A Philippine Islamic State affiliate has posted a video calling for the 2017 Miss Universe pageant set to take place in the Philippines to be targeted, while suggesting that an explosive belt or bomb be made especially for the beauty contest, SITE reports.
“Philippines jihadi Telegram channel posted a video for making an explosive belt and suggested ‘Create bomb for miss universe,’” the group wrote on a Telegram Messenger group called “IS Philippines supporters,” according to SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks the online activity of jihadist organizations.
The post reportedly contained a video on how to assemble a suicide belt and a DIY on explosives in English.
The Miss Universe 2016 beauty contest is scheduled to begin in the Philippines on January 30, 2017 at a venue yet to be determined. Founded in 1952, the pageant brings together women from around the world. This year, the lucky winner will be crowned by Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines, who became Miss Universe 2015.
ALTHOUGH a deeply divisive figure, Donald Trump is one of Jennifer Hawkins’s sources of inspiration.
She met him as the winner of his Miss Universe pageant in 2004, back when The Apprentice was on air, the Iraq war was underway, and the billionaire appeared on the cover of Esquire with the prophetic cover line, “How I’d Run The Country (Better)”.
“He inspired me to keep going and follow my heart,” she says.
“He’s really passionate and really driven. He’s like, ‘What’s next?’ He prompts you to think, ‘All right, what is next?’”
What’s next for Trump is a presidential election campaign.
What’s next for Hawkins, Australia’s ultimate girl-next-door, is less clear.
She has the face of an angel, but the mind of an entrepreneur.
She no longer sees herself as a model, but rather as an ambassador, a businesswoman and a television host.
At 32 years old, Hawkins has several thriving businesses and an expansive property and share portfolio, and is building a future that doesn’t rely so heavily on a face that will, inevitably, change with age.
She is coy about her plans, but those close to her are more upfront; the next big role for Jennifer Hawkins will be very different from those that have come before, and is likely to involve the pitter-patter of tiny feet.
But more on that shortly.
Miss Universe was good to Hawkins.
Not only did she win a $250,000 pearl-encrusted crown, get to travel the world and live rent-free in a New York apartment, but she benefited from the foresight of Trump’s pageant bosses, who knew the popular Australian would need a hand with her career when her year-long global victory lap was over.
About nine months into her 12-month Miss Universe contract, they set about hiring a manager for Hawkins.
Sean Anderson, who had recently left global giant IMG to set up his own talent business, 22 Management, applied for the job.
Anderson remembers being invited to New York: “I met the Trump people, and Jen came into that meeting at the end.”
Anderson has been with her ever since.
He set up her early television jobs, and has gone on to broker her deals with retailer Myer.
More personally, he has witnessed her evolution from ingénue to self-assured woman with the courage of her convictions.
“I have observed a greater confidence, a very clear understanding of what she needs in her life, and what she doesn’t need,” he says.
“She has probably become more private. I think, in the early days, she was very much trying to please everyone.
“Now, I think she has her priorities very much in order.
“She is living on the far northern beaches [of Sydney], which is a much quieter existence, which I think suits her.
“It’s the closest thing she has found to [her hometown of] Newcastle.”
Hawkins has been accused of being … well, boring, because she isn’t a regular in social pages or on the red carpet.
She does her job and then goes home.
She is not trying to be elusive, or mysterious; it’s just that spending a night at home with husband,Jake Wall, 33, or having a barbecue with her family, is simply what she prefers to do.
“There aren’t any secrets to it,” she says.
During an interview, Hawkins can be reserved, and a little hesitant.
Almost as if she is still not, after more than 10 years, quite at ease with her celebrity status.
“I am comfortable in the industry and my position in it,” she says.
“You might think I’m not telling the truth when I say this, but talking about myself in interviews can be awkward.
“I am not used to that when it comes to my normal life.”
She is most at ease when discussing her family, a Newcastle-based tribe including two older brothers and a sister.
“I love hanging out with them; they’re grounded,” she says.
“They’re not into dramas. I don’t like bitchiness or backstabbing; I don’t like anyone talking about people behind their backs.
“I don’t like being around that.”
Her older sister is a stay-at-home mum, one of her brothers works at a Toyota dealership and the other is a council landscaper.
As the baby of the family, the former Miss Universe says, “I am a bit more sooky [than the others]. I am really attached to family time. I need it.
“I need to have a time where I get real love, and real attention.
“It feels like they have my back all the time. If I have a down day, I can call my brothers or my sister.
“They will say, ‘Don’t worry about that, what about this?’ And they tell me a story about my niece or nephew, they keep it in the moment.”
All this begs the question: is motherhood, and forming their own little tribe, around the corner for Hawkins and her husband of three years?
“Obviously, I would just love a family with Jake, yes,” she says, but the timing “is something we want to keep very private”.
