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Beauty With Attitude

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    Photo credit: The Sun Daily
    Angeli Dion Gomez, 20, from Cebu, Philippines was crowned Miss Tourism International 2013/2014 during the 17th edition of the pageant in Putrajaya, Malaysia on New Year's Eve. This is the first time that the Philippines won back-to-back; Gomez's predecessor, Rizzini Gomez (no relation), is also from the Philippines. The 20-year-old, who wanted to be a film director, was ecstatic to bring back the crown to Philippines after the country won it last year.

    "The first thing I plan to do is to meet my family whom I have not met for about one month and have a nice breakfast with them tomorrow," she told reporters. As the title holder, Gomez will be tasked as travelling ambassador in promoting informal international relations between countries to spread the message of peace, goodwill and friendship.

    Photo credit: Miss Tourism International
    Angeli's court includes the following finalists who were also awarded a subsidiary title: 1st runner-up Sunidporn Srisuwan of Thailand (Miss Tourism Queen of the Year 2013/2014), 2nd runner-up Sarah Czarnuch of Australia (Miss Metropolitan 2013/2014), 3rd runner-up Michelle Alexis Torres of the Dominican Republic (Miss Tourism Global International 2013/2014), and 4th runner-up Thaarah Ganesan of Malaysia (Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan International 2013/2014).  Completing the top 10 were the delegates from Bosnia & Herzegovina, Vietnam, Ukraine, Portugal and Zimbabwe.

    Gomez's victory marks the Philippines' fourth international win in 2013. On September 6, Mutya Datul won Miss Supranational 2013 in Belarus; on September 28, Megan Young won Miss World 2013 in Indonesia; and last December 17, Bea Rose Santiago won Miss International 2013 in Japan. 

    Photo credit: Miss Tourism International




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    And why we still love Sushmita after all these years!



    Sushmita Sen / Photo credit: Wizard.com
    Sushmita's esSENce:  Sushmita Sen, the first Miss Universe from India and director of I AM SHE Pageant that selects India's representative to Miss Universe and minor global pageants,  announced on January 7th that she had terminated her ownership of the Miss Universe franchise after three years. Under her helm, India won the maligned Miss Asia Pacific World pageant in 2012 (though her candidate in 2011 was promoted to the title for reasons unknown), and her candidate to Miss Universe 2012 Shilpa Singh made the top 16. Eventually, the Times of India Group retook the franchise and produced its first ever "Miss Diva" contest, whose main winner, Manasi Moghe, was awarded the "Miss Universe India" title. Moghe would later make the top 16 of Miss Universe 2013 pageant in Moscow. Sushmita may have surrendered the franchise, but she has never given up in her relentless pursuit of excellence. On October 27, Sushmita received The Mother Teresa International Award for Social Justice. And on November 17, she was honored as an actress at the 19th Kolkata International Film Festival where she gave an impassioned speech about India's cradle babies and how to end female infanticide. Sushmita's prolific human rights and social activism truly echoes her memorable response to her Miss Universe question, "What is the essence of a woman?" To which she replied, "Just being a woman is God's gift. The origin of a child is a mother, a woman. She shows a man what sharing, caring, and loving is all about. That is the essence of a woman." Very few beauty queens live up to their supposed mission of extending oneself to the poorest of the poor and the most oppressed of the oppressed. Sushmita seems to have devoted her life to doing just that. As a good ol' Southerner would say, "Bless her heart!" Now let's help those cradle baby girls find permanent loving homes where they will grow up to be future Sushmitas or Mother Teresas!
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    Yityish Aynaw / Photo credit: Miss Israel Organization
    Jewish Ethiopian Princess:  On February 1st, Yityish Aynaw , a former Israeli army officer, became the first black woman to win the Miss Israel pageant. A panel of judges awarded the title to Aynaw, a 21-year-old model who came to Israel about a decade ago from Ethiopia. Aynaw is thankful of her new country, and worked hard to assimilate in the mainstream society by learning Hebrew. She even served in the Israeli army after school. During the competition, Aynaw cited the slain American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. as one of her heroes. 
    “He fought for justice and equality, and that’s one of the reasons I’m here: I want to show that my community has many pretty qualities that aren’t always represented in the media,” she said. Aynaw's victory made her an instant celebrity; she was invited to meet U.S. President Barack Obama during a visit to Jerusalem last March. The beauty queen called Obama "a world-class hunk, charming and an extraordinary gentleman." Obviously, she doesn't know him that well (lol). Aynaw's popularity compelled pageant fans to include her as a front-runner in Miss Universe 2013 pageant, but when she arrived in Moscow she failed to crack the top 16, leaving her admirers dumbfounded.
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    Melissa King / Photo credit: New York Daily News
    Sex, Lies & Videotape: Miss Delaware Teen USA 2012 Melissa King, 18, relinquished her crown on February 26 amid speculation that she starred in a porn video that surfaced online the day before. King had claimed earlier that she is "absolutely not" the woman in it. New York Daily News wrote that the video producers said that King contacted them to shoot the video and was willing to film more scenes. However, the producers decided to stop making videos with King, describing her performance as frigid. The video in question runs slightly over five minutes and features a woman, who resembles and sounds like King, performing various sexual acts with an unidentified man, whose face is not seen. "I would like to confirm to you that the Miss Delaware Teen USA pageant has received a resignation letter from Miss King's attorney," pageant spokeswoman Dara Busch confirmed to The News Journal of Delaware.
    It's too bad that King blew (no pun intended) her chances of becoming a reputable beauty queen, though I think she has plenty of time to redeem herself - perhaps change her identity and appearance - and then sign up for the Miss Delaware USA pageant a few years from now. Delaware is the only state that has not placed in the Miss USA competition, and King (or Kong, assuming she modifies her last name) may very well win Miss Delaware USA and be the first rep to break the curse!
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    Florima Treiber / Photo credit: Spletnik.ru
    She's French, so you can't shut her upOn February 18, Critical Beauty published the story of Florima Treiber, the French representative to Miss Asia Pacific World 2011 pageant (MAPW). Pageant officials claimed that Florima was dethroned for failing to fulfill her contract, but Florima alleges that she was dethroned after questioning the validity of the contract. If you missed Florima's detailed and juicy story, you can read it here followed by incriminating behind-the-scene videos. On August 18, Critical Beauty director Rafa Delfin received an e-mail from Fred Lee, the Licensing Director of MAPW,  threatening legal action if Florima's story was not taken down and claiming that the story had already caused major damage to the reputation of the pageant. Delfin never bothered responding to Lee's e-mail, because Delfin knows that MAPW can't afford to spend hundreds and thousands of U.S. dollars to hire American lawyers and that the story serves as a public service announcement to warn potential contestants and directors about the incompetence and unethical business dealings of the MAPW officials. But of course, the warning proved to be ineffective, as we see new gullible directors sending their girls to the 2013 pageant.
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    Margaret Gorman was crowned the first Miss America in Atlantic City in 1921. / Photo credit: Miss America Organization

    There she is... back in Atlantic City Miss America, the spectacle that became synonymous with Atlantic City, returned to the New Jersey seaside resort after a six-year fling in Las Vegas. The move to Las Vegas came amid sliding TV ratings for the pageant, as it tried to interest a younger demographic and incorporating elements of reality television programming.  The Miss America pageant left Atlantic City in 2006 after deciding it was just too expensive to stage its production there. It went to Las Vegas, where the 2012 Miss America, Mallory Hagan, was crowned in January at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. But Hagan's reign was cut short when the 2013 pageant was broadcast on September 15 and the classic pageant theme song, "There She Is, Miss America!" was not played because the estate of songwriter Bernie Wayne has been embroiled in on-and-off litigation against the pageant for years over the use of the tune. Oh, well... it's just a song. I'm sure songwriters are toiling day and night composing new songs that could replace the original. Or better, why not just use Jason Mraz's"Beauty In The Ugly" where Mraz tells - for lack of a better word - ordinary - girls to "own your name and stand up tall." 
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    Denise Garrido and Riza Santos / Photo credit: Beauties of Canada

    Queen for a day:  Just barely twenty-four hours after she was crowned Miss Universe Canada 2013 on May 25, Denise Garrido has been demoted to 3rd runner-up position due to a human tabulation error.  Riza Santos,  26, who was 1st runner-up, has now been declared as the true winner. “My heart sank. I was so sad,” Garrido said of learning that a typo was to blame for the mix-up — and that she had actually come in fourth, not first.  Beauties of Canada, which runs the pageant, released a statement apologizing to Garrido while praising her grace and wishing her well in her future endeavors. It's nice of the pageant officials to admit their error and to apologize, but one could not help but wonder if the controversy was merely a publicity stunt to gain media attention (after all, pageantry in Canada is practically dormant) and/or if dark forces were working profusely to discredit Garrido. If Garrido had been able to keep the Miss Universe Canada title, then she would have become the first Canadian woman to have won all three major national titles. In 2008, she was crowned Miss Earth Canada, and in 2010 she was crowned Miss World Canada - two titles that Riza Santos had also won in 2006 and 2011 respectively. Riza's election as Miss Universe Canada 2013 now makes her officially as the first Canadian woman to be a triple national winner. Perhaps to compensate for the tabulation error, the Miss Universe Organization invited Garrido to judge at Miss Teen USA 2013 which took place in the Bahamas on August 10th. 
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    Korinna Kocsis tells the co-hosts that they can take the Miss Hungary Intercontinental title
    and shove it up their you know what! 

