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Thread: Beauty Pageants

  1. #166
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    RIP Zoe Sozo Bethel

    MISS ALABAMA 2021 ZOE SOZO BETHEL DIES FROM SEVERE BRAIN DAMAGE 8 DAYS AFTER CAR ACCIDENT
    by Atiya JordanFebruary 22, 20222377

    Instagram
    Zoe Sozo Bethel, who was crowned Miss Alabama for America Strong 2021, has died after succumbing to injuries from an unspecified car accident. She was 27.

    Bethel’s family announced her passing three days after the news of her confirmed accident, saying that she “may not have much time left” on her official Instagram page. The statement revealed that the beauty queen had been in an accident “Thursday night, February 10th, & sustained severe damage to her brain/brainstem & is in a coma.”

    Eight days later, Bethel’s heartbroken family updated her Instagram with the following announcement:

    “On Friday, February 18, 2022, at approximately 5:30AM Eastern time in Miami, Florida, our beloved Zoe Sozo Bethel passed from this life into the next as a result of succumbing to her injuries.”

    They went on to say that Bethel “touched the hearts of many people and was involved in several organizations. At the time of her passing, she remained as a political commentator for RSBN, a Brand Ambassador for Turning Point USA, and Liberty University’s Falkirk Center. She was also a spokeswoman for Students for Life, which has become one of the leading pro-life advocacy organizations in the world and is affiliated with the nonprofit journalist enterprise, Project Veritas.”

    Bethel’s family asked for “effectual and fervent prayers” and privacy as they take this time to grieve. Bethel’s family has also extended an invitation to supporters to donate to their GoFundMe page to assist with medical and funeral expenses. The campaign has garnered more than $40,000 of its $500,000 goal.

    Tributes have been pouring in on social media platforms since news took over the internet.

    “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our dear friend and reigning Miss Alabama for America Strong, Zoe Bethel,” the pageant said in a statement on its Facebook page, changing its cover photo to one of her. “She was a light in this world, and we are heartbroken over the loss of such a bright and beautiful woman.”

    Upon hearing the news, Grace Saldana, editor-in-chief of RSBN, where Bethel was a political commentator, also paid tribute on Twitter.

    “In loving memory of Zoe,” Saldana wrote alongside a series of photos. “Besides the fact that she was always incredibly stunning, I’ll always remember how convicted Zoe was in her faith in God, how dedicated she was to her beliefs in protecting life, and how much she cared for others. May she rest in peace ❤️.”
    Also tragic.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #167
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    Miss Grand Ukraine Anastasiia Lenna

    Former Miss Grand Ukraine swaps glamour for guns by joining army to fight Russians
    A former Miss Grand Ukraine has pledged to risk her life to defend her nation against Vladimir Putin's Russian invasion by ditching modelling to join the armed resistance
    ByCharles Wade-PalmerReporter
    17:54, 26 FEB 2022 UPDATED20:34, 27 FEB 2022

    A former Miss Grand Ukraine beauty queen has joined her nation's army to fight off invading Russian forces.

    Anastasiia Lenna was crowned a national pageant winner aged 24 in 2015, as she dazzled in dresses and high heels but the model has swapped her glamorous lifestyle to put her body on the line for Ukraine.

    The brave model's step into the battlefield to defend her country is a far cry from her previous job working across Turkey as a public relations manager.

    According to her Instagram highlights titled Airsoft, Anastasiia is no stranger to wielding a weapon albeit those that typically fire plastic projectiles rather than real bullets.


    Anastasiia shared this snap on Wednesday with the hashtags #standwithukraine and #handsoffukraine (Image: instagram.com/anastasiia.lenna)

    Streams of snaps show her in full military gear in wooded arenas and indoor training grounds over the past couple of years but now she will be hoping her experience comes in handy.

    Since Vladimir Putin waged war on Ukraine this week, the former beauty queen has been using her platform of over 40,000 social media followers to rally support for her country.

    Saturday saw Anastasiia share various patriotic content on Instagram as well as her own captions to photos of war.


    Anastasiia was 24 when she won Miss Grand Ukraine in 2015 (Image: instagram.com/anastasiia.lenna)

    Another post expressed her pride in Ukraine's resistance so far which has already seen Russia lose more men than Putin had encountered for, according to intelligence.

    Anastasiia said: "Our army is fighting in such a way that NATO should apply for entry into Ukraine."