Anderson is more direct: “I have no doubt family is around the corner for her.”
There’s a proud tradition, pioneered by Elle “The Body” Macpherson in the 1980s, of Australian models with business nous.
Macpherson was one of the first in the industry to seek partnerships with the businesses she fronted, and is now rumoured to be worth $45 million.
Hawkins seems to have used Macpherson as a blueprint.
She signed with Myer in 2007 and is now one of the company’s major shareholders, thanks to that deal.
She has been with the retailer for so long that she is soldered onto its brand and has travelled the breadth of the country in its service — most recently to the salt lake Hutt Lagoon in regional Western Australia for an advertising campaign, where she was also photographed by Sunday Style.
“Myer means a lot to me,” she says.
Through the building company she owns with her husband, Hawkins has also amassed an impressive portfolio of high-end properties.
Then there are her other businesses — Cozi swimwear and J Bronze self-tan — and her endorsements for products such as Range Rover, Mount Franklin Lightly Sparkling water and Colgate.
Some put her worth at more than $10 million.
Anderson can see Macpherson in Hawkins, having seen both in action.
“[ Jen] is very passionate about her career and her work,” he says.
“She’s a perfectionist, which, I will be honest, does drive me crazy at times.
“You wake up and there will be 10 emails from Jen already, which she banged off on the treadmill.”
The similarity between Macpherson and Hawkins doesn’t just come down to good financial planning.
Both have an entrepreneurial streak.
Like Macpherson, Hawkins relishes the challenge of the commercial world, and likes taking risks.
“If you have people you trust around you, you can make mistakes, you can float ideas and not feel silly, you can ask as many questions as you want,” she says.
“No one’s perfect — and I am not saying I am, either — but I take risks, calculated risks. And I want to have fun with life, and grow each business and enjoy the process.
“Things pay off sometimes; sometimes they don’t.
“But I think it’s nice to be excited about new projects and new ventures. Life can be really exciting if you just grab it in both hands.”
She might seem to have the Midas touch, but not every Hawkins venture has met with success.
Her shoe range, JLH by Jennifer Hawkins, didn’t.
She began it in 2010, and it was launched with much fanfare.
“That was a business I had the best intentions for,” she says.
“I jumped in, I gave it 100 per cent, and I think there’s a point where, going back and forth to manufacturing companies, and then when [the shoes] weren’t correct …
“The shoe industry was very hard, and it was very hard at that time in Australia.
“We were breaking even with JLH, and it was at the time where I enjoyed doing it.
“But then I had to [make] sacrifices when it came to price point and fabrics, and the way I wanted JLH to look … When I had to sacrifice that, I went, ‘OK, I had fun doing it, it was a great opportunity, I’ve learnt a lot.’
“But I had to let it go. And that’s all right. It happens. I was devastated at the time, for sure, but I learnt so much.”
Her latest venture, together with Wall, is tequila brand Sesión.
Wall has been a long-time fan of the Mexican spirit, and during their travels the couple noticed that, in Latin America, good-quality tequila was sipped like scotch, not slammed in shots, as was the culture in Australia.
They wondered whether there was an opportunity here for a premium tequila.
“It was a really fun and interesting and energetic idea,” she says.
“It’s a risk — you jump off, then it’s like, whoa, is this going to work? And so we took the risk and went to Mexico.
“I think I just enjoy that process; if there’s an obstacle, you want to jump it and fix it, and work with the team, and grow the brand.”
Despite her busy portfolio, Hawkins will make motherhood fit in, whenever it happens.
“If you really want something, you make it work at the best time for you.”
While she and Wall own several businesses together, Hawkins says they are careful not to mix love and work.
“The only time we really cross over with business is when we have a weekly meeting with whoever can make it. But we keep [work] separate, which keeps it nice. That helps the relationship.”
Still, when she talks about her inspirations — Trump, Macpherson, American model-turned- entrepreneur Kathy Ireland among them — one person stands ahead of the rest.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without Jake,” she says.
“He’s been so important to me as a person, first and foremost. But, on a secondary level, he has really helped me with certain facets of the business world.
“I really love how he pushes me to go out of my comfort zone. He’s good at saying, ‘Just go for it.’
“We’re like a little team; no one can hurt me when I am with him. I really feel at ease with life when I am with him, it doesn’t matter where it is. When he’s there, it feels … calm.”
Suzana Sampeur was crowned Miss World Haiti 2016 on August 13 at the Royal Decameron in Côte des Arcadins. She will now represent Haiti in Miss World 2016 to be held in Washington D.C. on December 20. Her court includes 1st runner-up Armelle Rose Williams, 2nd runner-up Raquel Pélissier, 3rd runner-up Cassandre Joseph and 4th runner-up Danourah Beloved .