    Hung(a)ry for more During the Miss Hungary pageant in June, scandal erupted  during the live telecast when the 3rd placer, Korinna Kocsis, refused the Miss Hungary Intercontinental 2013 crown and title because she had expected to win either one of the two major titles (World or Universe). Kocsis, who represented Hungary in Miss Earth 2009, immediately took to Facebook to express her disappointment, hinting that the pageant had been rigged, while at the same time congratulating  the two winners. By refusing the Miss Hungary Intercontinental title, Kocsis was loudly proclaiming that she would rather compete in any of the two most prestigious pageants and not in some third-rate pageant. Imagine the "ouch" expression on the faces of the Miss Intercontinental organizers. When Kocsis competed in the national pageant for the first time in 2009, she placed third and was awarded the Miss Hungary Earth title. Since Miss Earth is considered the third biggest pageant in the world, competing in Miss Intercontinental would signify a downgrade. Now wouldn't it be funny if Kocsis competed again in the national pageant in 2014 and actually won any of the top two titles? I hope she does. After all, a true winner never quits.
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    Prince Tuli and Yukta Mookhey / Photo credit: Moviezzada.com
    Inset: Yukta as Miss World 1999 / Photo credit: Miss World Organisation

    Worldly dispute:  Miss World 1999 Yukta Mookhey married Prince Tuli of Nagpur on November 2, 2008. Four years into their marriage, Yukta moved back to Mumbai into her parents' house and filed a case of domestic violence against Prince and his family on July 4th, 2012. On May 16, 2013 he filed an application for divorce. In July, 2013, Yukta lodged a domestic violence complaint against her husband. Police issued a statement: "In her complaint,  Yukta alleged she had often been beaten up and troubled by her husband Prince Tuli. A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered under Section 498A (cruelty and harassment) and Section 377 (unnatural sex) of Indian Penal Code after her complaint."
    Hmmm... one wonders what the alleged unnatural sex consisted of.  Indian women are sadly familiar with domestic violence, but the problem affects all social classes - even celebrity royalty. Several Bollywood female celebrities have suffered physical and psychological abuse from their partner. Former Miss World Aishwarya Rai reportedly was physically abused by actor Salman Khan while the couple were in the relationship. Khan was also accused of stalking Rai at her house. Zeenat Aman, a former Miss Asia, was regularly physically abused by husband Sanjay Khan who once beat her up badly enough to leave a scar under her eye. Indian girls and women who aspire to be models or beauty queens should better enroll in Durga Vahini’s militant training camp to learn to shoot rifles and to break collarbones in case they end up dating or marrying a potential abuser.
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    Inset: Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo

    Russian-style homo-xeno-phobia: This year's edition of Miss Universe proved to be the most controversial in the history of the pageant. On August 21, the Miss Universe Organization released a statement condemning Russia’s laws banning “gay propaganda.” Even though MUO categorically stated that "the violence experienced by the LGBT community in Russia, are diametrically opposed to the core values of our company,"  pageant fans and human rights activists nevertheless criticized MUO's  decision to hold the Miss Universe 2013 pageant in Moscow in November.  Bravo’s Andy Cohen - who had hosted the pageant before - announced that he would not be hosting the pageant because he refuses to go to Russia. On the other hand, openly gay journalist Thomas Roberts filled in for Cohen and stated that hosting the pageant would be an opportunity  "partly because it is a huge, visible opportunity for LGBT people." The controversy also extended to Russia's refusal to grant a visa to Miss Kosovo Mirjeta Shala because her country is not recognized as a legitimate country by the Russian government; consequently, Miss Kosovo’s good friend, Miss Albania Fioralba Dizdari, decided to withdraw from the pageant as a symbol of solidarityIt was also reported that Miss Georgia Janeta Kerdikoshvili has also been denied a visa allegedly due to Russia and Georgia’s hostile relationship over the disputed territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. One thing is certain - Russia has been the least amicable host country in the history of the pageant. And for a nation that boasts of its military prowess and its status as an economic powerhouse, its politics are still entrenched in Cold War mentality and the majority of its people tend to dislike/hate the Other.  

    “I hate everything you say, but not enough to kill you for it.” 
     Boris PasternakDoctor Zhivago
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    Finally Filipino! For the first time in the 63-year-long history of the Miss World pageant, the Philippines - a pageant-crazy nation - won the coveted crown in Bali, Indonesia on September 28. Megan Young, a 23-year-old aspiring filmmaker born in the United States, was crowned by outgoing titleholder Wenxia Yu of China at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center.  "I promise to be the best Miss World ever," Young, 23, said after winning the crown, as a large number of Filipino fans who traveled to Bali celebrated by jumping and waving the country's flag. Young's victory earned the Philippines as the first country to have won all the big international pageants so far (Universe, World, Earth, International, Supranational) and sealed the Philippines's reputation as the leading pageant powerhouse in Asia. Young's reign is not without tribulation. On October 31st during a visit to an orphanage housing in Haiti with Miss World CEO Julia MorleyYoung and Morley fell about 8 to 10 feet when the floor of the temporary building's second story collapsed. Around 20 of the 78 children being housed in the orphanage rushed towards Young when they saw her enter their classroom, causing the floor to collapse. Morley and a young boy suffered major injuries and required immediate medical attention, but Young was "able to land on her feet" escaping injury. The letter "M" in Megan's name stands for "Mabuhay!" ("Long live!")
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    Random photo of a child beauty queen / Stock photo

    France says no to sexualized kiddie pageants:  On September 18, the French senate voted to ban beauty pageants for children under 16 – and to impose up to two years in prison and a 3,000-euro fine for adults who try to enter children into such a contest. The amendment is part of a broader bill on women’s rights, which will now proceed to the National Assembly, French Parliament’s lower house, for debate and another vote. The senators who voted in favor of the measure argue that it will protect children from being prematurely “sexualized” through the use of heavy make-up and often provocative attire. “Let us not make our girls believe from a very young age that their worth is based only on their appearance,” the author of the report, former sports minister and current senator Chantal Jouanno, said in an interview with free French daily “20 Minutes” last year. 
    Perhaps the French would prefer that the girls be forced to cover themselves in burka instead? I used to think that the French were the most logical and rational people in the world, but whatever happened to debates concerning the pros and cons of kiddie pageants? It appears that the French see everything in a sexual way and ignores the simple pleasure and immense joy that the pageants could bring to a girl. Surely, kiddie pageants could certainly attract pedophiles and other deviants, but this could easily be prevented if the parents, pageant officials and local safety authorities cooperate with each other to create a safe and enjoyable event. Besides, would the French find Little Redneck Honey Boo Boo too sexy for their crème brûlée?
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    Olivia Culpo at the Taj Mahal / Photo credit: India Express

    Oh, no, she di'nt!  Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo has come under fire for posing in high-heeled shoes at Diana Seat on Central Tank at Taj Mahal on Sunday, October 6.  The notoriously inflexible Archaeological Survery of India lodged a police complaint against Culpo and the Miss Universe Organization (MUO), saying the shoot violated strict product placement rules at the Taj Mahal. The incident took place at the marble bench popularly known as the Diana Seat, named after the now famous picture taken of a dispirited-looking Princess Diana on a trip to the Taj in 1992 - which was seen to highlight the sad state of her marriage to Prince Charles. MUO felt sorry for the shoot and explained that the shoot "was never intended to be used as a commercial nor was it meant in any way to be disrespectful." Yeah, sure. If there's one thing that MUO always fails to do is to research the laws and the customs of a foreign country to which the titleholder is sent. When the pageant took place in Bangkok in 2005controversy erupted when images of the contestants in their bikinis with the Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn in the background appeared in the local Bangkok newspapers. The controversial pictures were taken during a photo-shoot on a boat along the Chao Phraya river, where the photographers had framed their bikini-clad subjects with the temple as a backdrop, apparently not aware that the Buddhist conservatives considered the poses in front of the Temple as inappropriate because of the contestants' skimpy attire. MUO relented and claimed that it did not intend to offend anyone and promised not to repeat the same, and pulled out the photos. And of course, bringing this year's pageant to Russia without first researching its gross human rights violations against the LGBT community. 
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    Ikumi Yushimatsu testifies in court / Inset: Ikumi is crowned Miss International 2012

    Bullied beauties:  On December 11, outgoing Miss International 2012 Ikumi Yoshimatsu filed criminal and civil charges against one of Japan’s most powerful talent agencies’ executives for stalking her and attempting to ruin her career. The harassment began shortly after Yoshimatsu became the first Japanese to win the title in the pageant’s 52-year history and then refused to sign up with a problematic talent agency.
     Her story has transformed her into an icon of resistance against Japan’s yakuza (members of the country’s organized crime groups), who have infiltrated Japanese society to what many say is an alarming degree. According to the 26-year-old Yoshimatsu, trouble started last spring, even before she won. She was working as an actress and model, and the most powerful Japanese talent agency, Burning Productions, expressed an interest in having one of their associates represent her. Yoshimatsu says she refused the offer, because of the alleged ties the agency has with the powerful Yamaguchi-gumi crime group. “Morally and ethically, I cannot work with such people or their associates, nor do I want to,” Yoshimatsu said at a press conference in Tokyo on December 16. Yakuza are known to have a strong influence over the Japanese entertainment industry, with high-level gang members wielding unofficial control of several top talent agencies. Due to the gravity of Yoshimatsu's charges, pageant organizers banned her from attending the 2013 Miss International activities and from crowning her successor.

     - On November 27, dethroned Miss World Trinidad and Tobago 2013 Sherrece Villafana broke her silence to accuse pageant director, Athaliah Samuel, of being a bully who withheld funding from sponsors for the 2013 Miss World Pageant in September. Villafana has been accused by Samuel of failing to hand over $200,000 sponsored by the Sport and Culture Fund of the Office of the Prime Minister. She was stripped of her crown the week earlier and, after a mostly silent response to Samuel’s statements against her, Villafana issued a press release denying the allegations and claiming a portion of the money was given to Samuel. Villafana painted a picture of a nightmarish preparation period, during which she alleged she was threatened by a male acquaintance of Samuel when she refused to sign over a percentage of her earnings. She said working with a certain pageant official “was one of the most horrendous and traumatic experiences I have ever had in my life and never have I been bullied and threatened to the extent of crying all night and being scared,” the 19-year-old Villafana stated.

    - In a similar exprience, Miss Universe Uruguay 2013 Micaela Orsi Jorsin withdrew from Miss Universe 2013 competition in Moscow. On her Facebook page, Jorsin explained that she had been forced to sign a contract in which the original franchise owner, Antonio Vargas, would relinquish the franchise to a third party, Alejandro Gamella. After seeking legal consultation, Jorsin realized that the contract had no legal validity. The new contract also obliged Jorsin to commit to proposals that "went against the values" that her family had instilled in her. Perhaps as a form of retaliation, the pageant organization failed to assist Jorsin in her preparations for Miss Universe.

    “If you're horrible to me, I'm going to write a song about it, and you won't like it. 
    That's how I operate. ”   Taylor Swift
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    Mabuhay, Philippines - Part 2!  In 2012, the Philippines proved itself to be a major pageant powerhouse by placing in over a dozen major and minor international pageants, thus claiming the title "The Country Of The Year." 2013 was no different; in fact, it was even better! The Philippines won four major crowns: Mutya Datul won the country's first Miss Supranational title in Belarus on September 6; Megan Young won the country's first-ever Miss World crown in Indonesia on September 28; Bea Rose Santiago won the country's fifth Miss International crown in Tokyo on December 17;  and to close 2013 with a bang, the Philippines won the Miss Tourism International title for the second year in a row when Angeli Dion Gomez triumphed in Malaysia on December 31st. Additionally, the country made the top 8 in Miss Earth in Manila on December 7, reached the top 10 in Miss Tourism Queen International in China on October 3,  placed 3rd runner-up in Miss Universe in Russia on November 9, placed 3rd runner-up in Miss Grand International in Thailand on November 19, placed 4th runner-up in Mister International in Indonesia on November 21, placed 3rd runner-up in Miss Intercontinental in Germany on December 14, and placed 1st runner-up in Miss Scuba International in Malaysia on December 20. All these successes confirm that 
    the Philippines remains as the undisputed pageant champion of Asia, and there is 
    no doubt that its winning streak will continue in 2014 and beyond.