    Anastasiia has previously shared action shots from her Airsoft training (Image: instagram.com/anastasiia.lenna)

    Sharing content praising the example set by Ukraine's former comedian president by walking among soldiers, she wrote: "A true and strong leader. This is the President of Ukraine"

    Anastasiia also shared a plea from world champion boxer Usyk Oleksandr who appealed to his Russian social media followers to not send loved ones into battle with Ukraine.

    The marketing and management graduate from Slavistik University in Kyiv has called on her follow country people to remove all road signs to make it harder for invading troops to navigate through Ukraine.


    The model has made rallying cries to support Ukraine's defence (Image: instagram.com/anastasiia.lenna)
    For more incredible stories from the Daily Star, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here

    A translation of her call to action reads: "Dismantling road signs on all roads of the country. The enemy has a pathetic connection, they don't orientate the terrain. Let's help them go straight to hell.

    "Ukravtodor calls on all road organisations, territorial communities, local authorities to immediately start dismantling road signs nearby.


    Anastasiia Lenna has a huge online following thanks to her glamorous pictures (Image: instagram.com/anastasiia.lenna)
    Among her numerous Instagram stories shared on Saturday was encouraging followers to donate to the Ukrainian army.

    Anastasiia reminded her followers of the importance to stick to Kyiv's curfew on Saturday evening, requiring the city's streets to be "vacated urgently".

    threads
    Ukraine
    Beauty-Pageants
    Gene Ching
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  3. #168
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    Miss Hooters 2022 Madison Novo

    Gene Ching
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  4. #169
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    Miss Garbage

    Woman dubbed ‘Miss Garbage’ wins Miss Universe Thailand 2022

    Ryan General
    6 hours ago

    Anna Sueangam-iam, a 23-year-old woman known as “Miss Garbage” due to her being the daughter of former garbage collectors, was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2022 on Saturday night.

    As this year's Miss Universe Thailand, Sueangam-iam received the new "Power of Resilience" crown by renowned jeweler Mouawad and several prizes including 1 million baht (approximately $27,663), a condominium and a new car.

    Born in Bangkok, she reportedly played with toys her parents found in the trash while working for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

    A woman dubbed “Miss Garbage” for being the daughter of former garbage collectors is set to represent Thailand in the Miss Universe 2022 pageant.

    Anna Sueangam-iam, 23, was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2022 on Saturday night, besting 28 other women vying for the title.

    For the final Q&A session of the competition, Sueangam-iam was asked what she would do to empower people around the world who “feel hopeless.”

    “You’re not the only ones facing despair,” she responded. “I used to be in despair too. We learn from our troubles to adapt and survive. I would call on all of you to have confidence in yourselves and rise to fight again. If I can, so can you.”



    Despite winning the coveted title, Sueangam-iam was reportedly not popular among viewers and came in sixth with just 3.2 percent of public votes on the Miss Universe Thailand website. Thai Italian contestant Renita Veronica Pagano, who was the fourth runner-up, received 28.1 percent of public votes while Thai American contestant Nicolene Limsnukan, who was the first runner-up, got 25.2 percent.

    Prior to Sueangam-iam’s win, social media users cast doubts about her chances as she “does not have a foreign parent” unlike other contestants who are “luk khrueng,” a colloquial Thai term that refers to a person of mixed heritage.

    “I think I will do my best,” she told local platform Komchadluek Online in an earlier interview. “I think being luk khrueng or not is not the main criteria to being chosen as Miss Thailand Universe.”

    On top of the new “Power of Resilience” crown crafted by luxury jeweler Mouawad, the new Miss Universe Thailand also received several prizes including 1 million baht (approximately $27, 663), a condominium and a new car.

    Born on November 10, 1998, Sueangam-iam grew up in Bangkok in poverty and was was bullied by classmates who would call her “Miss Garbage.” She reportedly played with toys her parents found in the trash while they worked for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

    Through hard work and determination, Sueangam-iam was able to study hotel and tourism management at Bangkok’s Kasetsart University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree.

    She is now hoping to obtain Thailand’s third Miss Universe crown after Porntip Nakhirunkanok who won the title in 1988 and Apasra Hongsakula who won it in 1965.