The first time that Haiti competed in Miss World was in 1975 when its representative Joelle Apollon placed sixth. It would take another 38 years for the country to compete again in 2013. Since then, Haiti has sent a representative every year.
Sharelene Radlein, the winner of the Miss Universe Jamaica 2015 pageant is no longer the holder of that title.
On Monday, principals of the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant disclosed that the beauty queen has been stripped of her title stating that her actions have been “inconsistent with the culture of pageant”.
According to Loop Jamaica, the decision to strip the 2015 beauty was made Friday, days prior to the announcement at a press conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
The principals said they have “painstakingly sought to guide Ms Radlein in a manner which reflects the vision and ideals of the organization”.
“However, her actions have been wholly inconsistent with the culture of the pageant, both locally and internationally,” the principals said,” they also stated.
Last month Radlein filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Jamaica in an effort to secure the prizes she said is due to her for topping the competition.
In the suit, she accused the organisers of failing to make good on the contract with her and is seeking millions in damages.
The lawsuit was filed against Mark McDermoth and Karl Williams — who are franchise managers — and Uzuri International Designs Ltd, who are exclusive holders of the Miss Universe beauty pageant in Jamaica.
Chalet Namtan Suansane was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2016 in Bangkok on August 14, 2016. She will represent Thailand in the next edition of Miss Universe which is expected to take place in Manila, Philippines on January 30, 2017.
Karan Singhdole, 23, representing the Philippines, won the first edition of Man Of The Year contest on August 20th Grand Central Hotel Pekanbaru, Indonesia. Singhdole, a full-blooded Indian who was born and raised in the Philippines, beat over a dozen other young men for the title. His court includes 1st runner-up Tarek Moaykel of Lebanon, 2nd runner-up Tim Bertrams of the Netherlands, 3rd runner-up Trịnh Xuân Nhản of Vietnam and 4th runner-up Meirizal Rifa’i of Indonesia.
Three new Aruban queens were crowned at the Grand Ballroom at the Aruba Hilton Resort and Casino on August 20th. From left to right: Miss Aruba Grand International 2016 Chimay Ramos who will compete in Miss Grand International 2016 pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada in October, Miss Aruba Universe 2016 Charlene Leslie who will compete in Miss Universe 2016 to be held in the Philippines tentatively on January 30, 2017, and
Miss Aruba World 2016 Lynette Do Nascimento who will compete in Miss World 2016 in Washington, DC on December 20th.
There were only three contestants in this year's edition of Miss Aruba, and luckily all three women came out as winners.
The judges for the finals were:
Fransisco Andara - from Venezuela he is a photographer and social communicator and is the editor in chief of Selecta a magazine about fashion and entertainment
Leanne Marshall - Winner of Project Runway 5
Sandro Guzman - President of Ossygeno Models which is one of the hottest modeling agencies in the Caribbean and Latin America
Jaime Arrango - well known international Colombian designer who has designed gowns for known Aruban beauty delegates such as Taryn Mansell, Zizi Lee and Alexandra Ochoa
Elizabeth Claros - founder of Ellie Productions and content manager of Global Fashion Channel
Three lucky women were crowned as Canada's new queens this past Sunday night, August 21st, at the ballroom of the Holiday Inn Airport Toronto in Toronto. Thirty-seven young women from the ages of 17-24 came from all over Canada to compete for three titles. They were judged in three categories: interviews (which took place the day before), swimsuit and evening gown. From thirty-seven, the list was trimmed down to fifteen semifinalists
And the lucky winners are:
Hanna Begovic, 18, is Miss Supranational Canada 2016 and will compete at Miss Supranational 2016 pageant to be held in Poland on December 3rd. Hanna is also the current Miss Teenage Ontario and placed in the top 5 at nationals.
Madison Kvaltin, 18, is Miss Intercontinental Canada 2016 and will compete in Miss Intercontinental 2016 pageant to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on October 15th.
Cricket Guest, 18, is the new Top Model Of The World Canada 2016 and will compete in Top Model of the World 2017 competition in Germany next summer.
I had the privilege to be part of a distinguished judging panel that included Edgar Sulit, the president of IPEN, a Toronto-based company that produces pageants, fashion shows and musical entertainment; Angeline McDonald, owner of Bells & Bows Bridal Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta; Marc-Philippe Tuscher,a modeling scout for Revolution Modeling Management based in New York City; and Maureen Fenn, regional scout manager for Top Model Search Canada. Top Model Search Canada is organized and produced by Michelle Weswaldi, who also produces the Miss Teenage Canada contest. I wish to thank Michelle for inviting me to the event and to congratulate her for putting up an outstanding show!