    "There is no 'i' in team but there is in win."  Michael Jordan
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    Critical Bests: For the first time, Critical Beauty Facebook members took a poll to select the best international contestants for 2013. The list is not yet complete as members are still voting for other categories, so please keep coming back for the updates. Meanwhile, the winners so far are the following:

    Miss Critical Beauty 2013- Megan Young of the Philippines (Miss World 2013)
    Most Beautiful Winner in 2013- Megan Young of the Philippines (Miss World 2013)
    Best Set of Winners for 2013 - Miss World 2013 (Philippines, France, Ghana)
    Best Finalist or Semifinalist of 2013 - Amy Willerton of the United Kingdom (in Miss Universe 2013)
    Best Set of Semifinalists in 2013 - Miss Universe 2013 Top 16
    Best Non-Finalist of 2013 - Paulina Krupinska of Poland (in Miss Universe 2013)
    Best Host Country of 2013 - Philippines (for hosting Miss Earth 2013)
    Best in Evening Gown for 2013 - Patricia Rodriguez of Spain (in Miss Universe 2013)
    Best in National Costume for 2013Nastassja Bolivar of Nicaragua (in Miss Universe 2013)
    Face of the Year 2013  - Anna Zayachkivska of the Ukraine (in Miss World 2013)
    Best in Swimsuit 2013 -Constanza Baez of Ecuador (in Miss Universe 2013)


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    In Memoriam: Several beauty queens left this world and passed on to a place where they will remain eternally beautiful. Some of the notable queens who will be missed are:

    Photo credit: El Anecdatorio
      Adalgisa Colombo, Miss Brazil 1958 and 1st runner-up in Miss Universe 1958, 
    died on January 17. She was 73.

    Photo credit: Miss Universe Organization
    Anna Litvinova, who represented Russia in Miss Universe 2006, died on January 22.

    Photo credit: Peru Beauties
     Mary Ann Sarmiento, Miss Peru 1953 and Peru's first representative to Miss Universe, 
    died in early April at the age of 77.

    Photo credit: Peru Beauties
    Karol Castillo, Miss Peru 2008, died suddenly of cardiac arrest in Australia
     in early April. She was 23.


    Photo credit: Passarela Cultural Blog
    Rejane Goulart (née Rejane Vieira Costa), Miss Brazil 1972 and first runner-up in Miss Universe 1972, passed away on Christmas Eve, December 24.

    “Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” 
     Mahatma Gandhi



    By Rafa Delfin

    Updated: January 5, 2014

         
         

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  • 01/06/14--19:29: CB Achievements in 2013
  • It was a #fabulous year!



    2013 has proven once again to be a remarkable year for the Critical Beauty Team!  Let's start with Hector Joaquin's memorable achievements! 

    HJ continues to pursue what he does best - to be in the limelight - be it on the radio, on television, in print, or judging a pageant. He has now become the most sought-after "misólogo" or "reinólogo(an expert on beauty queens) -  though he shuns both labels and would prefer to be called simply as "experto en certámenes de belleza" (an expert on beauty pageants). Whatever he calls himself, HJ continues to make an impact on the pageant industry across all media! He had been so busy  that it was so hard to keep track of all his activities, but here are just some of his most noteworthy accomplishments in 2013:



    March 28 - HJ was interviewed by Julio Nuñez  for "Missiología 101" where he was asked about his opinionon beauty pageants, his definition of "missologist," and who would win Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2013.
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    March 31 - HJ departed for Colombia to start shooting for a new reality show, "Lucha De Reinas" ("Battle of Beauty Queens") in which he will be a judge and a coach.
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    April 30 - HJ went to Panama City to judge the Miss Panama 2013 beauty pageant.
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        May 15 - HJ was interviewed by a Portuguese-language tabloid in Brazil, Tablog, in which he candidly states that pageants that have been bought can destroy the dreams of young women who expect a fair competition.
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    July 26 - HJ  appears in a column in the Puerto Rican daily, Primera Hora, in which he postulates that to be successful in pageants, the candidates must spend thousands of dollars to improve themselves through cosmetic surgery, dieting, fitness training, botox injection, teeth whitening ... among other things!
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    August 3 - Primera Hora publishes an article about HJ's trajectory to radio and television as well as the debut of his reality show, "Lucha de Reinas."
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    August 9 - HJ debuted on the Puerto Rican radio program show, El Circo de la Mega 106.9. He can be heard every Friday from 5:30 to 10:00 AM talking about fashion and beauty for the Puerto Rican woman.
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    November 2 - HJ flew to Moscow, Russia to cover the Miss Universe 2013 pageant for Critical Beauty, HJ Blog, and Telemundo.
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    November 5 - The new Colombia-based reality show, "Lucha De Reinas" ("Battle of Beauty Queens") debuted on Fox Life channel. HJ co-hosts the show with Luz Blanchet. The show features nine beauty queens competing in various challenges.

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    November 27 - HJ was interviewed by the Venezuelan newspaper Diario La Verdad in which he promotes his reality show "Lucha De Reinas." 

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    Besides running the Critical Beauty website, monitoring the CB Facebook page, and coaching pageant contenders all year round, Rafa somehow managed to get involved with exciting pageant-related activities - and controversy!



    April 14 - Rafa judged the Miss Hercules 2013 pageant in Hercules, California. He finally had the pleasure of meeting the fabulous Peter Sereno of Dear Pageant Girl (left) and reunited with the amazing pageant owner and organizer, Richard James White (center). Rafa also presented the Critical Beauty Award to the eventual winner of the competition, Kristiana Sunga (right).
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    April 19 - Rafa appears on TLC's "I Found The Gown" - a reality show that helps brides-to-be who are looking for their ideal wedding gown. Watch the trailer.



     The segment features ex-Miss Massachusetts USA 2011 Alida D'Angona who tries on several gowns while Rafa, Cassie (Alida's best friend), Kristine (Alida's sister), Miriam (Alida's mom) offer their critiques.


    _________________________________________



    June 16 - Rafa's protégée Sarah Kidd placed in the top 15 of the Miss USA 2013 pageant held at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, Rafa could not attend the pageant but was able to watch the live telecast from home.
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    August 19 - Rafa interviewed Íris Telma Jónsdóttir, Director of Miss Iceland  

    _________________________________________

    August 24 - Rafa interviewed Malene Riis Sørensen, Miss World Denmark 2013

    _________________________________________



    September 8 - Rafa judged the Miss Universe Bahamas 2013 pageant at the Atlantis Paradise Island. The winner was the beautiful Lexi Wilson.


    Rafa also presented the Miss Critical Beauty Bahamas award to the stunning Shanae Strachan.


    Rafa poses on the Red Carpet at the Miss Universe Bahamas 2013 pageant

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    September 27 - A pageant site on Facebook called "The Pageant Queens" posted a topic implying that Rafa (his photo was also posted) may have been the "mastermind" behind the so-called Demolition Team to hurt Miss World Philippines Megan Young's chances in winning Miss World 2013. Rabid Filipino pageant fans accused Rafa of having notified the Miss World Organization about Megan's topless photos that appeared in some magazine. Rafa found the implication absurd, unfounded, offensive, and defamatory. The topic and related comments were taken down after Rafa threatened to report the page to Facebook for being an accessory to defamation and libel. 


    _________________________________________

    November 7 - Rafa wrote "The 10 Caribbean Beauties in Miss Universe 2013" which was published in the Curaçao-based e-zine, "My Fashion Lifestyle".

    _________________________________________

    November 11 - Rafa published his review of the Miss Universe 2013 telecast from Moscow, Russia

    ________________________________________

    November 12 - Rafa attended the Miss Massachusetts USA & Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 2014 pageant to cheer for his three teens and three Misses competing.

    ________________________________________


    December 1 - Rafa's protégée Annie Jean-Baptiste placed 2nd runner-up in Miss Maine USA 2013 pageant held at the Marriott Sable Oaks Hotel in South Portland. 
    Annie also won the Best in Style.



    Rafa reunited with former Miss Earth United States 2009 Amy Diaz who judged the pageant
    with her fiancé Jason Case. The couple would later win "The Amazing Race!"

    _________________________________________

    December 10 - Rafa started preparing a coffee table book to celebrate Critical Beauty's 10th Anniversary in October 2014! Watch for it!

    ___________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________


    And last but not least - the Critical Beauty Philippines Team!




         A big thanks to CB Philippines photographer Jonas Yu (above, with the winners of the Best in Long Gown segment in Miss Earth 2013 )  for providing us with exciting pictorial coverage of pageants and fashion shows that took place in the Philippines (as well as in Thailand) in 2013:

    January 3 - Arielle Agasang's Haute Couture Collections
    January 15 - Arielle Agasang's High Profile Fashion Show
    January 18 - Mr. and Miss Sexy Body Semi-Final Round
    April 14 - Binibining Pilipinas Gold 2013 Coronation Night
    April 25 - Miss Bikini Philippines 2013 Finals
    May 15 - Miss Tourism World Philippines 2013 Flores de Mayo/Gala Dinner
    May 19 - Miss Philippines Earth 2013 Finals
    May 23 - Ginoong Filipinas 2013 Finals
    May 25 - Jun-Jun Cambe Collection at Philippine Fashion Week
    June 8 - Arielle Agasang's Haute Couture Fashion Show
    June 18 - Body Shots 2013 Fashion Show
    June 27 - Body Shots 2013 Finals
    June 28 - Arielle Agasang's Haute Couture Fashion Show (salute to Philippine Independence)
    July 26 - Mutya ng Pilipinas 2013 Finals
    July 27 - Likha: A Walk for Life
    August 18 - Miss World Philippines 2013 Finals
    August 24 - Diversity Art of Fashion, Season 2 of Fashion Show
    September 5 - Arielle Agasang's 3rd-Year Anniversary Mega Fashion Show
    September 13 - Reyna ng Bulacan 2013 Finals
    September 15 - Manhunt Nueva Ecija 2013 Regional Search
    September 18 - Arielle Agasang's The Grand Launch - Top Model (Male Division)
    September 24 - Cosmo Bachelor Bash #Cosmo69
    September 29 - Pilipinas Men's Fashion Week Cycle 3 - Spring/Summer 2014
    October 4 - Manhunt Philippines 2013 Finals
    October 10 - Miss World 2013 Megan Young's Homecoming Press Conference
    October 19 - Unity in Fashion (A Benefit Fashion Show)
    October 23 - Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014: Day 1 Petit Monde
    October 23 - Body Art of the World Fashion Show
    October 24 - Playmate of the Year Philippine Gala 2013
    October 25 - Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014: Lee
    October 26 - Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014: Day 4 Collections
    October 26 - Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014: Ready To Wear Collection
    October 26 - Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014: Visions & Trends Collection
    October 27 - Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014: Menswear Collection
    November 3 - Face of Beauty International 2013 Finals (Thailand)
    November 5-6 - Miss Grand International 2013 Orientation/Sightseeing (Thailand)
    November 12 - Miss Grand International 2013 Press Conference (Thailand)
    December 7 - Miss Earth 2013 Finals
    December 8 - Don Cristobal Runway Show 2
    December 22 - Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago Welcome Press Conference


     A big thanks to Deybid Natanawan and to Froilan Domico Dominique Carmelo for moderating the Critical Beauty Facebook Page; without them, trolls, spammers and other unwanted posters would be cluttering the page!  

