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Beauty With Attitude
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  • 04/11/18--14:55: New Nepal Queens for 2018


  • Shrinkhala Khatiwada has won the title of Miss Nepal World-2018 surpassing other 24 contestants at the beauty pageant grand finale held in Kathmandu on Wednesday evening, April 11, 2018. Khatiwada will now compete in Miss World 2018 to be held in China in December.

      A total of 25 ladies across the nation were selected for the final race in the competition.


    Manita Devkota won the title of Miss Nepal-Universe 2018 and will compete in the next edition of Miss Universe whose date and venue are yet to be confirmed.

     Ronali Amatya was declared as Miss Nepal-International 2018 and will compete in Miss International 2018 in Tokyo in November.

    Priya Sigdel bagged the title of Miss Nepal-Earth 2018 and will compete in Miss Earth 2018 to be held in the Philippines in November.

    Source: Neostuffs.com, 4/11/2018

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  • 04/14/18--17:10: Miss Russia 2018

  • Yulia Polyachikhina, 18 (center), from Chuvashia, was crowned as Miss Russia 2018 during a gala event on April 14 at the Barvikha Luxury Village concert hall near Moscow. She will now compete in Miss World 2018 to be held in China in December. The First Vice Miss Russia 2018 is Violetta Tyurkina (left) from Belgorod and the Second Vice Miss Russia 2018 is Natalia Stroyeva (right) from Yakutia.





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    The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has overlooked a major scandal in the Miss America Organization, approving state funds that will ensure the pageant will remain in Atlantic City through September. 
    After CRDA officials repeatedly called for a review of its contract with the pageant in the wake of a major controversy over the former Miss America CEO's leaked emails last year, the authority on Tuesday approved $4.3 million in state subsidies for the pageant, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
    Former pageant CEO Sam Haskell's email correspondence with staffers, leaked to HuffPost, which published a report in December, referred to former Miss Americas with derogatory slang for female genitalia and contained negative comments about the physical appearance of a former Miss America, among other offenses. 
    "The CRDA is encouraged by the Miss America Organization's description that the 2019 competition will be updated to include a focus on women's empowerment and other related projects," said Robert Mulcahy, chairman of the CRDA board of directors.
    Though local officials, including Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam, had initially bristled at the notion of the pageant proceeding unchecked, they seemed to warm to the idea of supporting the pageant's efforts to rebrand under a female leadership largely composed of previous pageant winners. 
    "They are trying to right the wrongs of the previous administration," Gilliam told the Press of Atlantic City in February. 
    $12.5 million over three years, with this being the final year of that agreement. (That deal was actually an increase from the previous deal that brought the pageant back to Atlantic City from Las Vegas in 2013, to the tune of $7.3 million over three years.)
    The decision, made on Tuesday, means the pageant will be able to stay in Atlantic City for the 2019 pageant in September. That event was the final year included in Miss America's three-year contract with the CRDA.
    But the validity of the pageant's contract was called into question after emails between former CEO Haskell, a pageant scriptwriter and Miss America executives revealed misogynistic language and disparaging comments about former Miss Americas. In response, former Miss Americas banded together to call for Haskell's resignation. He resigned in December alongside other Miss America executives, and the pageant board was reconstructed with former Miss America and former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson as chairwoman and other former titleholders in leadership positions.
    CRDA officials took issue with the content of Haskell's emails. Yet Dick Clark Productions, the pageant's partner, had also dropped the pageant after being presented with the content of emails from Haskell and Miss America executives. That was a problem because under the pageant's contract with the CRDA, Dick Clark Productions was supposed to work to promote Atlantic City during its programs. It turns out CRDA officials were also aware that Dick Clark Productions had severed ties with the pageant two months before the HuffPost report on the emails went public. 
    This is also the pageant's last year of its three-year contract with ABC. In the wake of the scandal over Haskell's emails, the pageant faced losing not only its relationship with Dick Clark Productions -- which had made Miss America a presence at its shows, including the Billboard Awards -- but also potentially any future deals with the CRDA and ABC, meaning the competition could scramble to find a new host city and broadcast partner. 
    But Carlson, the new head of the pageant, is banking on major changes to the pageant, with the aim of focusing on empowerment and leadership. She has been dropping hints that she intends to reform the nearly 100-year-old event, and possibly drop the infamous swimsuit competition in the process. 
    In recent years, there have also been other changes within the pageant ranks.
    In 2016, Miss Missouri, Erin O'Flaherty became the first openly gay Miss America contestant. Just this week, Deidre Downs, Miss America 2005 -- the last Miss America to be crowned in Atlantic City before the pageant moved to Las Vegas for seven years -- made headlines when she married her girlfriend.
    In September, the reigning titleholder, Miss America 2018, Cara Mund, an alumna of Brown University bound for law school, became the first Miss North Dakota to win the pageant. 