Tatiana Kumar, 18, from Kuala Lumpur was crowned Miss Malaysia World 2016 on August 27th. She will represent Malaysia in the 2016 Miss World pageant to be held in Washington, DC on December 20th. Her court includes (left to right): 4th runner-up Francisca Luhong James, 2nd runner-up Shweta Sekhon, 1st runner-up Ranmeet Jassal and 3rd runner-up Jessica Lim.
Raquel Pelissier, 25, was crowned Miss Universe Haiti 2016 on August 28th at the Royal Oasis by Occidental Hotels Grand Ballroom in Delmas, Haiti. She will represent Haiti in 2016 Miss Universe pageant to be held tentatively in the Philippines on January 30, 2017. Meanwhile, Cassandre Joseph was crowned Miss International Haiti 2016 and she will travel to Japan to compete in Miss International 2016 on October 27.
Chinese-Canadian activist, actor and beauty queen Anastasia Lin says Canada should be taking a harder line with China over human rights — and that failing to do so is putting Chinese Canadians in this country at risk.
"When I decided to speak out on human rights abuses in China, my father was threatened," Lin says "It's a classic communist M.O. to use family members or business of overseas Chinese to silence them. And that is my freedom of speech that is being threatened within Canadian borders."
In 2015, Lin was barred from entering China to take part in the Miss World 2015 final. She believes it was because of her political activism.
Now, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finishes the last leg of his first official visit to China, Lin says Canada should be unequivocal in its condemnation of China's human rights record.
"There's this misconception that by strengthening the economic ties, that political liberty will follow and they will gradually adapt to our values. But this hasn't happened in the last few decades of our engagement with China," says Lin.
The downside of compromise
Lin says China has too much on the line, economically, to ever refuse to do business with Canada. And she says Canada would actually get more respect from the Chinese government if Trudeau was firm in his condemnation.
"The Chinese government wants to see how far he [Trudeau] can be pushed. This is a classic Communist M.O. If you're tough enough, they'll back down. They respect you. But if they see that you are willing to compromise, they will push it all the way," says Lin.
But Lin says it's not just the human rights of Chinese citizens that are at risk. She says Chinese-Canadians with families back home are also afraid of speaking up, for fear of what could happen.
"I have a friend whose mother just went missing a few months ago. [My friend] lives in Ottawa, she's married to a Caucasian Canadian. Her mother went missing and the prison denied her existence, basically said that 'no we didn't capture her.' But from other sources, it was confirmed that her mother was in prison. And these cases, we don't get a lot of attention on them," says Lin.
The politics of a beauty queen dress
Lin says after she was banned from entering China, she was invited to an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. She was supposed to wear a dress from her Chinese-Canadian sponsor..
"But my dress sponsor told me they could no longer sponsor me because they received an e-mail from the Chinese consulate saying that they should stay away from me [because] I am bad news, or else," says Lin.
She says that shows the level of micro-management the Chinese government engages in.
"It's amazing. It's a dress sponsor of a beauty queen that's inside Canadian borders that's been threatened," says Lin.
Press freedom & Chinese-Canadian journalists
Earlier this year, Chinese-Canadian columnist Gao Bingchen was fired from the Global Chinese Press, based in Burnaby, BC, after criticizing Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Wang berated a Canadian journalist for asking Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Dion, about China's human rights record.
Another Chinese-Canadian journalist, Xin Feng, received death threats after writing critically about Ontario Liberal MPP, Michael Chan.
"The Western world's values have been gradually compromised and bent to the Chinese Communist Party's wish." says Lin. "And this whole time, countless Chinese citizens have perished in labour camps and prisons while we're waiting for this miraculous change to happen."
A 23-year-old teacher from Auckland who thought she'd give beauty pageants "a go" has been crowned Miss Universe NZ.
Tania Dawson took out the top prize on Saturday night at a glitzy event at Auckland's Sky City Theatre, which included guest appearances from Stan Walker, Ali Harper and Frankie Stevens.
Dawson triumphed over the competition's final five, surpassing runner-up Seresa Lapaz, 24, Tauranga-based beauty queen Larissa Allen, 25, fourth place Christchurch contestant Gabrielle Kerdemelidis, 24, and fifth place recipient, Aucklander Jade Norman, 24.
"The competition has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone," she said.
Dawson, who is part-Filipino, said her background played a big role in taking part. "My mother spent years encouraging me to enter. In the Philippines, pageants are regarded as a family honour and there is a huge amount of respect for them.
"I thought I'd give it a go and next thing you know, I was enjoying them."
In keeping with previous competitions, the internationally-inspired pageant enabled competing contestants to receive a taste of the global competition circuit, offering annual pageant retreats overseas, in both Thailand and the Philippines.
This year's judging panel included singer Frankie Stevens, PR personality Anna Jobsz, make-up artist Samala Robinson, body confidence ambassador Areena Deshpande and make-up artist and lifestyle coach, Evana Patterson.