    DEYBID

    FROILAN

    A special shout-out to Deybid for providing us with pictorial coverage of Miss Earth 2013, for coordinating the Critical Beauty Award in Manhunt Philippines 2013 as well as presenting the award to the winner, Golden Altamirano:


    And most of all, a big thank you to all of Critical Beauty fans and readers 
    for your undying support. 

    We hope that 2014 will be an even bigger, brighter, and better year for all of us! 

    Rafa Delfin, Director of Critical Beauty

    PHOTOS FROM FACEBOOK PERSONAL PAGES

    "The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express."- Francis Bacon




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    By Osmary Hernandez. Rafael Romo and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN


    Caracas, Venezuela (CNN) -- In one of her last Twitter posts, Venezuelan beauty queen Monica Spear wished her fans peace, health and love.

    The 29-year-old soap opera star was gunned down by the side of a country road less than a week later.

    Spear and her ex-husband, Thomas Henry Berry, were driving in Venezuela's Carabobo state Monday night when their car broke down, officials said. Armed robbers opened fire, killing both of them.

    Their 5-year-old daughter survived Monday's shooting, authorities said, but was shot in the leg.

    "It is presumed that the motive was robbery," Venezuelan Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said.

     "We are still investigating. There are five people detained who are being interrogated."

    Spear was Miss Venezuela in 2004 and represented her country in the Miss Universe pageant the next year.

    Her popularity opened the door to acting roles in soap operas that eventually made her an international star. 

    She worked in Colombia and more recently in the United States, where she made her home in Miami.

    She was vacationing in Venezuela with her family when she was killed. Hours before the shooting, she posted a video online showing scenic images of the countryside.

    Spear, who studied theater at the University of Central Florida before winning the Miss Venezuela crown, appeared on the Telemundo soap operas "Flor Salvaje" (Savage Flower) and "Pasion Prohibida" (Forbidden Passion).

    "We are deeply impacted and saddened by the horrible crime that the beloved actress Monica Spear and her family suffered," the network said in a statement. "Monica was not just a great professional, as she showed in the two soap operas that she worked on with us ... but also she was an excellent person, always enthusiastic and with great strength and determination."

    Word of Spear's slaying spread quickly on social media and drew a massive response from fans in the South American nation and well beyond its borders.

    Movie stars, fellow soap opera actors, athletes and government officials expressed sorrow and condemned the attack.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called the killing a massacre and said more needed to be done to put a stop to violence.

    Venezuela is one of the world's most violent countries, according to a United Nations ranking.

    One person is killed roughly every 21 minutes in Venezuela. And there were 24,700 violent deaths last year in the oil-rich country of roughly 30 million people, according to the nonprofit Venezuelan Violence Observatory.

    "This happens every day in Venezuela. ... If the victim had not been this actress, the person would simply be one more statistic," said Luis Izquiel, a lawyer and criminologist in Caracas.

    Richard Linares, Spear's Venezuela-based personal trainer, said the slaying shows how little life is valued in his country. "Life does not matter," he told CNN en Español on Tuesday. "A life can be traded for some shoes. It devastates me that there is a 5-year-old girl who is asleep, and when she wakes up she will ask how her parents are, and she no longer has any parents," Linares said.

    Venezuelan officials said they're committed to solving the problem. A meeting of the country's governors to discuss crime-fighting strategies is scheduled for Wednesday.

    "It is painful, not only the death of this beloved Venezuelan actress and the wound her daughter received, but also the death of any Venezuelan who falls in the hands of violence," Rodriguez said.

    Authorities also said they had assigned two prosecutors to investigate Monday's slayings.

    Spear's manager, Katty Pulido, said the beauty queen's daughter is now with her grandparents in Venezuela.

    In an interview with The Huffington Post last year, Spear said she left Venezuela because of the country's security problems.

    But Spear was eager to visit her home country over the holidays, close friend and CNN Latino anchor Maria Alejandra Requena said.

    "She wanted to spend Christmas and New Year's in Venezuela," Requena said, "to travel around Venezuela, to let her little daughter know her country."

    SOURCE: CNN, 1/7/2014



    Monica Spear (farthest right) placed 4th runner-up in Miss Universe 2005 which was won by Canada's Nathalie Glebova. Photo credit: Miss Universe Organization


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    Venezuelan prosecutors on Wednesday evening announced the arrest of seven suspects in the killing of a popular soap opera actress and former Miss Venezuela, as hundreds took to the streets of Caracas demanding the government protect its citizens.
    Robbers killed actress Monica Spear, 29, and her former husband, Thomas Henry Berry, 39, around 10:30 p.m. Monday on an isolated stretch of highway while the couple was returning to the capital by car with their 5-year-old daughter from a vacation.
    Prosecutors also said in a statement that "various belongings of the victims were seized." The statement provided few other details aside from giving the names of five of the suspects — the remaining two are a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old.
    President Nicolás Maduro hastily gathered state governors and mayors Wednesday to discuss the country's violent crime amid public outrage over the killings.
    In a rare conciliatory moment during the meeting, Maduro reached out and shook hands with the main opposition leader, Miranda state Gov. Henrique Capriles, whom he defeated by a razor-thin margin in the April presidential election.
    Capriles claims the election was stolen and the two have frequently exchanged insults. But Capriles said Tuesday that he was willing to put aside differences and unite against crime.
    Monica Spear and former husband Thomas Henry Berry

    Along with everyday citizens, hundreds of actors and writers took to Caracas' streets Wednesday to demand protection from the callous killers that are giving Venezuela one of the world's highest murder rates.
    More than nine in 10 homicides go unsolved in this troubled oil-rich nation, according to the independent Venezuelan Violence Observatory.
    The slaying of the beauty queen followed a pattern of late-night attacks carried out by disabling cars with obstacles placed on roadways.
    The director of the Violence Observatory, Roberto Briceño, said the killings "bring into relief a common reality of daily life in Venezuela," where his nonprofit group counted nearly 45,000 people slain last year — 79 for every 100,000 Venezuelans.
    "One need not necessarily be flashing around signs of wealth to be a victim," Briceño said. The slain couple was driving a 2002 Toyota Corolla.
    In his swiftly convened security meeting Wednesday, Maduro promised "better coordination" in the fight against crime. He called the killing of Spear "a slap in the face" but he did not propose any structural or personnel changes to law enforcement.
    Opposition leaders including Leopoldo Lopez have blamed Spear's death squarely on the government, which Lopez called "an accomplice of armed groups, judicial corruption, arms trafficking" on Twitter.
    Police said Spear and Berry tried to foil the assault by locking themselves inside their car, which had been disabled by tire punctures. But the attackers fired into the car.
    A single bullet that entered through Spear's right rib cage killed her, said Katty Pulido, Spear's longtime manager, who said she spoke directly with police investigators.
    Berry was killed by three bullets to his chest, while their daughter, Maya, was wounded in the right leg by a bullet that did not strike bone, Pulido added in a phone interview.
    It was Maya who told police how the criminals killed her parents "out of vengeance," Pulido said.
    "This is something that happens a lot in Venezuela," she said of fatal shootings during armed robberies. "They (the police) cover it up in a lot of cases but they can't when the victims are well-known."
    Spear's parents arrived in Caracas late Tuesday from their home in Orlando, Florida, said Pulido, while Berry's parents had been with the girl at a private clinic in Caracas.
    She said it was too early to say who the child would live with.
    Spear was crowned Miss Venezuela in 2004 and was fifth runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant the following year. She had acted in numerous soap operas, most recently in "Pasion Prohibida" for the U.S.-based Telemundo network.
    Based on reporting by The Associated Press.
    Source: Latino Fox News, 1/9/2014


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    It was a fabulous year!



    2013 has been a remarkable year for Hector Joaquin! He has become the most sought-after "misólogo" or "reinólogo" (a self-claim expert in beauty queens) - although HJ shuns both labels and prefers to call himself  "experto en reinas de belleza" (an expert on beauty pageants). It doesn't matter what he considers himself, the media simply loves him! And every time they want someone's opinion on pageants, they always called HJ! HJ has accomplished so many things in 2013 that it would be a challenge to list all of them, but here are some of the most memorable highlights:


    March 28 - HJ was interviewed by Julio Nuñez on Missiología 101 on Bumbia.com. HJ talked about his passion for pageants, Puerto Rican beauty queens, and gave tips on how to compete and succeed in pageant.  Watch the entire interview.
    _______________________________________________

    April 30 - HJ was the guest of honor at the Miss Panama 2013 pageant.
    _______________________________________________


    May 21 - HJ was the president of the jury at Miss Teen Universe 2013 pageant in Nicaragua. He also served as the presenter of the Q & A segment where he asked a question to each of the five finalists. It was an unforgettable experience and the Miss Teen Universe Organization gave him a royal treatment. He was also interviewed by the Nicaraguan press and television. 
    _______________________________________________


    August 3 - In an article published in Primera Hora, HJ says that he is no longer the "Sweetie Pie" of pageantry and that he will start reporting on the bad things in the industry and even denouncing beauty queens who are misbehaving! Yup, HJ will now be even more critical than ever!
    _______________________________________________



    October - HJ's web show "Missiología 101" debuted on Bumbia.com on Vida Mia TV.  The show featured a special segment on the national costume competition of Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2014. 



