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Subject: California USA Contestant Loses Points For Being “Too Short” By Profile photo of Allison KratzAllison Kratz On DECEMBER 5, 2017


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SKETCHY PAGEANTRY
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Date Posted: 23:05:18 12/05/17 Tue

California USA Contestant Loses Points For Being “Too Short”
By Allison Kratz On DECEMBER 5, 2017 | 3 Comments |
While most pageants, including Miss USA, like to say contestants’ heights do not matter in competition, is that really the case? One judge for the Miss California USA 2018 pageant does not seem to think so. (Read: Pageant Question: Height Requirement for Miss USA)

Updated at 4:03 p.m. to reflect Miss California USA Executive State Director Alex Kuty’s comments.

About the judge’s post

One judge for the Miss California USA 2018 pageant, Ellina Abovian, negatively marked a contestant last weekend for being “too short.” Abovian shared her score sheet on social media with the caption “cut throat.” The photo shared clearly shows the preliminary judges comments sheet with Abovian’s name as the judge in the top right corner of the sheet and a comment, “too short” for one of the contestants. Fortunately, the name of the contestant was not in the frame of the picture.

The Miss California USA pageant operates with a “mention system” of pageant judging, meaning that they do not use numerical scoring. State Director, Alex Kuty said, “The judge was simply trying to express how difficult it was to narrow down 100 contestants to a top 20. Each judge is entitled to their own opinions and this is why we have a diverse group of eight judges who determine who the best representative for our state. I have nothing but confidence in the integrity of our program and the amazing opportunities and experience it creates for the young woman who participate in it.”

There has been no proof that Abovian meant to express her difficulty selecting the top 20 contestants. It is also unclear whether Abovian’s negative comment had an impact on the final results of the judging.
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HIT OR MISS PAGEANT COACHES
California USA Contestant Loses Points For Being “Too Short”
By Profile photo of Allison KratzAllison Kratz On DECEMBER 5, 2017 | 3 Comments |
While most pageants, including Miss USA, like to say contestants’ heights do not matter in competition, is that really the case? One judge for the Miss California USA 2018 pageant does not seem to think so. (Read: Pageant Question: Height Requirement for Miss USA)

Updated at 4:03 p.m. to reflect Miss California USA Executive State Director Alex Kuty’s comments.

About the judge’s post

One judge for the Miss California USA 2018 pageant, Ellina Abovian, negatively marked a contestant last weekend for being “too short.” Abovian shared her score sheet on social media with the caption “cut throat.” The photo shared clearly shows the preliminary judges comments sheet with Abovian’s name as the judge in the top right corner of the sheet and a comment, “too short” for one of the contestants. Fortunately, the name of the contestant was not in the frame of the picture.

The Miss California USA pageant operates with a “mention system” of pageant judging, meaning that they do not use numerical scoring. State Director, Alex Kuty said, “The judge was simply trying to express how difficult it was to narrow down 100 contestants to a top 20. Each judge is entitled to their own opinions and this is why we have a diverse group of eight judges who determine who the best representative for our state. I have nothing but confidence in the integrity of our program and the amazing opportunities and experience it creates for the young woman who participate in it.”

There has been no proof that Abovian meant to express her difficulty selecting the top 20 contestants. It is also unclear whether Abovian’s negative comment had an impact on the final results of the judging.

Photo: @realaustinryde | Ellina Abovian
Photo: @realaustinryde | Ellina Abovian
Abovian posted to Instagram after Kelley Johnson was crowned the winner. Abovian’s post featured a picture of herself and Johnson with the caption, “Congratulations to the beautiful & very tall @realnursekelley our new Miss California 2018.” Both posts have since been deleted but were captured by professional hair and makeup artist Austin Ryde before they disappeared.

Photo: @realaustinryde | Ellina Abovian
Photo: @realaustinryde | Ellina Abovian
While Abovian has not commented further on the height remarks she made, she has removed the post of herself and Kelley Johnson. Abovian did not cite any specific instruction given by the Miss California USA director or program in her reasoning for taking a contestant’s height into consideration during the judging process. Abovian is a former Miss California USA contestant and a current journalist and reporter for a local Los Angeles news site, KTLA. (Read: How to Win Over a Former Titleholder Judge In Interview)

About this impact on the industry

While many in the fashion and pageant industry are calling for increased diversity within titleholders and competitors, the judges clearly are not listening. Height or weight requirements may not be explicitly stated in information packets or judges manuals but they are certainly enforced by individual judges’ preconceived notions of what a pageant titleholder should be. (Read: Miss Universe Host Ashley Graham Criticizes Pageant For Not Including Curvy Contestants)

If pageant judges are deducting points or negatively marking a contestant for something she cannot control, like her height, will the industry really ever change? What do you think? Let us know below!

Have a great news story you’d love to see covered on Pageant Planet? Let us know here!

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Replies:
[> Subject: I only have two words to say - Julie Khoury. She is a former Miss Oklahoma USA who won the Miss USA swimsuit competition. She was only 5 feet 2 inches. Look at how the body looks and not immediately judge on height. Maybe I am prejudiced since I am also 5 feet 2 inches.


Author:
REALITY CHECK
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Date Posted: 02:41:53 12/06/17 Wed


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[> [> Subject: Julie Khoury! I loved her! 1991? I picked her to win, stunning face


Author:
fan
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Date Posted: 20:51:04 12/06/17 Wed


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[> [> [> Subject: I agree! She may have been short in stature but she was huge in beauty!


Author:
REALITY CHECK
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Date Posted: 09:21:04 12/07/17 Thu


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[> Subject: State and Miss USA pageants notoriously discriminate against petite girls! My good friend judged for Kim Greenwood recently. Her words to the judges, "if its between a short girl and a tall girl, give me the tall one."!


Author:
Short girls save your $$$$
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Date Posted: 20:42:05 12/06/17 Wed


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[> Subject: Well lets be honest here. The first runner up is 5'4" and that might be a stretch. Bianca says she's 5'8". Guess she counted the heels she wring. I'm 5'6" in bare feet and I've as weastood next to her in bare feet. She is short.


Author:
Michelle
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Date Posted: 20:49:28 12/06/17 Wed


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[> [> Subject: Lol where do you people get your facts from? I've known bianca for MANY years and homegirl is most definitely 5ft8 or even 5ft9!


Author:
Austin Ryde
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Date Posted: 00:02:09 12/07/17 Thu


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[> [> [> Subject: I don’t care how tall she is, she looks like a teen and that gown was garbage.


Author:
-
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Date Posted: 08:34:35 12/07/17 Thu


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[> Subject: Sorry for the spelling errors. I have a splint on my writing hand for 3 more weeks.


Author:
Michelle
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Date Posted: 20:50:59 12/06/17 Wed


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[> Subject: All of this hoopla about ousting short girls and viola, Miss Universe is short. I say this is a lesson to all judges. Just look at the pics of her next to Iris below. (notice the difference in heal height too.)


Author:
Height doesn't matter anymore
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Date Posted: 08:17:29 12/07/17 Thu


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[> [> Subject: Iris is 5'8". The New Miss Universe can't be more than 5'5" max


Author:
true dat
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Date Posted: 08:20:31 12/07/17 Thu


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[> Subject: My pet peeve is when people call 5'4" - 5''6" people 'short' especially in a negative way. The average female adult height is 5'4".


Author:
EC girl
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Date Posted: 08:33:07 12/07/17 Thu


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