THANK YOU, KAITRYANA, FOR ALLOWING ME TO INTERVIEW YOU! FIRST OF ALL, HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE THE NEWLY CROWNED MISS U.S. INTERNATIONAL 2016? AND WAS THIS THE FIRST TIME YOU HAVE EVER COMPETED IN A PAGEANT?
It was an incredible feeling to be crowned Miss US International. At the time I remember thinking “Wow, I can’t believe I made 1stRunner Up! This is amazing!!! California is going to make an excellent title holder – she is so beautiful!” I was so busy thinking about her that it took me a minute to comprehend that I was actually the winner.
This was not my first pageant, but it was my first pageant as a Miss contestant.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF, AND WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO COMPETE IN MISS U.S. INTERNATIONAL.
I am 18 and will be starting college at Louisiana State University this academic year. I have been an athlete my entire life; I am a former competitive gymnast, pole vaulter, and sprinter. I competed at the Junior Olympics in Diving, and was a member of Cheer Extreme Co-Ed Elite all-star cheer leading team. I also love school, especially the sciences and math; I am an Academic All-American and High School All-American in three sports and plan to study Molecular Biology in college so I can go on to medical school.
I decided to compete for Miss U.S. International as a practice pageant; to be honest I never even dreamed I might win. This year I turned 18 so I transitioned from a Teen competitor to a Miss. I know that competition is very different between Teen and Miss so I wanted to maximum amount of practice this summer so that I would be prepared to compete at Miss Louisiana USA in October. (I guess that’s not happening anymore!)
PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK / GOWN DESIGNER: GASPAR CRUZ
HOW WAS IT LIKE COMPETING WITH OTHER BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED YOUNG WOMEN ON STAGE?
It was extremely exciting for me – that was my first competition as a Miss and I loved meeting the other women, hearing about their accomplishments and plans, and sharing laughs and mirrors backstage!
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am a huge math nerd! My favorite holiday is Pi Day (March 14) and I have a special Pi Day T-shirt I always wear to celebrate it! When in 8th grade I memorized pi to the 34th decimal by making it my password on my lock screen!
IF YOU WERE TO COME BACK AS AN ANIMAL IN THE NEXT LIFE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
I would be a sea turtle. I love them; they are simultaneously majestic and serene.
PHOTO CREDIT: BRIAN MAYHEW
GOT ANY ROLE MODELS - PAST OR PRESENT?
Past role model would have to be Amelia Earhart. She was a woman who lived her life fully and on her terms at a time and in a culture this wasn’t well-regarded. She took risks - and although they didn’t always pan out for her she paved the way for strong, independent women to do and become absolutely anything they can dream.
I have several current role models but those who made the most impact in my life have been my coaches. I have learned perseverance, hard work, team work, respect, and how to stand up for myself from these wonderful men and women and these lessons forged in sweat will inform my actions for the rest of my life.
IF I WERE TO COME TO YOUR HOUSE UNANNOUNCED, WHAT KIND OF CLOTHING WOULD I CATCH YOU WEARING? LOL!
You would definitely see me wearing athletic clothes; I have been involved with athletics since I was two years old. With all the sports I’m involved in, it’s tough to catch me without Nike Pro shorts and tennis shoes!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE BEAUTY TO A BLIND PERSON?
I would ask the person to think of how she feels when she is cold, then steps into the sun – the sunshine warming her face. How she feels when a fluffy kitten brushes against her cheek and when a symphony plays a perfect note in perfect unison. I would ask her to remember her how her heart felt when someone shared a kind word when she needed it most.
PHOTO CREDITS: KAITRYANA LEINBACH (LEFT) / JONATHAN CARTER (RIGHT)
WOULD YOU RATHER BE AN INVENTOR OR A LEADER?
While I would love to create and forge my own path as an inventor does, I suppose I would rather be a leader because I have the perception that inventors toil away in solitude and that’s not me. I love to have other people around me – I would dislike working alone all the time. If I could be an inventor in a community of inventors so we could collaborate, that would be ideal!
WHAT WOULD THE PERSON WHO LIKES YOU THE LEAST IN THE WORLD SAY ABOUT YOU?
They would probably say they were surprised to learn that under my sweet exterior I have a backbone of steel. I was raised with a Southerner’s manners and a Mid-Western’s no-nonsense sensibilities.
PHOTO CREDITS: KAITRYANA LEINBACH
WHAT DO YOU READ OR LISTEN TO EVERY DAY TO GET THE NEWS OF THE DAY?
I read the Skimm everyday. I am always on the go and barely even have time to eat so I love the Skimm because I can look at it on my phone whenever I have time and can click links that will send me to a more detailed article if I find something particularly interesting! I also swipe my Dad’s Wall Street Journal every chance I get and became addicted to the New York Times while I was living in New York City this Spring.
TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHEN THINGS FELT HELPLESS BUT YOU KNEW YOU WOULD PULL THROUGH.
Two years ago I was in a accident that shattered part of my upper jaw. I had to have major reconstructive surgery to repair it in late May. Twenty-three days later, I was to check in to compete at Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen. I still had medical appliances inside my mouth holding my bones together and I thought about resigning my title. But I was bound and determined to compete despite that I couldn’t fully use my jaw. I was really worried about having a problem speaking clearly in interview, but it turned out that talent was actually the problem. My opening dance move was a standing back tuck and as I landed it, one of the medical appliances in my mouth broke off. It hurt and I couldn’t spit out the broken piece while mid-dance so I had to figure out how to smile around it while tumbling.
I remember thinking at the time “I can’t believe this is happening. Well, after this, interview is going to be a piece of cake.”
PHOTO CREDIT: BRIAN MAYHEW
YOU WILL BE COMPETING IN ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND MOST PRESTIGIOUS PAGEANT IN THE WORLD - MISS INTERNATIONAL. HOW ARE YOU PREPARING YOURSELF FOR THE COMPETITION?
I am trying to be as prepared as possible – I take the responsibility very seriously and will do everything I can to represent the USA to the best of my ability. I am focused on eating healthy, staying strong, and making as many appearances as I can to increase the awareness of the important message of Miss International in America – peace, goodwill, and cultural understanding among all nations.
IF YOU COULD BE AN EMOJI, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU BE?
I would be the red dancing woman because I LOVE salsa dancing!
A FEW DAYS AFTER YOU WERE CROWNED MISS U.S. INTERNATIONAL, YOU POSTED ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE THAT YOU HAVE EMBRACED A VEGAN LIFESTYLE. AS YOU KNOW, CRITICAL BEAUTY IS THE FIRST AND PERHAPS ONLY PAGEANT WEBSITE THAT PROMOTES ANIMAL RIGHTS AND PLANT-BASED NUTRITION, AND WE ARE ALWAYS THRILLED EVERY TIME A BEAUTY QUEEN BECOMES A VEGAN. WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO SWITCH TO VEGANISM? AND HAVE YOU LOST FRIENDS SINCE THEN? LOL.
I have been moving toward a vegan lifestyle for several years, actually. I started cutting out meat when I was 13 and found myself vegetarian with occasional fish one year later. A little over a year ago I made the commitment to total vegan eating because I found that the less meat, dairy and eggs I put in my body, the better I functioned. After a brief adjustment period of cutting out all animal products my skin cleared up and my energy increased dramatically.
A key influence in my decision to embrace vegan eating fully is Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. In the 1980’s, he was one of the first to encourage plant based eating to avoid cancer and other health problems. I am sure that he, an 82 year old Ohio physician, would be very surprised to hear that I have a huge fan-girl crush on him!
No, I haven’t lost any friends – in fact I have encouraged several friends to reduce their meat consumption, including (and most surprisingly!) my own Dad, who now joins me in making fresh juice every morning.
PHOTO CREDIT: JONATHAN CARTER
A LOT OF PEOPLE DO NOT REALIZE THAT VEGANISM IS MORE THAN JUST DIET. IT ALSO INVOLVES RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT ANIMAL CRUELTY AND EXPLOITATION, AS WELL AS CARING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. HOW WOULD YOU CONVINCE A MEAT-EATER TO GO VEGAN?
I have actually convinced a meat eater to go (mostly) vegan – my Dad! He is so cute standing in the kitchen, juicing kale and veggies for his morning routine!
I talk to people about vegan living based on what their interest is. If its health, then I talk about the advantages of eating an abundance of food that your body loves and can more readily process. You feel so much better, lighter, and cleaner. Just everything seemed to function better when I switched to vegan eating; I lost weight effortlessly while maintaining the muscle I need to tumble and stunt in cheer.
If the person loves animals, then the benefits are obvious!
If the person is interested in the world around them, or cares about people or social justice and equality then I talk about how much easier it is on the Earth to feed its growing population with a plant based diet. For instance, it takes 54 times more water to grow a pound of beef than it does to grow a pound of broccoli.
PHOTO CREDIT: JONATHAN CARTER
So many people in the world are food insecure, even in developed countries. If the world would switch to a vegan diet then our Earth would easily have enough resources to feed everyone in abundance.
Most conflict and wars, at the heart of them, are about fighting for scarce resources – money, land, food, and the power over other people that come with those. With a vegan world, we would all have enough to eat, resources currently wasted on growing meat could be redistributed to more productive pursuits, and we could eliminate at least one reason some people are oppressed. If everyone is healthy and fed, this enables all to make full use of their gifts and live up to their personal potential.
Since Miss International’s mission is to promote peace, goodwill, international cooperation, and its Green Campaign to care for the environment, I think this message fits nicely with the organization’s message!