    _______________________________________________


    October - HJ did the "antesala" or prologue to Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2014 on "Dando candela" for Telemundo where he predicted that the candidate from Toa Baja, Gabriela Berrios, would win. And she did! In this photo, HJ gets a warm hug from Gabriela.
    _______________________________________________

    November - HJ was invited by Telemundo to serve as a commentator for "Un Nuevo Día,""Al Rojo Vivo" and for other programs on Telemundo Internacional.  He did an exclusive interview of Miss Universe 2013 pageant for Primera Hora, being the only Puerto Rican media outlet in Moscow.

    _______________________________________________


    November 2 - HJ departed for Moscow, Russia to cover the Miss Universe 2013 pageant for Critical Beauty, HJ BLOG, and Missiología. He had the opportunity to be interviewed by the Colombian TV network, Caracol.


    At the Media Center of the Crocus City Hall Theater, HJ chatted via Twitcam with pageant fans from all over the world who wanted updates and HJ's thoughts on the favorite contestants. The above screenshot shows HJ eating a sandwich while reading comments from fans. Yes, he can multitask! LOL
    _______________________________________________



    November - HJ's web show "The Fashion Patrol" debuts on Vida Mia TV. HJ and his co-host Maria Bertolez talk about fashion in Puerto Rico and around the world. Guests are also invited to discuss the latest trends in fashion and news involving the fashion industry.  



    _______________________________________________ 




    November 5 - HJ's new reality show, "Lucha De Reinas" ("Battle Of Beauty Queens") debuted on Colombia's Fox Life network. On the show, HJ serves as a presenter, coach and judge to nine ex-beauty queens who will face challenges and situations that will take them out of their comfort zone. Evaluating the contestants are HJ, his co-host, the beautiful Luz Blanchet, plus one specialist according to the challenge.
    _______________________________________________
    _______________________________________________

    Besides running the Critical Beauty website, monitoring the CB Facebook page, and coaching pageant contenders all year-round, somehow Rafa managed to attend several pageant-related events - and to stave off a controversy!



    April 14 - Rafa judged the Miss Hercules 2013 pageant in Hercules, California. He finally had the pleasure of meeting the fabulous Peter Sereno of Dear Pageant Girl (left) and reunited with the amazing pageant organizer and owner, Richard James White (center). Rafa also presented the Critical Beauty Award to the eventual winner of the competition, Kristiana Sunga (right).

    _______________________________________________



    April 19 - Rafa appeared on TLC's reality show "I Found The Gown" that features brides-to-be in search of their dream wedding gown. The bride-to-be in question was Rafa's former protégée Alida D'Angona, Miss Massachusetts USA 2011.



    Alida tries one of three dresses while her entourage composing of (L-R) Rafa, Cassie (Alida's best friend), Kristine (Alida's sister), and Miriam (Alida's mother) offer their honest critiques.
    _______________________________________________



    June 16 - Rafa's protégée Sarah Kidd competed in the Miss USA 2013 pageant in Las Vegas and proudly placed in the Top 15! Unfortunately, Rafa could not attend the pageant but was able to watch it at home.
    _______________________________________________



    September 8 - Rafa judged the Miss Universe Bahamas 2013 pageant 
    held at Atlantis Paradise Resort. The winner was the beautiful Lexi Wilson.



    Rafa also presented the Miss Critical Beauty Bahamas 2013 Award 
    to the stunning Shanae Strachan.



    Rafa poses on the Red Carpet of the 2013 Miss Universe Bahamas pageant.

    _______________________________________________



    September 28 - A Facebook pageant page, The Pageant Queens, had posted Rafa's photo (above) with a question suggesting that Rafa may have masterminded the "demolition job" that sought to diminish Miss Philippines Megan Young's chances in winning Miss World 2013. It appears that someone had sent topless photos of Megan to the Miss World Organisation via e-mail and rabid Filipino fans - many of whom hate Rafa - quickly assumed that Rafa was the sender. He immediately took to Facebook and condemned the false accusation. The Pageant Queens took down the entire thread after Rafa threatened to report it to Facebook for libel and character assassination.
    _______________________________________________

    November 23 - Rafa attended the 2014 Miss Massachusetts USA/Miss Massachusetts Teen USA pageant at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium to cheer for her six protégées - three teens and three Misses. One of his teens, Samantha Agyeman, won the Best Style Award. Another one, Allison De Jesus, also won the same award in the Miss division. Rafa was proud of all his girls!



    At the pageant, Rafa reunited with former Miss USA Susie Castillo (from Massachusetts) who is also a devoted vegan and animal rights activist like Rafa.

    _______________________________________________



    December 1 - Rafa attended the Miss Maine USA 2014 pageant in Portland to cheer and support her precious protégée Annie Jean-Baptiste who placed 2nd runner-up and also won the Best Style Award!

    _______________________________________________

    December 10 - Rafa started preparing a coffee table book on beauty pageants to be published just in time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Critical Beauty in October 2014, so watch for it!

    _______________________________________________
    _______________________________________________

    And last but not least, the Critical Beauty Philippines Team!



    A big thanks to CB photographer Jonas Yu (with the evening gown winners of Miss Earth 2013) for providing us with great pictorial coverage of pageants and fashion shows
     held in the Philippines and Thailand:

    January 16 - Arielle Agasang's "High Profile" Fashion Show
    January 19 - Mr. & Miss Sexy Body 2012 
    February 13 - Binibining Pilipinas 2013 Screening
    April 14 - Binibining Pilipinas 2013 Red Carpet & Finals (50th Anniversary)
    April 22 - Miss Philippines Earth 2013 Press Presentation
    April 25 - Miss Bikini Philippines 2013 Grand Coronation Night
    April 26 - Launching of Mister International Philippines/Manhunt Philippines 2013
    May 5 - Miss Philippines 2013 Flores de Mayo
    May 10 - Miss Tourism World Philippines 2013 Press Presentation
    May 15 - Miss Tourism World Philippines 2013 Flores de Mayo/Gala
    May 18 - Bb. Pilipinas 2013 Sagala/Flores de Mayo
    May 19 - Miss Philippines Earth 2013 Finals
    May 21 - Liwanag by Aze Ong: Exhibit/Fashion Show
    May 23 - Ginoong Filipinas 2013 Finals
    May 19-26 - Philippine Fashion Week featuring various designers
    June 9 - Bodyshots X 2013 Press Presentation
    June 14 - Arielle Agasang Birthday Fashion Show
    June 21 - Mister International Philippines 2013 Finals
    June 17 & 27 - Bodyshots X 2013 Finals
    June 28 - Arielle Agasang Fashion Show
    July 13 - Mutya ng Pilipinas 2013 Press Presentation
    July 26 - Mutya ng Pilipinas 2013 Finals
    July 27 - "Likha" - A Benefit Fashion Show
    July 31 - Miss World Philippines 2013 Press Presentation
    August 14 - Miss World Philippines 2013 Gala/Charity Night
    August 18 - Miss World Philippines 2013 Finals
    August 24 - Diversity Art of Fashion Cycle 27 & 28 Fashion Show
    September 5 - Arielle Agasang's 3rd Year Anniversary "Mega Fashion Show"
    September 14 - Reyna ng Bulacan 2013
    September 15 - Manhunt Nueva Ecija
    September 18 - Arielle Agasang's The Grand Launch - Top Model (Male Division)
    September 24 - Philippines Cosmo Bachelor Bash
    October 4 - Manhunt Philippines 2013 Finals
    October 19 - Unity in Fashion - A Benefit Fashion Show
    October 20-27- Philippine Fashion Week featuring various designers
    October 23 - Body Art of the World Fashion Show
    October 24 - Playmate of the Year Philippine Gala 2013
    November 4 - Face of Beauty International 2013 (Thailand)
    November 5 - Miss Grand International 2013 Press Conference
    November 6 - Miss Grand International 2013 Visit to Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha (Thailand)
    November 8 - Miss Grand International 2013 Reception Dinner (Thailand)
    December 7 - Miss Earth 2013 Finals
    December 9 - Don Cristobal Runway Show

    _______________________________________________

    Deybid 

    Froilan
    A big thanks to Deybid Natanawan and Froilan Domico Dominique Carmelo for monitoring the Critical Beauty Facebook Page. Without them, the page would be infected with trollers, spammers, and haters! 

    _______________________________________________



    A special thanks to Deybid for covering the Bb. Pilipinas 2013, Miss Philippines Earth 2013 and Miss Earth 2013 pageants, as well as coordinating the distribution of, and presenting the Critical Beauty Award to winner Golden Altamirano at Manhunt Philippines 2013 competition on October 4th.
    _______________________________________________



    Finally, a big shout out and thanks to Jodie Arabella Daimba, CB's special correspondent in the United Kingdom ...



    ... for providing us with a pictorial coverage of the 2013 Miss TS Philippines UK pageant 
    held on March 30th.
    _______________________________________________

    Thank you Critical Beauty Team for all your work and dedication for making 2013 a truly fabulous year for CB. But most of all, thank you to our dear fans 
    for their support and warm friendship!

    2014 promises to be a bigger, brighter, and better year for all of us!

    Rafa Delfin, Director


    "The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express."- Francis Bacon



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    Priscilla Medeiros Durand, 23, of Brazil was crowned International Queen of Coffee 2014 (Reinado Internacional del Café 2014) in Manizales, Colombia on January 11. Her court includes Vice-Queen ("Virreina") Estefanía Muñoz, 19, of Colombia; 1st Princess Maria de los Remedios Gómez, 21, of Spain; 2nd Princess Noelia Díaz, 21, of Paraguay; and 3rd Princess Antonella Rodríguez, 19, of Uruguay.

    Twenty-three contestants from coffee-producing countries competed in this year's event.

    Left to right: Uruguay, Paraguay, Spain, Colombia / Photo credit: La Patria

    Photo credit: La Patria


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  • 01/12/14--14:59: Miss Belgium 2014



  • 19-year-old Laurence Langen from Genk was crowned Miss Belgium 2014 on January 11.  The first runner-up was Anissa Blondin and the second runner-up was Laura Charlier. was second runner-Laurence is a 2nd-year law student. Her hobbies are horseback riding and ballet. She will compete in Miss World 2014 and Miss Universe 2014 pageants.



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    How did you become interested in pageants?

    I became interested in pageants when I was about 12 years old.  In 2008 my cousin Michelle Berthelot was crowned Miss Louisiana USA and I knew right then and there I wanted to be Miss Louisiana.  The next year I competed in the pageant and won Miss Louisiana Teen USA 2009 and here I am today your Miss Louisiana USA 2014.

    Give three adjectives that your friends would describe you.

    If I had to speak for my friends and list three adjectives about myself I’m pretty positive they would say natural, compassionate, and strong-willed.