    Source:  NJ.com, 4/17/2018



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    Cynthia Thomalla, 23, from the Philippines was crowned Miss Eco International 2018 on April 28 in Cairo, Egypt. She is the first woman from her country to win the pageant which celebrates its fourth edition this year. 

    Her court includes first runner-up 
    Astira Vernadeina of Indonesia, second runner-up Kelin Rivera Kroll of Peru, third runner-up Nguyen Thi Dung of Vietnam, and fourth runner-up Glennys Medina Segura of Costa Rica. 

    Completing the top 10 were the delegates from Brazil, Egypt, India, Poland and Portugal.

    The show dragged on for five hours and was riddled with gaffes, notably the hosts' incessant talking, long musical numbers, and announcing the 2nd runner-up first before the 3rd and 4th runners-up. Many fans have criticized the pageant for being a rip-off of Miss Earth which gained worldwide popularity due to its environmental cause. 

    Thomalla's win is significant because she becomes the third woman from the Miss World Philippines 2017 top 5 to win an international title. The first one was Teresita Ssen Marquez who was crowned Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 in Bolivia last November 4th, and the second one was Sophia Senoron who was crowned Miss Multinational 2018. Both women won their respective international titles for the Philippines for the first time.




    PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK



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    Seung Hwan Lee of Korea won the 12th edition of Mister International held in Yangon, Myanmar on April 30th. He succeeds Paul Iskandar of Lebanon who could not attend the finals due to "unforeseen circumstances." Lee is the first man from his country to win the title. The 2017 pageant was supposed to be held last November but was postponed until April 2018. Technically, Lee is the winner for 2017.
    Completing Lee's court are first runner-up Manuel Molano of Colombia and second runner-up Dwayne Geldenhuis of South Africa. The remaining top five included Minh Trung of Vietnam and Alessandro Costantini of Switzerland. 
    Completing the top 10 were the contestants from Japan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Philippines and Puerto Rico. Rounding up the top 16 were the contestants from Poland, Indonesia, Spain, Lebanon, Netherlands and Mexico.  
     


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    Miss USA 2017 Kara McCullough (pictured) will crown her successor at the 2018 Miss USA pageant at George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, Louisiana. 


    Well, well, what do you know? The 2018 Miss USA winner will now be chosen by a "selection committee" - which is a politically correct term for "judges." For some reason, the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) has found the word "judge" rather unpleasant and trivial. Not only that, but the "selection committee" will comprise of an all-female jury. That's right. Miss USA has gone sexist! Not one male judge on the panel, not even a gay one. Hmmm. 
    Here's the report from The Shreveport Times:
    The selection committee has been announced for the 2018 Miss USA competition that will be held in Shreveport on May 21.
    For the first time, Miss USA will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of female entrepreneurs, business leaders, and industry experts—including former Miss USA contestants—offering a depth of expertise, insight and sustained commitment previously unavailable from one-off telecast judges.
    The committee’s diverse perspectives and industry knowledge will help The Miss Universe organization to determine the woman who will become integral to the ongoing growth of the company as a spokesperson for the brand.
    The selection committee includes:  
    Natasha Curry: Award-winning television host and anchor of HLN’s Weekend Express with Natasha Curry; Miss Washington USA 1998.
    Jamie Kern Lima:  Founder & CEO of IT Cosmetics, which recently became the largest acquisition in L’Oreal history, making Jamie the first female CEO in L’Oréal’s 100+ year history; 2017 Forbes Magazine’s Most Successful Self-Made Women List; Miss Washington USA 2000.
    Crystle Stewart: Television host, model and actress; founder of MISS Academy (Manners, Image, Style, and Success), an organization committed to translating traditional values through pop culture; Miss USA 2008.
    Lilliana Vazquez: Emmy Award-winning host and producer, TODAY show contributor and style expert. 
    Denise White: Founder and CEO of EAG Sports Management, one of the most powerful and influential sports management and PR/crisis management firms of professional sports; Miss Oregon USA 1994.
    The 2018 Miss USA pageant will air live from George's Pond in Shreveport on the Fox network at 7 p.m. CST May 21.

