essay. Previous NMPs were all high-profile veterans. At first I thought I wouldn’t stand a chance as 37 were short-listed and only nine would be chosen.”

In October 2004, she was interviewed by a dozen Ministers and MPs. Perhaps her timing was flawless again as a debate was raging about Eurasian representation in Parliament.

“The panel asked about my Eurasian background and I replied gender and race should be immaterial as a person should be judged on his or her own merit. I was quite dazed as I only flew in from Seoul the day before but I think I did OK.’’

Currently, there are only seven female MPs and three female NMPs out of 94 parliamentarians in Singapore.

A disastrous start in 2005

She got off to a bad start though when she missed the all-important swearing-in ceremony on Jan 17, 2005! Most people saw this as near unforgivable, more so when she was out of Singapore for what seemed like a glamour assignment – she was the opening act for the Fourplay concert in Seoul.

The newspapers lambasted her for days. Chatroom websites called her “Bimbo in Parliament” and accused her of being vacuous. Her political foray seemed doomed before it could start.

“Many Singaporeans saw it as treason that I should choose to perform for Fourplay. I was not even paid! Since two of the Fourplay members helped me in my album, I agreed to open their concert and this was confirmed months before I applied to be an NMP,” she said.

“I also applied to the Parliamentary Clerk for leave, which was granted.’’

She reached Singapore around 3pm that day. The swearing-in ceremony was around lunch time, however, so she missed it.

“I could have gone straight to Parliament from the airport and still be sworn in that afternoon. On hindsight, I should have done so. My detractors have made me stronger and more committed to raising issues I care about. If I can’t handle this, I shouldn’t be in politics. It was really a baptism by fire.”

So far, so good!

After that storm in a teacup, it has been smooth sailing.

“I took part in the Budget debate and attended Parliament for 10 days in a row,” she said proudly. “We usually meet once or twice a month and I have never missed a single session. I love being in Parliament.

“As Nominated Member of Parliament, I cannot vote on constitutional or money matters but apart from these, I have an equal voice like elected Members of Parliament.”

Each tenure lasts two-and-half years. “I can re-apply in 2008.”

She is keeping mum about a future political career. “I want to see how I perform first as a Nominated Member of Parliament,” she said wisely. W

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Disabilities groups argue about policies for wheelchair pageant


Author:
BY ROBERT IMRIE
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 9/05 7:31:52am

WAUSAU, Wis. - Elegant in a chocolate-brown, strapless taffeta gown, Janeal Lee beamed as she was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin in her three-wheeled scooter, her tiara sparkling in her hair, a bouquet of yellow roses in her lap.

Gifts were heaped on her, too -- a new scooter, jewelry, a two-night stay at a Wisconsin resort -- and there were hugs of congratulations, lots of pictures and a Marine to escort the 30-year-old math teacher with muscular dystrophy off stage.

Just weeks after the joy of that January night at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Lee has been stripped of the title -- and made to return the prizes, including the new scooter -- after she was seen in a newspaper photograph standing up.

Now the Ms. Wheelchair America pageant is in an uproar over just how disabled a woman must be to wear the crown.

A national advocacy group complained that the dethroning reflects "backward thinking" on the part of the pageant.

"This policy makes no sense," said Andy Imparato, president of the Washington-based American Association of People with Disabilities. "I think it was interesting the story broke on April Fools' Day. I think a lot of us who saw the headlines thought it was an April Fools' joke."

The World Association of Persons With Disabilities, based in Oklahoma City, called for Lee's reinstatement.

"This is just a very bad message. It is the wrong way to project this whole thing. We feel that a person with a disability should not be characterized as practically dead," said George Kerford, chairman emeritus.

The Kaukauna High teacher was shown standing in her classroom in a picture carried in a supplement to the Appleton Post-Crescent. The pageant organization said candidates for the crown have to "mostly be seen in the public" using their wheelchairs or scooters. Lee says she can walk up to 50 feet on a good day and stand while teaching but uses a scooter as her main way to get around.

"The treatment I've received from the board doesn't say much for the organization," Lee said this week.

But Gina Hackel, who won the 2004 Ms. Wisconsin Wheelchair title and is the coordinator of the pageant this year, said: "The eligibility criteria is very specific, just like Special Olympics. Kids who don't have cognitive disabilities are not eligible for Special Olympics and nobody has a problem with that."

If Ms. Wheelchair America contestants can get from A to B without a wheelchair or a scooter, "how can they be Ms. Wheelchair anything?" Hackel asked.

In the furor over Lee's dethroning, the runner-up in the pageant refused to accept the crown. Lee's sister, Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota, withdrew from the national competition in protest. And a pageant leader in Minnesota resigned.

Kim Jerman, the second runner-up in the Wisconsin pageant, accepted the title. Jerman, 30, who has cerebral palsy and has never been able to walk, now advances to the national pageant July 19-24 at Albany, N.Y.