    Featured Image via TPING
    Nothing cattier than a beauty pageant, I imagine...
    Gene Ching
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  5. #170
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    Miss Universe


    Beauty pageants say they are changing — don’t believe them

    Their attempts at inclusivity are nothing but makeup to hide their ugly realities. It’s time to abolish them.
    Raquel Rosario Sánchez
    Writer, researcher and campaigner
    Published On 23 Sep 2022

    Bahrain's Manar Nadeem Deyani at the Miss Universe pageant in December 2021, where she wore a fully-covered outfit during the swimwear competition (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
    Something is not well in the land of sequins and hairspray.

    In August, the Miss Universe contest announced that it would expand its pool of eligible contestants to include married women and mothers at its next pageant in 2023, scrapping a 70-year-old rule barring them.

    An internal memo announcing the policy change stated: “We all believe that women should have agency over their lives and that a human’s personal decisions should not be a barrier to their success.” The move was welcomed as a nod to inclusivity and a move away from sexist expectations.

    Also in August, a Miss England contestant broke with that pageant’s history to become the first to compete barefaced. By ditching makeup, 20-year-old Melisa Raouf said she was “embracing blemishes and imperfections”. This is not the first time that women have tried to defy norms in pageants. Last year in the Miss Universe contest, Miss Bahrain Manar Nadeem Deyani refused to wear a bikini during the swimsuit competition, choosing instead to stay fully covered in a black outfit.

    That’s all good, but here’s the harsh truth. Policy adjustments and small acts of rebellion from participants cannot obscure the fact that beauty pageants have become increasingly jarring and out of place in our modern age.

    In order to be eligible for Miss Universe, the highest profile beauty pageant internationally, women applying in each country must be between 18 and 28 years old. Contestants are technically judged on three categories: an evening gown, a personality interview and a swimsuit competition. Yet the most important requirement, which is rarely acknowledged in writing nowadays, is that the women must be thin and stereotypically beautiful.

    Their skin colour may vary, but amid all the changes and nods to inclusivity, there is still no room for wide noses, disabilities or stretch marks in beauty pageants.

    Officially, the Miss Universe organisation would have us believe that beauty is not a requirement at all, let alone the basis of this money-generating enterprise, which earns $5m in annual revenue. It describes itself as a global, inclusive organisation “that celebrates all cultures, backgrounds and religion” and provides participants “with the tools to affect positive change personally, professionally, and philanthropically”.

    In other words, a very noble-sounding mission.

    Other beauty competitions take their cue from Miss Universe. The tagline for the Miss South Africa pageant, for instance, is similar: “Face your power. Embrace your future.” Nodding to the advancements women have made in society, beauty pageants are quick to remind us that contestants are professionals with careers and ambitions.

    However, to watch a revolving door of women be judged based on how well they perform femininity and parade across a stage inevitably feels like stepping back into a distant past in which women were seen but rarely heard.

    After all, the expectation that contestants must be childless and unmarried had a fairly explicit historical basis: using pretty and virginal young women as bait to attract business is how beauty pageants started.

    In 1920, the owner of the Monticello Hotel in Atlantic City came up with a marketing plot to extend the business season beyond Labor Day in the United States. He sold the idea to fellow businessmen who saw the monetary potential for all of them: How about a parade made up of 350 beautiful maidens to draw tourists? Incidentally, 1920 was also when the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution granted women the right to suffrage, after a century of oftentimes acrimonious feminist campaigning. Subsequent years saw this parade transform into the spectacle that it is today.

    Of course, beauty pageants have been trying to remain current in societies that are more likely than before to see women making up the majority of university graduates, breadwinners and world leaders.

    A notably misguided attempt to adapt the contest to modern times took place during the Miss Peru 2018 competition. During the swimsuit segment, contestants paraded around the stage in gold bikinis while a massive screen behind them projected newspaper headlines reporting real-life stories of male violence against women. “Man murders woman and her baby”, “Man strangles woman with a cord”, “Stalker stabs pregnant woman, runs away”, “Drunk man beats his wife to death”, and “63 women raped every day” read the headlines while a local artist sang a heart-wrenching song about female empowerment.

    Clearly troubled by its awkward place in the modern world, the contest tried to present itself as alive to the Latin American and Caribbean regional awakening against male violence targeting women, otherwise known as the “Ni Una Menos” movement.

    At the end of the day, though, these superficial policy changes represent marketing strategies that have an expiration date. These must surely be indicators that organisers know the future of beauty pageants is untenable.

    Viewership for Miss Universe contests worldwide has been steadily declining for decades. Disinterest from the public is the clearest sign that this archaic institution and its hundreds of offshoots — where women are presented to be ogled at and discarded one by one — have overstayed their welcome.