    What do you see when you look in the mirror?

    When I won Miss Louisiana Teen USA in 2009 I had the opportunity to participate in the L.E.A.P. program. They taught me that positive self-talk was very important and it is something I do every time I look in the mirror. One of the seminars at L.E.A.P. taught me you have to make your goals reality.  For example, when I was competing for the title Miss Louisiana USA I would look in the mirror and say to myself, “I am Miss Louisiana USA 2014.” So to answer the question when I look in the mirror I see Miss USA 2014 ;)

    How do you measure success?

    I measure success by happiness.  I believe if I am truly happy then I am successful.


    How do you handle criticism?

    I’m a little tenderhearted so if it is coming from some one near and dear to me they may have to take it easy on me.  As far as criticism coming from the public or a coach I can take that with ease.  My parents always tell stories about how I would cry when they would fuss my brother just because I didn’t like when they raised their voices but sports toughened me up a bit and I was able to learn how to take criticism.

    If you were to come back as an animal in the next life, what would you be and why?

    I would come back as an eagle.  One they can fly which is something I have always wanted to be able to do. Two they can see for miles and are at the top of the food chain.  I’d be able to thrive soaring through the sky appreciating the beauty of world.

    Name three pet peeves.

    One pet peeve of mine is being punctual.  I do not like wasting other people’s time. I go by the motto: "If you're early, you're on time; if you're on time, you're late; and if you're late, you're lost." Another pet peeve of mine is not having my calendar organized.  All of my days are off until I sit down and organize my calendar.  My third pet peeve would have to be a dirty bathroom as weird as that sounds, haha!  I don’t think somewhere you are supposed to clean yourself should ever be dirty!



    What will you never do?

    One of my biggest fears is snakes and spiders and I don't think I'll ever touch either one!  I’m pretty sure I would pass out if I ever did!!

    Got any favorite reality shows?

    I really don’t watch any reality T.V.  To be honest, I recently just moved back in with my parents but when I had my own house I didn’t even have cable.

    True or False: People who are attractive tend to be more successful.

    Sadly to say, I think this is true. However, I do not agree with this at all.  I think being attractive is more than skin deep and if you have enough determination it does not matter what you look like.

    Do you have a problem saying "no"?

    I do not have a problem saying no but I am not the person to be rude about it either.



    Describe a romantic date.

    A romantic date to me is a date where I can just hang out and get to know the other person. The first date my boyfriend took me on we walked around New Orleans and enjoyed art together. We always had something to talk about because we were getting to know each other and got to talk about the art in between which would lead into a story one of us could tell the other.  Therefore we never ran into that awkward first date silence, haha!

    Your craziest or funniest tweet so far.

    I thought this was a funny tweet that I posted just recently.  It was a photo that I did on a transformation Tuesday.  It included a picture of my mother and I and my father and myself when I was a toddler and pictures of us from this past Christmas.  Considering I did not have hair until I was five I thought I looked pretty funny in them!

    Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?

    I have wanted to be Miss USA since I first started keeping up with pageants when Rachel Smith was the reigning Miss USA.  I kept up with her and saw all that she did throughout her year and wanted to have the same experience.  If there is one thing I learned from winning Miss Louisiana Teen USA 2009, it was that as a titleholder I put a lot of work into representing Louisiana throughout my reign but I received so much more in return. It is very humbling working with different organizations throughout the year and meeting so many wonderful people along the way. This is the reason I came back to compete at Miss Louisiana USA 2014 and made my next goal to be the next Miss USA.

    FLAG OF LOUISIANA

    FOLLOW BRITTANY ON INSTAGRAM

    FOLLOW BRITTANY ON TWITTER



    PHOTOS PROVIDED BY RPM PRODUCTIONS/BRITTANY GUIDRY
    SPECIAL THANKS TO STATE DIRECTOR PAULA MILES 
    FOR FACILITATING THE INTERVIEW

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    New Miss and Teen queens were crowned these past two weekends. They will compete in their respective Miss USA and Miss Teen USA 2014 pageants:



     Miss Arkansas USA 2014 is Helen Wisner, 24, of Springdale.


    Miss Arkansas Teen USA 2014 is Lauren Weaver, 17, of Greenwood.



    Miss Kentucky USA 2014 is Destin Kincer, 21, of Whitesburg.



    Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2014 is Megan Ducharme, 18, of Shelbyville.



    Miss Nevada USA 2014 is Nia Sanchez, 23, of Las Vegas.



    Miss Nevada Teen USA 2014 is Alexa Taylor, 18, of Las Vegas.






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  • 01/17/14--18:53: Miss Prestige National 2014



  • Marie-Laure Cornu, representing the department Pays de Savoie, was crowned Miss Prestige National 2014 on January 12 at the Lido in Paris. For the first time since the pageant began in 2011, this year's show was televised via 8 Mont-Blanc network. The winner and a runner-up may be sent respectively to Miss International and Miss Model of the World. The pageant is owned and organized by Geneviève de Fontenay, otherwise known as La Dame au chapeau (The Lady With a Hat). De Fontenay used to run Miss France but she lost the franchise to the giant entertainment and media company, Endemol. 

    Watch Cornu's coronation:




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    Four more Miss and Teen queens were crowned this past two weekend. They will compete in their respective Miss USA and Miss Teen USA 2014 pageants. 
    The 2014 roster for both pageants is now complete.




    Miss New Hampshire USA 2014 is Bridget Brunet, 25, of South Hampton.



    Miss New Hampshire Teen USA 2014 is Mikaela Seamans, 17, of Keene.



    Miss New York USA 2014 is Candace Kuykendall of Greece, NY.



    Miss New York Teen USA 2014 is Corrin Stellakis, 17, of Bridgeport.



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    How did you become interested in pageants?

    I did a modeling job with a friend of mine and she explained to me all the great things she had accomplished as a titleholder. She convinced me start competing in pageants, and even helped me win my first title of “Miss Charleston USA.”


    Give three adjectives that your friends would describe you.

    Loyal. Determined. Charismatic.

    What do you see when you look in the mirror?

    A woman who works hard in order to better herself and others.


    How do you measure success?

    When you are getting paid for doing something you are truly passionate about.



    How do you handle criticism?

    Respect the fact that someone is giving me advice, and trust myself to know the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. 


    If you were to come back as an animal in the next life, what would you be and why?

    I would have to guess I would come back as a giraffe. I have always been extremely tall in comparison to other people, so I assume I would come back as one of the tallest animals as well!


    Name three pet peeves.

    Lying. Ungratefulness. People who are disrespectful on purpose.


    What will you never do?

    Sky Dive! I am very scared of heights!


    Got any favorite reality shows?

    Scandal!


    True or False: People who are attractive tend to be more successful.

    True-Inner Beauty.


    Do you have a problem saying "no"?

    I do tend to over commit because I do not like to let people down, but I am extremely organized so it usually works out. In addition to this, I know the difference between right and wrong and would never say, “yes” to something that goes against my values.


    Describe a romantic date.

    At the beach, with great food and candles!


    Your craziest or funniest tweet so far.

    I have not tweeted anything really crazy or funny, I probably should try to do that more often!


    Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?

    I want to be Miss USA to continue to represent independent women, not only in the United States, but all around the world. I am a positive, strong, and conscientious woman that can continue the legacy established by other accomplished women. Being Miss USA would allow me to develop personal and  professional skills that would benefit me in my modeling career, and would be an opportunity for me to be a positive influence in the fashion industry.

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    How did you become interested in pageants?

    My interest in pageants started from a bet. The first pageant I ever competed in, my mother bet me to participate in it. Keep in mind, I had never worn high heels nor put on makeup. Luckily, I placed First Runner-Up and the next year went on to win the prestigious title of Miss South View High School. 

    Give three adjectives that your friends would describe you.


    Rebellious. Passionate. Kind.


    What do you see when you look in the mirror?


    When I look in the mirror, I see a woman who has overcome a significant amount of stereotypes.

    How do you measure success?


    measure success by the legacy you leave behind and the way people speak of you when you are not around.



    How do you handle criticism?

    Criticism can be a swift ‘punch in the gut’ at times, but I try to turn it into a positive. Lately people have been helping me to see things I need to work on so that I can become an overall better Olivia, they want to help make me the best I can be, otherwise they wouldn’t be giving their input.  

    If you were to come back as an animal in the next life, what would you be and why?


    If I
    could be any animal in my next life, I would definitely want to come back as a butterfly. They are graceful and truly unique. The most beautiful thing about a butterfly is the fact that they have no idea how much happiness they bring just from their beautiful colors or the way they flutter. Perfect definition of a humble beauty.


    Name three pet peeves.

    Absence of: Please, Thank You, You’re Welcome, etc. 
    Being taken advantage of
    Talking with your mouth full


    What will you never do?

    won’t say never because of circumstances, but it would take A LOT of coaxing to make me sky dive.


    Got any favorite reality shows?


    love Real Housewives of Atlanta!  “I’m gone with the wind fabulous” haha!


    True or False: People who are attractive tend to be more successful.


    True
    and False. It definitely depends on the person and how they view themselves.


    If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

    I would love to live in a world where we look at people and see their hearts, not the color of their skin. True beauty and happiness comes from within.
     
    Do you have a problem saying "no"?


    Absolutely not.


     

    Describe a romantic date.

    Candle-lit, picnic-style dinner at the lake. Lots of pillows to sit on too! I just love being outdoors and nothing is more romantic than a quiet setting being able to enjoy the stars. 

    Your craziest or funniest tweet so far.


    My 
    funniest tweet so far would have to be when I stated I couldn’t wait to have kids so I could ‘terrorize them with elf on a shelf’.  Oops! (insert hysterical crying/laughing face)


    Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?

    Miss USA has the opportunity to be a role model, but the part of Miss USA’s job is the ability to work closely with the USO.  As a former Military Dependent, it would be a true honor to be able to use the Miss USA title and give back to those who so selflessly give for our freedom as Americans.

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    How did you become interested in pageants?

    In high school, a photographer that I worked with asked to sponsor me for a local pageant. I nervously entered, wearing the dress I wore to homecoming, and I won! Meeting new people with similar ambitions and being on stage... It is truly an addicting experience

    Give three adjectives that your friends would describe you.


    I just texted my best friend to see what she would actually say. "Inspiring, Loyal, and Passionate." [Awwww! Cliché, but i'll take it!]

    What do you see when you look in the mirror?


    How badly I need a tan..

    How do you measure success?


    I set personal goals with everything I do, so that's my measuring stick.  I really don't compare myself to anyone else when it comes to success.

    How do you handle criticism?