    Source: The Shreveport Times, 5/17/2018

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    Congratulations, Miss Teen Kansas — the 2018 Miss Teen USA winner.
    Thunderous cheers erupted as Hailey Colborn was announced Friday in Shreveport as the new Miss Teen USA.
    Colborn is a 17-year-old student from Wichita, Kansas.  
    She was one of 51 participating contestants, representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
    The young women went through rounds of preliminary interviews, then on-stage presentations in athletic wear and evening gowns on Wednesday at Horseshoe Casino's Riverdome.
    Friday's final event was held at George's Pond at Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport.
    The 15 semifinalists announced at the finals were: Janeice Love (California), Caleigh Shade (Maryland), Sydni-Dion Bennett (Illinois), Britney Barnhart (Nevada), Savannah Miles (Georgia), Chloe Zambrano (Colorado), Anane Loveday (Michigan), Sofie Rovenstine (Tennessee), Kaaviya Sambasivam (North Carolina), Madilen Kellogg (Utah), Kirby Elizabeth Self (South Carolina), Lindsey Conque (Louisiana), Hailey Colborn (Kansas), Trinity Tiffany (West Virginia) and Lou Schieffelin (Florida).
    he 15 moved forward to on-stage presentations in the categories of athletic wear.
    The top 10 were announced, taking California, Maryland, Nevada, Michigan, West Virginia and Florida out of the running. They were presented in the evening gown round.
    Then five moved on, getting a final question from the judges. They ended the competition as follows: fourth runner-up, North Carolina; third runner-up, Illinois; second runner-up, Colorado; and first runner-up, South Carolina.
    Before the big announcement, the Miss Congeniality award was presented to Kennedy Cromeens of Alabama.
    And in an outpouring of cheers and tears, Miss Teen Kansas was deemed winner and given the crown by her predecessor, the 2017 Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff.
    Source: Shreveport Times, 5/18/2018

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  • 05/21/18--20:30: Nebraska Wins Miss USA 2018





  • Miss Nebraska, Sarah Rose Summers, has been named Miss USA.
    Cheers rang out, confetti flew and celebratory music blared as Summers — a 23-year-old from Omaha — accepted the sash, the dazzling crown and a bouquet of flowers on Monday evening. She takes over from Kára McCullough of the District of Columbia and now goes on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe competition. 
    For the next year, she'll be a spokeswoman for the Miss Universe Organization. Her responsibilities will include performing charitable acts, attending galas and fundraisers, and making special appearances, among many other duties.
    By nabbing the Miss USA crown, Miss Nebraska joins Miss Kansas — the winner Friday of the 2018 Miss Teen USA crown, also in Shreveport — for a heartland sweep of the events held this year in Shreveport and Bossier City.
    The selection committee included a host of female entrepreneurs, business leaders and industry experts and former Miss USA contestants. Viewers were able to vote online for their favorites throughout the competition.  
    The two-hour final event began with the announcement of the 15 semifinalists. In addition to Summers, they were: Madison Nipe (South Dakota), Marianny Egurrola (Georgia), Marina Gray (Maine), Logan Lester (Texas), Alexa Noone (New Jersey), Génesis Dávila (Florida), Carolina Urrea (Nevada), Allissa Latham (Massachusetts), Brittinay Nicolette (Maryland), Alexandra Harper (Tennessee), Toneata Morgan (Oregon), Caelynn Miller-Keyes (North Carolina), Elizabeth Johnson (Michigan) and Kelley Johnson (California).  
    The semifinalists were selected after a round of preliminary interviews and live on-stage presentations last week. Monday, the 15 contestants kicked off the final event with the swimsuit round.
    Next, the top 10 were announced and presented in evening gowns. The 10 represented South Dakota, Georgia, Maine, New Jersey, Nebraska, Florida, Nevada, Tennessee, North Carolina and California. 
    The field then was cut in half, leaving five to answer a question from the judges. The five finalists were Nevada, Florida, Nebraska, North Carolina and South Dakota. 
    Two more competitors were cut, leaving the top three: Nebraska, North Carolina and Nevada. The three were asked the same question and presented for "the final look."
    After scores were tallied, the runner-ups and winner were declared: second runner-up, Miss Nevada Carolina Urrea; first runner-up, Miss North Carolina, Caelynn Miller-Keyes; and winner, Miss Nebraska Sarah Rose Summers.
    The Miss USA finals were co-hosted by model and former Miss Teen USA winner Vanessa Lachey and her husband, Nick Lachey, who rose to fame with 98 Degrees. 
    Lee Brice, a Grammy-nominated American country singer, performed as the 10 contestants presented their evening gowns. Lachey's band performed as the three finalists presented their final looks.
    Fashion expert Carson Kressley and supermodel Lu Sierra checked in with behind-the-scenes footage, analysis and commentary about the competition. 
    On Friday, Hailey Colborn, of Kansas, was crowned the 2018 Miss Teen USA.