    No amount of lipstick or makeup will change that. It is time to abolish them.

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

    Next Miss Universe pageant to be broadcast from New Orleans

    The Miss Universe Organization says New Orleans will be the site of its 71st contest, drawing nearly 90 women contestants from around the world in January
    ByThe Associated Press
    September 20, 2022, 2:09 PM


    FILE - Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Meza, right, crowns India's Harnaaz Sandhu as Miss Universe 2021 during the 70th Miss Universe pageant, Monday, Dec. 13...Show more
    The Associated Press
    NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans will be the site of the 71st Miss Universe contest, bringing together nearly 90 women contestants from around the world in January, the Miss Universe Organization said.

    “The City of New Orleans and the Miss Universe Organization share common values of celebrating inclusion, culture and the empowerment of women,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Monday.

    She noted in a news release that former contestants and winners have gone on to become surgeons, diplomats, politicians and business leaders, adding “they all champion social causes that are important to them."

    The competition will be aired on Jan. 14, 2023 — a Saturday — at the city's convention center, according to the statement. The live broadcast will culminate with the 70th Miss Universe — Bollywood actress Harnaaz Sandhu of India — crowning the winner.

    “There is no place like New Orleans. This vibrant city has been at the top of our list to host for quite some time due to its rich cultural history, as well as its unique arts, entertainment, and culinary scene,” said Paula Shugart, president of The Miss Universe Organization.

    Last year's pageant in Eilat, Israel, was held in the middle of the night to accommodate the U.S. primetime TV schedule.
    Will you watch?
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  6. #171
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    Miss England Jessica Gagen

    Meet Miss England 2022! Aerospace engineering student, 26, who was bullied in school over her ginger locks becomes the first redhead to be crowned at the beauty contest
    Jessica Gagen, 26, has become the first redhead to claim Miss England title
    She was crowned at the prestigious pageant final held in Birmingham last night
    The aerospace engineering student will now represent England at Miss World
    By ELMIRA TANATAROVA FOR MAILONLINE
    PUBLISHED: 08:51 EDT, 18 October 2022 | UPDATED: 11:13 EDT, 18 October 2022

    An aerospace engineer who was bullied for her ginger locks in school has become the first redhead to be crowned in Miss England's 94-year history.

    Jessica Gagen, 26, beat 30 other beauty queens to take the title at the final of the prestigious pageant held in Birmingham.

    Her victory comes after overcoming school bullying in secondary school - including being punched, spat on, and even burned - all because of her naturally ginger locks.

    Jessica - who will now represent England at Miss World - was also subjected to name-calling, having things thrown at her head and was forced to eat her school dinner in the toilets in a bid to escape the abuse.

    Her confidence - shattered by cruel classmates - slowly grew after the student was signed up by a modelling agency following her A-Levels.


    Jessica Gagen, 26, beat 30 other beauty queens to take the title at the final of the prestigious pageant held in Birmingham


    Her victory comes after overcoming school bullying in secondary school - including being punched, spat on, and even burned - all because of her naturally ginger locks

    Jessica took to catwalks across the globe as she overcame her past issues.

    She went on to enter Miss England and was runner-up in the grand final last year, narrowly losing out to Rehema Muthamia.

    Now, she has gone one better and silenced the bullies to take the title of Miss England 2022 at the glitzy final held at the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport.

    Jessica, who is studying for an integrated master's degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Liverpool, said she was determined more than ever to win.


    Her victory comes after overcoming school bullying in secondary school - including being punched, spat on, and even burned - all because of her naturally ginger locks


    Jessica, who is studying for an integrated master's degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Liverpool, said she was determined more than ever to win


    Jessica - who will now represent England at Miss World - was also subjected to name-calling, having things thrown at her head and was forced to eat her school dinner in the toilets in a bid to escape the abuse

    Jessica, originally from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, said: 'Throughout secondary school I was teased for being a redhead.

    'I didn't mention it much during last year's competition as I'm a big believer in leaving negativity in the past, but with there never having been a red-haired Miss England.'

    The winner stressed she believes it's 'important to educate people about what redheads face in school' to empower children who may be experiencing what she did.

    'I was name-called on the daily, and although I don't think the kids were being malicious in doing so, there were definitely times they were,' she added. 'I used to get really upset about it all, but I'm determined to show kids who are facing the same thing that it won't happen forever.'