YOU PLAN TO INVITE A GROUP OF FRIENDS TO A VEGAN FIVE-COURSE DINNER IN YOUR HOUSE. WHAT DISHES WOULD YOU PREPARE?
By “prepare” I hope you mean order take-out! I’m not that great of a cook yet, haha!
But if I had my dream vegan dinner party I would serve Indian food.
I would start with vegetable pakora, for our main course we would have eggplant Baigan Ka Bharta, mixed veggie curry and rice, and vegan palak paneer. I love garlic naan and aloo stuffed naan so we would definitely have those! Dessert would be coconut milk, mango, and sticky rice pudding and beautiful candied, dried fruits for the final course ---that would be great! (And….now I’m hungry!!!)
WHAT DO YOU SEE YOURSELF DOING 5 YEARS FROM NOW?
I hope I am in medical school at Georgetown!
Singer/Musician – Florida/Georgia Line
Actor – Dwatne "The Rock" Johnson
Actress – Jennifer Aniston
Color – Green
Fashion Designer – Thakoon
Perfume – I don’t wear perfume
Flower – Orchid
Writer – Edmond Rostand – I love Cyrano De Bergerac!
Book – "The Book Thief"
Movie – "Finding Nemo"
Quote – “There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going”
Hashtag - #IWokeUpLikeThis (;
If you want to follow my trip to Japan you can find me at Instagram: @MissUSInternational and @KaitryanaLeinbach
TOKYO • A half-Indian beauty queen with exotic looks and an elephant trainer's licence has been crowned Miss Japan. Priyanka Yoshikawa's tearful victory comes a year after Ms Ariana Miyamoto faced an ugly backlash for becoming the first black woman to represent Japan, as critics complained that Miss Universe Japan should instead have been won by a "pure" Japanese rather than a haafu - Japanese for "half" - a word used to describe those of mixed race.
"Before Ariana, haafu girls couldn't represent Japan," Yoshikawa said after winning the title. "That's what I thought too... Ariana encouraged me a lot by showing me and showing all mixed girls the way."
Yoshikawa, born in Tokyo to an Indian father and a Japanese mother, vowed to continue the fight against racial prejudice in homogeneous Japan, where multiracial children make up just 2 per cent of those born annually.
"I think it means we have to let it in," said the 22-year-old, who speaks fluent Japanese and English, when asked what it signified for her and Miyamoto to break down cultural barriers. "We are Japanese. Yes, I'm half-Indian and people are asking me about my 'purity' - yes, my dad is Indian and I'm proud of it... But that does not mean I'm not Japanese."
Yoshikawa, like Miyamoto, was bullied, after returning to Japan aged 10 following three years in Sacramento in the US and a further year in India. "I know a lot of people who are haafu and suffer," said the 1.76m-tall Yoshikawa, an avid kick-boxer who earned her elephant trainer's licence to spice up her resume.
"When I came back to Japan, everyone thought I was a germ," she said. "Like if they touched me they would be touching something bad. But I'm thankful because that made me really strong."
Reaction to her victory did not initially trigger any real outrage, although there was some unhappiness. "What's the point of a pageant like this now? Zero national characteristics," groused one Twitter user, while another fumed: "It's like we're saying a pure Japanese face can't be a winner."
Yoshikawa will contest the Miss World crown in the US in December.
International model Maja Taradi was crowned Miss World Slovenia 2016 on September 8th. She will now compete in Miss World 2016 pageant to be held in Washington D.C. on December 18th. The first runner-up is Alena Music and the second runner-up is Ana Kundic.
Two new Guamanian queens were crowned on September 9th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Agana. Muñeka Taisipic won Miss Universe Guam 2016 and she will compete in the next edition of Miss Universe to be held on January 30, 2017, in the Philippines. Meanwhile, second placer Annalyn Kuan was crowned Miss International Guam 2016 and will compete in Miss International 2016 pageant in Tokyo, Japan next month.
Miss Arkansas Savvy Shields waves to the crowd after being named Miss America 2017 in Atlantic City on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Miss Arkansas Savvy Shields won the Miss America pageant Sunday night in Atlantic City and promptly delivered a message to the two leading presidential candidates: "Compromise" is not a dirty word.
Shields was asked during her onstage interview what she thought of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton; she answered that while both Clinton and Republican Donald Trump have done a good job thus far, "they also need to watch what they're doing."
Meeting reporters after the pageant, Shields elaborated.
"What I want both candidates to focus on is compromise," she said. "Our country was founded on compromise. We're in a state now where both parties just seem to be yelling at one another."
Shields topped a field of 52 contestants to win the crown and the title of Miss America 2017, succeeding the outgoing Miss America Betty Cantrell.
Shields performed a jazz dance to a song from the TV show "Smash," for which she won a preliminary competition earlier in the week.