"I feel that it is unfortunate on how I received the title," she said through an interpreter because her broken speech is not easily understood. But she said people who can walk should not be allowed to compete: "It is not fair for me who needs a wheelchair all day. It is named Ms. Wisconsin Wheelchair for a reason. It is not named Ms. Disability."

Ms. Wheelchair America, a pageant now in its 33rd year, is a nonprofit organization.

Ms. Wheelchair America 2004, Cinda Hughes of Oklahoma City, said the pageant's sponsors include businesses with ties to the wheelchair industry. Executive director Pat O'Bryant disputed that. She refused to identify any of the sponsors but said there are no wheelchair or health-care-related companies among them.

Contestants are judged on their accomplishments, their self-perception and their communication and "projection" skills in a series of personal and on-stage interviews and speeches, organizers said. Beauty plays "zero" role, Hackel said.

The winner receives various prizes, and spends her yearlong reign making public appearances and giving interviews to promote the achievements of the disabled and bring attention to the barriers they face.

Imparato, whose group has 110,000 members with all kinds of disabilities, said the Ms. Wheelchair competition is promoted as a leadership development program for women with disabilities.

"To me, it doesn't make sense to have a policy to limit a leadership program to people who can't get out of a wheelchair," he said. "To me, it is bizarre policy."

Bill Freeman, president of the American Disability Association, based in Birmingham, Ala., said the dispute is not all bad, because it has led to a meaningful conversation about disabilities.

"Who can say someone who can stand for 15 minutes is less disabled than someone who can't stand at all?" he asked. "Why do we care so that someone might be able to spend 10 or 15 or maybe even 20 percent of their time on their feet when at the end of that time, whether they like it or not, they return to that chair?"

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Place your bets?


Author:
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua - PRNewswire
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 5/05 2:51:48pm

Miss USA 2005 -- What State Will She Be in? Odds at Intertops.com

- April 5
-- Sweet home Alabama serves up a beautiful, sugary confection to win Miss USA 2005 in Baltimore on April 11 according to internet bookmaker Intertops.com.

The fifty states in the USA have chosen their brightest, most beautiful and influential women to represent them in this coveted event. Miss USA has been taking place annually since 1969 and is said to be "playing a critical role in making the next 100 years 'The Century of Women.'"

Intertops.com is favoring Jessica Tinney, the 21-year-old from Alabama, at 9/1, to have that all-around USA appeal. Performing charity work is rated highly in judges' eyes, and Jessica is a nurse who performs many charitable operations. Will she win the judges' hearts? Brittany Hogan from California is also a close contender for the crown at 11/1. She says, "sometimes I think deep," and would like to follow George W. Bush around if she was invisible. If she thinks too deeply, she could do something great for humanity!

Viewing the contestants is a tough job and Intertops.com, amazingly, has odds for all of them, but when there are so many long-haired lovelies to chose from, not all will make the grade. The team at Intertops.com came to the conclusion that there were some girls whose shallowness just lacked depth. Alaska and Minnesota are two of the four to get quoted at 50/1. Sadly, girls hanging around the Red Sox and Phillies's locker rooms while invisible won't do much for the world -- unless they have a camera, of course!

"It's been a very difficult job, they are definitely ALL American girls," said Intertops.com COO Michael Maerz, "and to be quite honest we couldn't differentiate between them by the time we got to 50/1."

"It is predicted that millions of viewers in 125 countries will be tuning in to this event. We have customers in many countries who will be tuning into Intertops.com to pick their favorite beauty and collect their bounty!" he added

To see the odds for all Miss USA contestants, go to http://www.intertops.com/.

About Intertops.com

Intertops.com (http://www.intertops.com/) is the Internet's first and largest sports betting site, offering more than 600 betting options daily, as well as a full range of online casino games, fun games and multi-player poker, live with real people. Incorporated and fully licensed in St. John's, Intertops.com uses state-of-the-art software solutions and works with world leaders in electronic commerce in order to provide traditional betting and gaming elements in a secure online environment. With the Web's lowest deposit and minimum bet requirements, Intertops.com makes the online betting experience fun and exciting for novice players and serious bettors alike.

Intertops.com

Web site: http://www.intertops.com/

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Uncertainty surrounds Miss Teen World Pageant


Author:
VIVIENNE GREEN-EVANS, Observer staff reporter
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 4/05 4:25:10pm

Monday, April 04, 2005

UNCERTAINTY surrounding the inaugural staging of the Miss Teen World pageant in Trinidad on Saturday has forced at least one cancellation even as others have began arriving for the contest.

"I will not be sending my Miss Teen Barbados contestant to Miss Teen World," Clairemonte Grazette, organiser for Miss Teen Barbados and the Miss Teen Caribbean Pageant, said Friday.

Concerns about the pageant surfaced following a Trinidad Guardian article last Thursday saying the Queens Hall Hotel slated to house the pageant and the hotel where the contestants should have stayed were not booked.
"This is very disturbing because we received a lot of information and the itinerary, and now, talking to both the Express and the Guardian ... only to realise a lot of things as far as the pageant is concerned, is not really happening," Grazette said.