    Chess champion Emily Cossey (left), 24, from Chelsea, London and HGV driver Milly Everatt (right), 22, from Eastoft, Lincolnshire, were announced as second and third place runners up

    Jessica signed with multiple agencies and started modelling internationally at 18 and will now compete on the world stage representing England.

    She revealed that while her campaign both this year and last was to get girls into STEM subjects, the experience made her realise the importance of empowering girls who look like her.

    'I looked back and I was thinking there are not many that redheads on TV,' she said. 'I think it would be so good if there could be somebody in that kind of position who is a redhead. Even last year there wasn't one redhead in Miss World.

    'I thought if I could win this, I could empower kids who being bullied for the way that they look and the colour of their hair.'

    Miss England finalist to contest without wearing any make-up

    She admitted that, being the only redhead in her family, she was 'always looking for somebody who kind of understood the bullying through school'.

    'It is nice to be able to represent the younger kids and say "I have been through it and you can use that pain to raise your game",' she said. 'Make it your superpower.'

    Alongside modelling, Jessica has helped raise over the £6,000 for local charities and, in 2021, she raised funds for Beauty with a Purpose.

    She ran 5k in fancy dress every day consecutively for 96 days in Liverpool, and is known locally as Fancy-Dress Jess.

    Chess champion Emily Cossey, 24, from Chelsea, London and HGV driver Milly Everatt, 22, from Eastoft, Lincolnshire, were announced as second and third place runners up.
    There are more pix behind the link because Daily Mail always runs a ton of pix especially when it comes to hawtties.
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  7. #172
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    Jakapong “Anne” Jakrajutatip & Miss Universe


    Thai transgender businesswoman buys Miss Universe pageant for $20 million

    Michelle De Pacina
    1 hour ago

    Jakapong “Anne” Jakrajutatip, a Thai transgender businesswoman, has acquired the Miss Universe Organization pageant for $20 million.

    Jakrajutatip, the CEO and biggest shareholder of JKN Global Group, made history by becoming the first woman to own the beauty pageant organizer.

    Jakrajutatip is a ​​celebrity media tycoon and a transgender rights advocate who has been outspoken about her experience as a transgender woman.

    The JKN Global Group views the acquisition as “a soft power to build a reputation for Thailand to be known and outstanding around the world.”

    A Thai transgender businesswoman has acquired the Miss Universe pageant for $20 million.

    Jakapong “Anne” Jakrajutatip, the CEO and biggest shareholder of JKN Global Group, sealed the deal with IMG Worldwide, her company announced on Wednesday.

    Jakrajutatip, who is a ​​celebrity media tycoon and a transgender rights advocate, made history by becoming the first woman to own the beauty pageant organizer.

    “We are incredibly honored to be acquiring The Miss Universe Organization and working with its visionary leadership team,” Jakrajutatip reportedly said in a statement on Wednesday. “The global reach of the Organization, its relationships with global partners and brands, and its wealth of content, licensing, and merchandising opportunities make this a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio.”

    “We seek not only to continue its legacy of providing a platform to passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions, but also to evolve the brand for the next generation,” she added.

    The Thai mogul, who has been outspoken about her experience as a transgender woman, previously set up the Life Inspired For Thailand Foundation as a way to advocate for the rights of transgender people.

    The JKN Global Group, which distributes self-produced and international films and TV programs, views the acquisition as “a soft power to build a reputation for Thailand to be known and outstanding around the world.”

    The beauty pageant, which has been running for 71 years, was previously co-owned by Donald Trump between 1996 and 2002 before IMG acquired it in 2015.

    The organization will be holding its 71st Miss Universe pageant in January 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It will be broadcasted in 165 countries.



    Featured Image via @annejkn.official (left, right)
    Didn't see that one coming...
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  8. #173
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    Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico

    Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico 2020 reveal they are married
    Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico 2020 reveal they are married
    November 2 2022

    ENTERTAINMENT

    by:
    Asiya Ali



    Mariana Varela and Fabiola Valentín - who represented their countries as Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico respectively - have proclaimed their love for one another.

    The beauty queens met at the beauty pageant Miss Grand International 2020 and remained friends following the end of the contest, per Hola.

    Despite being inseparable ever since, they kept their love a secret, and have now just declared their romance on social media by sharing a heartwarming post on Monday (October 31).