Shields is an art major at the University of Arkansas who wants to help people make better food choices. Her secret dream is to be a backup dancer for Beyoncé.
She also said she wants to be as accessible as possible, and urged anyone who is near her to come up and introduce themselves to her.
The outgoing Miss America Betty Cantrell (back left) crowns the Miss America 2017 winner Miss Arkansas Savvy Shields, while Lynn Weidner (third right) assists as Miss Maryland Hannah Brewer and Miss Texas Caroline Carothers cheer for Savvy's win. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
The runners-up were as follows: Fourth runner-up, Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis; third runner-up, Miss Washington Alicia Cooper; second runner-up Miss New York Camille Sims; first runner-up Miss South Carolina Rachel Wyatt.
The first openly gay contestant in the Miss America pageant, Miss Missouri Erin O'Flaherty, was eliminated Sunday night when the top 15 finalists were chosen.
She was the first openly gay contestant to win a state title.
Djuan Trent competed in the Miss America pageant as Miss Kentucky in 2011, when she finished in the top 10. She came out as a lesbian in 2014.
The top 15 finalists were: Kentucky; Washington; Massachusetts; Arkansas; South Carolina; Idaho; Iowa; Texas; California; Oklahoma; Maryland; New York; Tennessee; Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Sunday's finale was held on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Many of the contestants noted the solemn anniversary, professed strong support for America's armed forces and struck patriotic themes. Miss Maryland Hannah Brewer sang "God Bless America" for her talent program.
The pageant from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall included contestants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The pageant began in Atlantic City in 1921 as a way to extend the summer tourist season beyond Labor Day weekend.
A $3 million lawsuit filed by a former Puerto Rican beauty queen whose title was taken away for purported attitude problems has been dismissed by a judge.
Kristhielee Caride had sought to be reinstated as Puerto Rico's Miss Universe representative after losing her title earlier this year.
But on Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Eduardo Rebollo said in his ruling that Caride's behavior violated the terms of her contract with PR Crown Entertainment and the company was within its rights to sever the relationship.
'Her dismissal was justified,' Rebollo wrote.
Caride's attorney, Ernie Caban, could not be immediately reached for comment. A secretary said he would hold a news conference later.
The ruling concluded a nearly week-long trial that captivated pageant fans on an island well known for its beauty queens, with TV stations interrupting regular programming to show testimony.
Rebollo cited several incidents including Caride's refusal to have her hair color or style altered; a newspaper interview in which she gave only terse answers to questions and said she did not love cameras; and a failure to appear on a local TV entertainment program because she said traffic made it too hard to reach the studio.
A shoe sponsor also declined to work with her despite having paid for the right to use Caride's image because they considered her a 'risk' given her behavior, according to testimony.
Caride, winner pageant of Miss Puerto Rico Universe declares in favor to recover the title on July 21, 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but a judge has now said 'her dismissal was justified'
Desiree Lowry, national director of Miss Universe Puerto Rico, testified that she asked Caride to call the newspaper reporter after the interview and apologize for her behavior.
'She looked at me with a face that said, "Are you serious?'' Lowry said.
In addition, Lowry testified that Caride refused to go to the salon that PR Crown Entertainment employed and used her own stylist instead.
At trial, Caride defended her decision and accused salon employees of disrespecting her.
'I'm not going to a place where I'm not wanted,' she said. 'I'm not going to a place where they are constantly rubbing in my face the Miss Universe candidate from San Juan. It's not my fault that girl didn't win.'
Caride lost her Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2016 title in March and was replaced by first runner-up Brenda Jimenez for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant.
Caride apologized at the time, saying beauty queens have bad days too and she had erred by letting her feelings come before her job.
It was the first time a Puerto Rico Miss Universe contestant has lost her crown before the big event is held.
Miss Puerto Rico 1994, Brenda Robles, was dismissed during that year's pageant because she was pregnant.
Raquel Tejedor Melendez from Aragón was crowned Miss World Spain 2016 (Miss Mundo España 2016) on September 17 at the Teatro Auditorio de Salou. She was crowned by the reigning Miss World from Spain, Mireia Lalaguna. The first runner-up is Carla Font Cabrera of Lleida and the second runner-up is Miriam Paredes Gines of Madrid.
Raquel will represent Spain in the 66th edition of Miss World to be held in Washington D.C on December 20th.
Helena Heuser was crowned Miss Denmark 2016 on September 17 at Docken Performing Arts Theater in Copenhagen. Heuser's court includes 1st runner-up Fatoumata Camara, 2nd runner-up Elina Ea Dahl, 3rd runner-up Jessie Llanes Tøttrup, and 4th runner-up Patricia Overgaard Christensen.
Heuser will now compete in the 66th edition of Miss World pageant to be held in Washington, D.C. on December 20th.