"After assuring us that everything is in order, sending us the itinerary that the girls will be going to Tobago to do prejudging and meeting the president and prime minister, and doing all these things, you know ... it seems like something is wrong."

Organiser for Miss Teen Jamaica, J'Sin Promotions, was undecided whether to pull out Naomi Cowan in the pageant, although preparations for her trip were already far advanced.

"No decision has been made yet whether we are sending Naomi or not. Monday (today) we will decide," said Reginald McLean, road manager for the Miss Teen Jamaica Contest.
Cowan is scheduled to leave tomorrow for Trinidad.

The Trinidad Guardian report said there was no venue for the pageant and painted a picture of poor preparation by its first-time organiser Ramnarine Bridgelalsingh.

Bridgelalsingh described the article as "misinterpreted and misinformed."

"At no time did we say the pageant is not coming off," he said via telephone from Trinidad on Saturday.

The show will be held, he said, at a new venue, the Ambassadors Hotel in Trinidad. A booking was confirmed when the Observer checked.

Bridgelalsingh also said the show will be carried live on one of Trinidad's three TV stations, NCC TV, and that girls from 26 countries will compete.

Three of them - Miss USA, Miss England and Miss Phillipines - arrived for the competition Saturday.

Grazette and other organisers learnt of the pageant through Bridgelalsingh's Miss Teen World website, which said that contestants would pay no franchise or participation fees if they register by April 1.

The website said delegates should be between ages 14 - 19 and, in addition to possessing decorum, intelligence and beauty, they must be prepared to work with other organisations in the world in the fight against HIV/AIDS, unwanted teenage pregnancies, crime, drugs and illiteracy among teenagers.

Grazette said it cost over B$3,000 for gowns, swim suit and tickets to prepare his contestant for the contest.

Similarly, J'Sin Promotion received hundreds of thousands of dollars from well wishing sponsors in Jamaica to cover the tickets valued at $50,000 each, hotel accommodation, wardrobe and other expenses.

Since the news report, Grazette said he received assurance from Bridgelalsingh that the contest will continue but he is taking no chances.

"My concern is that how can you take a delegate and send her to a country not knowing where she will be staying; how she will be taken care of?" he said.

- greenev@jamaicaobserver.com

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Mensaje Miss Florida USA para la comunidad latina (en Belleza Venezolana 21 de marzo)


Author:
-
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 4/05 5:39:47am

El pasado 14 de Marzo se celebró una fiesta en honor a Melissa Witek, Miss Florida USA 2005, en las instalaciones de Tel-Air Studios en Hollywood, Florida. Sus admiradores se reunieron para brindarle una cordial despedida a esta flamante representnate quien se alista para viajar en los próximos dias a la ciudad de Baltimore, Maryland, donde se efectuará el certamen Miss USA el proximo 11 de Abril. Esta joven empresaria es dueña de "Ampex Granite," una distribuidora de granito y de otros materiales de construcción. Melissa se caracteriza por su sencillez, bondad, inteligencia, amabilidad y belleza natural; se demostró interesada y encantada en enviar el siguiente saludo a Julio Rodríguez y todos los seguidores de Belleza Venezolana: "Dios bendiga a mis amigos latinomericanos!. Gracias por sus demostraciones de cariño y de apoyo. Los invito a que me sintonicen el 11 de abril y me apoyen en el concurso de MISS USA!". Se les invita a votar por Miss Florida USA en una competencia patrocinada por CoverGirl que ayudará a escoger a la nueva soberana de la belleza estadounidense (http://www.covergirl.com/whatsnew/2005_missusa). rel=nofollow target=_blank href="http://www.covergirl.com/whatsnew/2005_missusa">Competencia CoverGirl

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Subject: Daily Miss USA Updates at www.MissFloridaUSA.com


Author:
Updated Daily at Lunchtime!
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 04/ 3/05 2:47:26pm

Daily Miss USA Updates at www.MissFloridaUSA.com

For the third year the editors of www.MissFloridaUSA.com have daily updates from our national championship of pageantry, Miss USA. From Baltimore it’s the latest news and photographs as the 51 delegates are in pursuit of their dreams and the title of Miss USA 2005. Miss Florida USA Melissa Witek ads personal insight as there is no other coverage quite like www.MissFloridaUSA.com from a strictly Florida perspective. Update daily at lunchtime this is a must visit on your pageant surfing for Miss USA.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


Main index ] [ Archives: 1234[5]67 ]
Thank you for visiting Pageant News & Views II. We look forward to your return.
[ Contact Forum Admin ]



Forum timezone: GMT-12
VF Version: 3.00b, ConfDB:
Before posting please read our privacy policy.
VoyForums(tm) is a Free Service from Voyager Info-Systems.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Voyager Info-Systems. All Rights Reserved.