    The 22-year-old model shared a loving message (translated from Spanish to English) about her partner accompanied by a reel, writing: "After deciding to keep our relationship private, we’re opening up the doors to you on a special day."

    She also added the date "28/10/22" and a heart and a ring emoji in her caption.

    Valentín's reel offered a touching snapshot into the duo's relationship such as photos and clips taken throughout their relationship, including holidays, videos on the beach, pictures of their rings, and a video of their marriage proposal.

    The footage also displayed the two dressed in white, celebrating their union in the steps of the Marriage Bureau in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    The warm news was met with joy on the social media platform, amassing more than 131,500 likes and over 5,900 comments in just three days.

    Abena Akuaba, a Miss Grand International winner, commented under the post, writing: "Omg congratulations MGI brought together a beautiful union."

    Samantha Bernardo, another Miss Grand International 2020 pageant representative for the Philippines, also wrote: "Omg! Congratulations sisters! Lovelovelove!"

    The 26-year-old model also gushingly replied to her partner's video and praised commenters: "Thanks for all the love! We are very happy and blessed. Hoping that all the love you’re sending us comes back to you multiplied! Endless thanks."


    Credit: Instagram

    The two beautiful women come from two of the most progressive Latin American countries when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights.

    Argentina became the first country in the area to legalize same-sex marriage in July 2010 and Puerto Rico is now planning on introducing a bill that will safeguard same-sex couples under its domestic violence law.

    While neither Varela nor Valentín was victorious at the beauty contests, they achieved excellent results with Miss Puerto Rico making it into the top three at Miss Universe 2019, and both women advancing into the top 10 at MGI.

    However, it's very obvious that the greatest prize of all was finding love.
    We need a beauty contest for married women couples...
    Gene Ching
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    Miss Universe to Roku

    Dec 6, 2022 7:00am PT
    Miss Universe Pageant Moves to Streaming via Roku Channel, as Deal With Fox and Steve Harvey Ends (EXCLUSIVE)

    By Michael Schneider

    13 December 2021, Israel, Eilat: Harnaaz Sandhu (Miss India) reacts to being crowned Miss Universe during the 70th "Miss Universe" beauty pageant in Israel's southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat. Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images)
    dpa/picture alliance via Getty

    After decades on broadcast — most recently on Fox — the 71st Miss Universe competition is the latest TV event making the move to streaming. The Roku Channel has sealed a one-year deal to be the official English-language home for Miss Universe, which will stream live from New Orleans on January 14, 2023, at 7 p.m. ET.

    Among the changes in the move: Steve Harvey, who had hosted for five years as part of the pageant’s deal with Fox (with the exception of 2021, when that pact was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic), also won’t be back. According to Miss Universe Organization CEO Amy Emmerich, a new host — expected to be a female — will be announced in the coming weeks.

    “My goal was really to make sure we led with a female lens this next go-around,” Emmerich says. “We should hopefully have that to talk about soon… It was a rare opportunity to be able to kind of restart in a whole new place.”

    Emmerich had just joined Miss Universe in January, and has been busy looking at ways to reform and refresh the organization. And with the U.S. English-language deal up (it continues to also air in Spanish on Telemundo), Emmerich said she was looking to reimagine Miss Universe’s global distribution.

    “I would love to offer one large package and go global because the global audience is so massive, but we’re tied up in a lot of different territory deals,” she says. “That won’t end for another year. So, we said, OK, the best thing that can happen for this brand is go to a place that’s also starting anew. Right away WME suggested Roku. I’m familiar with [Roku originals head] David [Eilenberg] from the past and he had just joined there. From the first conversation, you kind of knew it was the place to be. Roku just always had a personality. They really are consistent with who they are, even with the original programming to come. And Miss Universe needed take some chances.”

    The news comes as Roku continues to expand its stable of original offerings on its ad-supported service, including the second season of Nasim Pedrad’s comedy “Chad” and the recent TV movie “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.” And it also joins a list of live broadcast events that have previously migrated to streaming, including “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC to Disney+) and the ACM Awards (CBS to Amazon Prime Video).

    “As more and more marquee events move to streaming, we’re excited to bring these exclusive experiences for free to our audience,” said Roku programming VP Rob Holmes.

    Because it’s on a streamer, the Miss Universe event will be seen live across the country. Emmerich said Miss Universe and Roku are currently looking at unique ways to play with commercial breaks and other telecast elements.