    I love constructive criticism when it comes to my work. It makes me better at what I do. Everyone has something to say about everything. You just have to be confident in yourself. Know that you are stronger for putting yourself out there and for having big dreams. 

    If you were to come back as an animal in the next life, what would you be and why?


    I would be a lioness. She is strong, she takes care of the pack, she hunts and feeds everyone, she's nurturing and you don't want to cross her. She also lays out often. I would like to lay out often.

    Name three pet peeves.

    Driving slow in the left lane. Leaving the lights on. When people put tomatoes on my sandwiches after I tell them fourteen times not to put tomatoes on my sandwiches.


    What will you never do?

    I will (almost) never say never. I'm open to all experiences, and as I grow, my interests grow with me.  I don't want to rule anything out.

    Got any favorite reality shows?

    I don't like reality TV. I also don't have too much time to watch TV, so when I do, I watch one of my favorites saved on my DVR, like Mindy Project or New Girl

    True or False: People who are attractive tend to be more successful.

    False. People who are driven tend to be more successful. 

    If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

    People not having to go to bed hungry. 
     
    Do you have a problem saying "no"?


    I dunno, umm, not really. I mean, maybe. If that's ok with you? lol... Joking aside, No I do not. I've always been quite confident in my decisions and knowing where I stand. I've never really been peer pressured to do anything I didn't want to do.

    Describe a romantic date.

    I'd have to say April 25. Kidding! I think trying something new and exciting would be quite romantic, and unforgettable. 

    Your craziest or funniest tweet so far.


     really have to remind myself to tweet, but if I'm going off my most recent popular tweet, I would have to say: "I bet Taylor [Swift] is exhausted from having to pretend to look shocked. #AMAs" [on winning another award at the AMA's] I'm pretty sarcastic and most of my tweets reflect that. 


    Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?

    Being crowned Miss USA is such an honor. The chance to represent our country at Miss Universe, while inspiring girls throughout the USA to dream big and make a difference. Who wouldn't want that?



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    NASTASSJA BOLIVAR / PHOTO CREDIT: FADIL BERISHA/MISS UNIVERSE ORGANIZATION

    Miss Nicaragua 2013 Nastassja Bolívar had her crown taken away, according to a statement from the country’s local Miss Universe franchise. The surprise move has shocked the country.

    The director of the franchise, Karen Celebertti, decided that Bolívar “will have no involvement in the official events” for the Miss Nicaragua Organization. Celebertti alleged that the conflict began shortly after Bolívar was elected to represent Nicaragua, and insubordination led to the beauty queen losing her title.

    Bolívar, 25, who resides in Miami, Florida, landed in the final 16 of the Miss Universe pageant held in Russia in November of last year (Miss Costa Rica also attained a spot in the top 16). Bolívar won first place in the category of Best National Costume among the 89 participants.

    The beauty queen reacted to the decision by saying that “with or without the crown” she intends to support any cultural or social project that requires her participation in and out of Nicaragua. But she has said little else about the situation.

    The disagreements between Bolívar and Celebertti were evident over the weekend when the reigning queen did not participate in the presentation of Miss Nicaragua 2014 candidates.

    However, the origin of the conflict occurred before the Miss Universe pageant, when Bolívar “in her own decision” left pageant preparation in Nicaragua and moved to Miami, Celebertti said in the statement. She added that the beauty queen also removed her manager, and gave that role to her mother.

    Celebertti said to avoid giving the country a bad image, she allowed Bolívar to enter Miss Universe, and paid her entry fee, airplane ticket and baggage.

    The dispute between the two women has sparked reactions on social media and in the press, with Bolívar and Celebertti receiving heaps of support and criticism.

    Ex-Miss Nicaragua 1991 Ana Pereira said she was worried for the “painful image” that’s being sent by Celebertti’s decision. She said the country ought to be above egos and whims.

    Source: TicoTimes.net, January 21, 2014

    NASTASSJA DURING THE SWIMSUIT SEGMENT OF MISS UNIVERSE 2013 CONTEST IN MOSCOW LAST DECEMBER.
     PHOTO CREDIT: MISS UNIVERSE ORGANIZATION


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    PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRAD OLSON

    How did you become interested in pageants?

    Last July, I decided to compete in a fitness bikini competition after loosing 40 pounds 6 months’ prior. After the competition I was approached by one of my sorority sisters who was involved in the pageant organization and she originally put the idea in my head. At first I didn’t think I wanted to compete because I had such a false perception as to what pageants truly were. The more I researched and talked to former pageant winners I decided that it was a great opportunity for me. I figured I had nothing to lose but everything in the world to gain. I went into the weekend as excited and optimistic as can be, I made so many new friends, and I was lucky enough to be crowned.

    Give three adjectives that your friends would describe you.


    Genuine. Confident. Selfless.

    What do you see when you look in the mirror?


    I see a strong, independent, confident young woman. I am so proud of all of the progress that I’ve made over the past 8 months. I have completely mentally and physically transformed myself. I set so many goals for myself and I am accomplishing them solely because I believe in myself and I know how strong I am.

    How do you measure success?


    I measure success by the way you view yourself. If you are proud of yourself and proud of what you’re accomplishing then you are successful. I don’t believe that true success can be measured by materialistic things.



    How do you handle criticism?

    I truly believe that you are your own toughest critic. I am constantly giving myself constructive criticism because I am always striving to be the best I can be. I also love to hear constructive criticism from my loved ones or people who have an influence on me because I feel like I can take that and better myself. However, when it’s criticism coming from people who are just trying to put me down then I ignore it. 

    If you were to come back as an animal in the next life, what would you be and why?


    That is a tough one, but I think I would want to be a bird. I mainly would want this because I want to be able to travel and see as much of the world as possible. I like the idea of being able to fly from place to place whenever I wanted.

    Name three pet peeves.

    People who pity themselves
    People who chew with their mouth open
    People who don’t work for what they have



    What will you never do?

    I will never let someone take care of me. I always want to work for the things that I have, and know that I earned my success because of my own hard work. I’m far too independent to be a trophy wife. Haha!

    Got any favorite reality shows?

    My favorite show of all time is Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. I am such a huge fan of Chris Powell and I think it’s absolutely amazing how much of a positive influence he has on people. Nothing is more exciting to me than watching people accomplish their goals, especially when it comes to physical and mental transformations. I tear up every episode; it's ridiculous. 

    True or False: People who are attractive tend to be more successful.

    I think success makes people more attractive because of the way they carry themselves. Successful people tend to believe in themselves more and more confident, which in return makes them more attractive.

    If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

    I would change the unequal distribution of wealth. I know that sounds weird, but I think that the root of evil really is money. Some people have way too much of it, while others don't even have enough to pay for their basic necessities. I don’t believe that money buys happiness, but I do think that it is difficult to be entirely happy when there is such a stress put on money. Our society has unfortunately made money the center of everything, and put it into our heads that we can’t be happy unless we are able to have an abundant amount of materialistic things. It’s always about “keeping up with the jones.” Don’t get me wrong I think that people who work hard should definitely be able to have more wealth and a more prosperous life. However, I don’t think it’s fair that while some people are swimming in money other individuals in other countries can’t even cover basic necessities. I would hope that by distributing wealth a little bit more people will stop focusing so much on money and start focusing on the things in life that truly matter. The most valuable things in life can’t be bought, and if the stress of money could be lessened I think more people would be able to realize that.
     
    Do you have a problem saying "no"?



    No, I don’t have a problem saying no. Haha! I think it takes a strong person to say no whenever something goes against their beliefs or their values. 




    Describe a romantic date.

    Food is the way to my heart so I think going to a nice candlelit dinner somewhere is always so romantic.  

    Your craziest or funniest tweet so far.


    My craziest tweet was one that I had sent while I was doing interviews on the red carpet at the American Country Awards in Las Vegas last month. I was working an after party and I met DeeJay Silver and he and I took a picture and he tweeted it saying how awesome it was to meet me. I was on cloud nine the entire time. 

    Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?


    I want to be the next Miss USA because I feel like I could have such a positive impact on people. I love the fact that I am able to be a role model for people and inspire them to reach their goals. I am a down to earth young woman who has been through a lot in order to be in my current position. I would absolutely love the opportunity to network with so many incredible people all over the USA and in other countries as well. I know that I would be able to represent the USA in a positive way and I would do whatever it took to make sure that I was the best Miss USA I could possibly be. 


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    How did you become interested in pageants?

    When I was in 7th grade, there was a modeling camp in my local community; my mom wanted me to be a part of it. I did it and loved it; that led me to enter my first pageant “Miss Independence” (a local pageant with a large group of girls in my community) and I won. The rest is history.

    Give three adjectives that your friends would describe you.


    Quirky. Driven. Sweet.

    What do you see when you look in the mirror?


    I see a lucky girl who has been very blessed.

    How do you measure success?


    Honestly success is about giving whatever it is you’re passionate about 110% and ALWAYS being who YOU are, and not who you think you should be. To me, that is success-- no matter the outcome. 



    How do you handle criticism?

    I actually like criticism, as long as it’s constructive. I am very confident in who I am, but I am always looking to improve and become a better version of myself. So I’d say I can handle it pretty well.

    If you were to come back as an animal in the next life, what would you be and why?

    I have always been fascinated with Zebras. I think they are such BEAUTIFUL animals.

    Name three pet peeves.

    It takes a lot to annoy me; however, mean people are my huge pet peeve. Is it that hard to be nice? I also hate clutter and overly persistent Facebook users. LOL!


    What will you never do?

    Drugs. Hands down. They have never been tempting to me in any way.


    Got any favorite reality shows?

    Survivor! 

    True or False: People who are attractive tend to be more successful.

    Looks have nothing to do with your drive to success. It may just be an added bonus!

    If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

    This is the most cliché answer but I honestly want world peace! It would be amazing if the entire world were actually at peace and everyone could live happily.
     
    Do you have a problem saying "no"?


    No. LOL!




    Describe a romantic date.

    It doesn’t have to be elaborate but a nice candlelit dinner, good conversation, with delicious food and most importantly a great dessert. 

    Your craziest or funniest tweet so far.


    Sometimes I forget to tweet. But I would say last weekend when I tweeted a picture of Harry Styles and me at Sundance. His fans went crazy!

    Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?

    It’s something I have dreamed about before I can remember. Representing the United States and empowering women to become the best they can be, and to achieve their dreams - that would mean the world to me.