    “Now that we have Roku, what exclusively can we do for them during this commercial space that that audience can feel like they’re seeing more of the inside, behind the scenes,” she says. “I joined here hoping to bring a level of transparency that I don’t think exists at the organization and Roku kind of loved that idea. It’s also a great time to just watch the data and see what works.”

    The new U.S. TV partner and new CEO aren’t the only fresh starts for Miss Universe this year. The organization was just purchased in October by Thailand-based JKN Global Group PCL (run by CEO Anne Jukapong Jakrajutatip) from previous owner IMG.

    “The first woman to own the brand, that’s going to be a change in and of itself for 70 years,” Emmerich says. “And I think especially because of Anne’s backstory, and what she feels transformational leadership is and how she can really fight for a future borne by women a little bit more than possibly a man at IMG could. I think she came in wanting to know early on, what was the vision on how we want to shape shift the brand. I think she sees it as a year-round more than one-woman, one-night event.

    “I thought that was a great sign that she was asking, what are we providing women? What else do they gain when they go through the organization? It’s not about winning the title, what else are they going to walk away with? How are we providing a service that we can create more future leaders? I think she’s a visionary. She’s got a lot of ideas and she takes a lot of risks. The idea that we can beta test a lot more in Thailand before rolling it out across the globe, I think is actually going to be easier than trying to beta test in the States and then roll it out.”

    Emmerich admits that there wasn’t much transparency in the Miss Universe selection criteria, and the explanation of the job that comes with being Miss Universe was also vague. She began her tenure as CEO trying to redefine all of that, while also looking at the global franchisees — currently at about 55% run by women, she says. (“I thought it was important to highlight that.”) Emmerich doesn’t shy away from calling Miss Universe a “pageant,” but she does refuse to call the women appearing from countries around the world “contestants.”

    “This one’s a big argument always at the office,” she says. “Because I really see it as a live job interview. They’re already winners in their local or national pageants. They are the title holder of that place, Miss Universe Venezuela, Miss Universe Columbia and so on. So, it really comes down to who will get the job for Miss Universe. Language matters and how we refer to them. So, a lot of that will shape shift. And then just finding more time to learn about their stories. Most likely it will be the top 16 and packages around who these women are, what they faced, and really trying to highlight different stories from around the world. How these women stand for their culture, their countries. It’s not about beauty anymore. I’m hoping people start to recognize the first of these changes.”

    But Emmerich says she’s also cognizant of not moving too fast — which is why the swimsuit competition will remain.

    “I did not eradicate swimwear,” she says. “That’s a big question. It was pretty obvious that that moment was more about the power of their voice, even more than the power of their body. But being able to own the power of your sexuality was really interesting to me. And as a woman, we basically are raised to hate our bodies from birth. And in this moment, they own it. And they own it in an interesting way. Of course, I’d love more body positivity and plus-size women to be represented but I think that’s going to take a little time. I think we need to show that audience that we have a safe space for them. And that’s the work that we have to do.”

    Miss Universe president Paula Shugart and Emmerich are also looking to improve transparency when it comes to the voting process.

    “In the past they have put the scores on the television screens, but the audience is so aggressive, they will basically bully the selection criteria if they don’t like the score on the moment,” she says. “We had to take that away and do something that was at least transparent for the delegates who are performing. But yes, it has to evolve. We work with Ernst and Young, which has been an eye opener for me, thinking about all the different ways that we can select someone but the ways that you need to mathematically prove that. So hopefully we’ll have a little bit more to talk about in January.”

    Emmerich has learned the importance of this as the Miss Universe Organization continues to investigate this year’s Miss USA pageant. After contestants this year accused Miss USA of rigging its results, Miss Universe has suspended its contract with Miss Brands (which runs Miss USA under a licensing agreement).

    “There was some questioning around the judgment and the judging,” she says. “I’m able to say, we’re going to stop right now and make sure we take a true look at this. I did not want social media dictating the outcome. I wanted to get some facts behind it before we made any decisions.”

    Emmerich says she also expects to turn some heads over the decision to allow delegates from both Russia and Ukraine into this year’s Miss Universe. (It’s still unclear if Miss Russia will be represented on the show, however.)

    “Miss Universe Organization tries to say apolitical, but we do believe in pushing and creating a platform for the delegates’ voices as loud as they may be, for whatever it is they believe,” she says. “I didn’t feel like that we should basically hold Miss Russia accountable for something that was out of her control. So that’s why we said yes.”