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    Elvira Devinamira (#21) is crowned as Puteri Indonesia 2014 by Puteri Indonesia 2013 Whulandary Herman during Puteri Indonesia 2014 Beauty Pageant at Jakarta Convention Centre, Jakarta, Indonesia, on Jan. 29, 2014.  She will compete in Miss Universe 2014 pageant. The reigning Miss Universe Gabriela Isler assisted in the coronation. Elfin Pertiwi Rappa, (#7) representing South Sumatra, was crowned Miss International Indonesia 2014 (Puteri Indonesia 2014 Lingkungan) and will represent Indonesia in the Miss International 2014.Thirty eight beauty contestants entered the final. [Photo: Xinhua/Veri Sanovri]


    Elvira Devinamira, newly-crowned Puteri Indonesia 2014, greets audience during Puteri Indonesia 2014 Beauty Pageant at Jakarta Convention Centre, Jakarta, Indonesia, on Jan. 29, 2014.  



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    You go to college right now. What is your favorite subject and why? 


    I’m currently going to school for medical biology with a minor in chemistry, so I’d say I’m a tad bit biased toward the sciences (sorry English and History). I love organic chemistry, or as we nerds call it, “O-chem.” I remember when I first decided to become a premedical student I was warned time and time again of the torture that is organic chemistry. So when I sat in class that first day, I was scared half to death. Thankfully, the farther into the course I got, the easier it became. Now, I love organic so much that sometimes I find myself doing synthesis problems for fun. “Ok, let’s see, NaOH and a peroxide would move the carbon chain here because of rearrangement..” It’s kind of like my version of a crossword puzzle. Yeah, I know….. I need a life. Luckily, I left the course with an A and the title of “first ranked student.” Woo hoo!


    Give three adjectives that your friends would describe you.


    1. Nerdy –As you can probably see from my love of organic chemistry, I don’t hide my nerdiness. I am a self-professed nerd. I am obsessed with LOTR, or Lord of the Rings to normal folk. I am so obsessed that I not only own all three extended editions, the special edition chess set, and a life-size movie poster; but I am also the proud owner of both a LOTR paperweight and the Sky Mall “one ring to rule them all.” Come to think of it, I’m probably the only twenty-one year old that owns a paperweight let alone a LOTR-themed one.

    2. Energetic – Whether it’s five in the morning or eleven at night, I am full of energy. Surprisingly, I can stay awake without the help of Redbull or coffee – although I do love a good mocha every so often. I’m like the energizer bunny. I just keep going and going and going…

    3. Unique – I pride myself on being a natural redhead, which means I am one of 2% of the world’s population. We gingers are about as unique as they come.


    What do you see when you look in the mirror?


    Red, white, and blue. My hair is red, my skin is as white as paper, and I own way too many blue shirts. Some call it patriotic, others just say I’m a typical redhead with a blue shirt obsession.


    How do you measure success?


    Success is an extremely individualized measurement.  In pertinence to my life, I achieve success when I reach certain mile markers and/or goals in my life. For instance, I will feel successful when I gain acceptance to a medical school and when I am given my white coat upon graduating from that medical school. I will also feel successful on my wedding day and the days I give birth to my children. Success is the feeling that accompanies the knowledge that you have given your whole self to a cause or goal you hold dear.


    How do you handle criticism?


    I do not think anyone likes criticism; but as you grow older, you begin to understand the need for constructive criticism. When I was younger, I hated when someone told me to try harder or improve in a certain area; however, I now understand that if the criticism is coming from someone you love, it’s worth listening to. I am hopeful that I handle all forms of criticism well. If it is constructive criticism coming from someone who cares about my future and my well-being, I will listen and respond accordingly. If it is criticism meant only to hurt…like my older sister telling me that I look like an ugly mess, I will typically ignore it.  Love you, Erin!




    If you were to come back as an animal in the next life, what would you be and why?


    I would definitely be a giraffe! Why? Because they are the coolest looking animals I’ve ever seen. You can’t look a giraffe and not smile. Plus, if I was a giraffe, my neck would be so long that I could reach the freshest, tastiest leaves on the trees while the other animals had to eat the mushy ground leaves. Haha, suckers!


    Name three pet peeves.


    1. People who talk extremely loudly on their cell phones - My mother does this constantly. Every time she answers the phone its like she’s screaming. “HELLLLOOOOOOO!!” I always tell her she doesn’t need to shout, but she never listens. Maybe she can’t hear me over all the screaming…

    2. When you’re driving on a two-lane highway and a person pulls up right behind you but doesn’t go around you. It always freaks me out!! I get so annoyed and start talking to myself, “Why don’t you go around me…. Just go around me!!”

    3. When you buy electronics and they are packaged in that weird plastic wrapping that you can’t get off without scissors. You always try to bite it open but you just hurt yourself….


    What will you never do?


    Well, I’ll never jump of a building without a parachute, eat a pizza blindfolded while driving, or cut off my own hand with a rusty fork…. There are a lot of things I will never do. But the one thing I can say I’ll never do with confidence is any type of illegal drug. I have absolutely no interest in that type of activity whatsoever.


    Can you survive without Diet Coke and Leeann Chin?


    Ooooo, that’s a tough one. I probably could, but not for very long. I think I’d die within days, maybe even hours. No, I am capable of living without them. Surprisingly…brace yourself….. I haven’t had a Diet Coke or Leeann Chin in over a month, and….I’m still alive! I know.. I’m as surprised as you are.




    True or False: People who are attractive tend to be more successful?


    False - Ironically, I did a field research study on this exact topic. As I mentioned previously, I am a bio-medical major; however, I hold a double major in psychology as well. As my honor’s capstone research project, I conducted a field study entitled, “Beauty Blind.” To summarize the study in short, I conducted numerous field experiments in one of two conditions. The first condition (I) being one where my appearance was socially labeled as  “unattractive” and the second (II) being one where my appearance was socially labeled as “attractive.” In other words, I conducted seven different field experiments while being either “unattractive” or “attractive” and registered people’s responses to my outer appearance. The conditions were controlled with a talented group of makeup and hair professionals who were capable of changing my outer appearance to fit the desired condition, being either “unattractive” or “attractive.” The results were somewhat disheartening. I was treated with much more kindness and respect when I appeared “attractive” versus “unattractive.” 

    During one field experiment titled “Five Dollars Short,” I was given permission by the store clerk to underpay for a group of items at a local grocery store despite being five dollars short. Unfortunately, this is a prime example of the halo effect. The halo effect revolves around the occurrence that we as humans unconsciously associate attractive individuals with other good qualities, such as honesty, intelligence, and health. Therefore, we are more apt to treat them with kindness or go out of our way to help them. Unfortunately, the halo effect is not limited to attractiveness. It goes hand in hand with stereotyping, racism, and sexism. It is said time and time again that attractive individuals are statistically more likely to make more money. This occurs NOT because attractive people are more successful, but because we as a society unjustly award people with certain qualities unfair advantages. During the experiment I conducted, I was the same person with the same personality. I treated people in the same manner and used the same script of words. The only thing I changed was my outer appearance. This type of change should not have brought about the large differences in treatment I experienced. We as a society need to start looking past the physical, and begin measuring one’s capability for success by means such as work ethic, passion, intellect, and commitment.


    If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?


    It sounds extremely cheesy and cliché, but I’d love to have every person in this world be able to look in the mirror and love what he/she sees.


    Do you have a problem saying "no"?


    It really depends who is asking me for something. If my little brother is asking me for money, saying “no” is no problem! On the other hand, if it is my best friend asking me to help her with something, it will be tough for me to say no.




    Describe a romantic date.


    Oh boy. Is there an unlimited budget for this date? ;) Hmmm…let’s see. Mr. Tall, dark, and handsome would come pick me up from my house on a white stallion. He would be bearing gifts of chocolates and flowers. He would tell me I was breathtakingly beautiful even though I was wearing St. Cloud State sweatpants and a Star Wars t-shirt. We would head off to an ice cream parlor where we would talk and eat mountains of ice cream together…because everyone knows any date with ice cream is a good date (unless your lactose intolerant…). We would then head off to a nearby lake where we would canoe out to an area filled with swans, which I would proceed to feed. It would then begin to rain and we would have to quickly row back to shore (I may or may not have stolen that portion from the notebook…). Later, after it had stopped raining, we would finish the night off with a stroll on the beach during sunset. He would then drop me back at my house, walk me to the door like a gentleman, and tell me that I could keep the horse. That would be one killer date.


    Your craziest or funniest tweet so far.


    I am a true Minnesotan. I just wore shorts to go buy wild rice at Target.”


    Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?


    I remember watching my first Miss USA pageant when I was eight. I sat on the floor of the living room staring at the beautiful girls that walked the stage. Every single one of them appeared like a goddess to me, floating across the glittering stage in their elegant evening gowns. Of course, I was quick to find Minnesota and cheer as loudly as I could for her. I felt a connection to her. She was from Minnesota and so was I. She was, to me, always the most beautiful contestant. I swore to myself I would be her one day - even though my older sister was always there to remind me I was too ugly. Thanks, Erin. 

    Then, in 2010 I decided to compete for the title of Miss Minnesota Teen USA. I was lucky enough to win. I was crowned the same time as my sister queen, Courtney Basara, Miss Minnesota USA 2010. It was not till that year that I realized why I had always wanted to compete for Miss USA. Courtney showed me first hand the purpose of pageantry. As a seventeen-year-old girl, I looked up to her. I elevated her to a different level than anyone else I have ever known. She was my role model. I wanted to be just like her. Thankfully, Courtney is an amazing person. Through her studies as a mechanical engineer, she showed me that beauty and brains can coincide. She showed me that you can never be too giving, too kind, or too humble. She showed me that the beauty queens I once idolized were real, kind, funny, and even a little bit nerdy. They were people just like me. 

    I want to be the next Miss USA because I want to be that example to someone. I don't want to be an aloof, untouchable "beauty queen." I don't want to be someone who intimidates with her beauty. Instead, I want to use beauty to inspire. I want to be someone's "Courtney." I want to be the best friend to someone who needs it, the older sister to someone who doesn't have one, or the listening ear to someone who feels like no one cares. I want to be the beauty queen that is inviting and welcoming. I would love to be a Miss USA that girls can "hang out with." A Miss USA that they could see watching scary movies with in sweatpants while eating Cheetos. It is that type of person that can have the biggest effect on young women's lives. Courtney was not my role model just because she wore that "Minnesota" sash on the glittering Miss USA stage, but because I was able to share intimate conversations with her in our t-shirts and sweatpants. It was those heart to heart moments of real human interaction with a beauty queen that have inspired me the most.




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    PHOTOS PROVIDED BY HALEY O'BRIEN/LIBBY WATKINS
    SPECIAL THANKS TO ASSISTANT STATE DIRECTOR LIBBY WATKINS
    FOR FACILITATING THE INTERVIEW




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