    The 71st Miss Universe event will be held at New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, where almost 90 women representing countries from around the world. Besides swimwear, categories include interviews, evening gown and community impact. The 70th Miss Universe, Harnaaz Sandhu, will crown her successor at the end of the night.
    I'm not exactly sure why I keep feeding this thread. Perhaps it's because it surprises me now and again. Not that this news bit was surprising, or rather that notable...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  10. #175
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
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    Grace Stanke: Miss America 2023

    Wausau native Grace Stanke named Miss America 2023

    BY WCCO STAFF
    DECEMBER 16, 2022 / 1:46 PM / CBS MINNESOTA

    MINNEAPOLIS -- A Wisconsin woman is the next Miss America.

    Grace Stanke, a native of Wausau, was crowned Miss America during a ceremony in Connecticut on Thursday. The 20-year-old is a senior at University of Wisconsin-Madison studying nuclear engineering.

    "Being crowned Miss America 2023 is impossible to put into words – it is a dream come true and has literally changed my life in an instant," Stanke said. "I hope to live up to the impeccable legacy of Miss America, serving as a positive role model for women of all ages and my community."

    Stanke was awarded a $50,000 cash scholarship and will earn a six-figure salary, benefits, and will travel roughly 20,000 a month during her reign as a representative of the Miss America Organization.

    She said she will use her national platform to advocate for clean energy. She won the talent portion of the competition for her classical violin performance.


    MISS AMERICA

    Stanke's achievement also marked 50 years since the first Miss Wisconsin, Terry Meeuwsen, won Miss America.

    Rachel Lane Evangelisto competed for Minnesota, as the first Indigenous woman to represent the state. She told WCCO's Marielle Mohs in June that pursuing the title was all about representation.

    "I'm going to come right through and break all those barriers and say that I need to be authentic, I need to be truthful and just share my experiences," Evangelisto said.
    Not sure how to pronounce her last name and I'm just going to leave it to my imagination...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  11. #176
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
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    Posts
    46,312

    Miss Ukraine Universe, Victoriia Apanasenko

    The network showed the national costume of Viktoriia Apanasenko for the Miss Universe
    CULTURE The Odessa Journal 21 December, 2022 4 Comments 11,355 2 minutes read


    This costume is called “Warrior of Light”. Ukrainian costume designer Lesya Patoka created it.
    Photo: @danilyukart

    The network showed the costume of the winner of the Miss Ukraine Universe, Victoriia Apanasenko.

    It is known that the costume of Victoria was named “Warrior of Light”. The designer of the incredible look was Lesya Patoka, who collaborated with Jamala, ONUKA, and other famous personalities.




    The «Warrior of Light» costume symbolizes Ukraine nation’s fight against darkness. Like Archangel Michael, who defends Ukraine with a sword, it protects us. Viktoriia has a weapon in her hands, her body is covered in armor, and at the same time, she carries light through the darkness that came to our peaceful lands with the aggressor.

    The monolithic jumpsuit symbolizes armor and wraps Viktoriia like a second skin.

    The white dress consists of a stylization of a vyshyvanka with puffy sleeves and a skirt that has more than 10 meters of fabric to it. The headwear is decorated with spikelets, which are traditional in Ukraine. Symbolic wings are burned in battle, framed in blue and gold armor in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, and decorated with various mirror ornaments, opened for the decisive battle.

    Here is how Lesya Patoka herself commented on her work:

    “It was very important for us to create the image of not just a beautiful, but also a strong-willed girl who personifies the whole of Ukraine – unbending, courageous, free. Despite all the difficulties and challenges, we coped with creating the image on time, because each of us is a Warrior in his business.”




    “Warrior of Light” costume is a personification of the inner strength of Ukrainians, our courage, determination and love of freedom flowing in our veins. In this costume, I wanted to embed the idea that war cannot break our strength and discolor our hearts. Even on a fire, like a phoenix, Ukraine will blossom and shine with bright rays of kindness and faith,” says Viktoriya Apanasenko.

    Lesya worked on the costume for four months to the sound of sirens and without electricity.

    Victoria Apanasenko will present this outfit at the National Costume Show on January 11, 2023 in New Orleans, USA.
    Beauty-Pageants
    Sword-hotties
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  12. #177
    Zoe Sozo Bethel was so beautiful((
    so sorry for her family

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