    Source: USA Today, 5/21/2018
    Photos courtesy of the Miss Universe Organization


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  • 05/27/18--13:28: Miss Brazil 2018



  • Mayra Dias, representing the state of Amazonas, was crowned Miss Brasil Be Emotion 2018 in Rio de Janeiro last Saturday, May 26. The journalist defeated 26 other young women from all over Brazil for the coveted crown.  The other top three finalists included Teresa Santos from Ceará, and Maria Isabel from Bahia. Dias will now represent Brazil in the next edition of Miss Universe who date and venue have yet to be confirmed. 



    Source: Purepeople.com, 5/27/2018



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    Tamaryn Green is Miss Universe South Africa 2018


    Two new South Africans queen were crowned during the 60th edition of Miss South Africa pageant on May 27, 2018 at the Sun Arena. Tamaryn Green was crowned as  Miss Universe Africa 2018 and she will represent her country at Miss Universe 2018 whose date and venue have not been announced. Thulisa Keyi was declared as the winner of Miss World South Africa 2018 title and will now represent South Africa at Miss World 2018 later this year in China. Completing the top five were Karishma Ramdev, Noxolo Ndebele and Thandokazi Mfundisi.

    Thulisa Keyi is Miss World South Africa 2018


    Source: Miss South Afica Facebook Page

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  • 05/28/18--19:51: Miss World Bahamas 2018



  •      BRINIQUE GIBSON, a 22-year old beauty representing New Providence, was crowned Miss World Bahamas 2018 in the Imperial Ballroom of the Atlantis Paradise Island on Sunday, May 27. She was crowned by her predecessor Geena Thompson. Gibson will now represent the Bahamas in Miss World 2018 pageant to be held in Sanya, China on December 8. Gibson's court includes 1st Princess Serena Greene from Grand Bahama and 2nd Princess Shelly Elisee from the University of the Bahamas who advanced to the top 6 via online voting. Rounding up the top 6 were Angel Cartwright of Long Island, Angel Culmer of Andros, and Chinasa Outten of Balmoral Island.

    CREDIT: MISS BAHAMAS ORGANIZATION

         Ten young women competed in this year's national pageant. The remaining contestants were Alexis Denoye of Abaco, Alexis Sawyer of Crystal Cay, Desire Edwards of Ragged Island, and Caitlyn Walker of San Salvador.  

         The show was hosted by Jerome Sawyer, Vice-President of Media Relations of MBO (Miss Bahamas Organization) and  by Leslia Brice, Bahamian pageant veteran and fashion model. Backstage commentating was conducted by popular Puerto Rican TV personality, Héctor Joaquín Colón González. The social media correspondents were Shenique Miller and Pischia Adderley. Entertainment was provided by musical artists Lady E, Julien Believe, and Angelique Sabrina. The show was live streamed on Facebook and nationally televised.

         The panel of judges included E. Jay Saunders, chairman of the Turks & Caicos Aviation Civil Aviation Authority; Ashley Hamilton, Miss World Bahamas 2016; Grace Fontecha, the legendary beauty queen maker from Puerto Rico who appears in Guinness Book of World Records for training back to back Miss Universe winners (2008, 2009) from Venezuela; K. Darren Turnquest, counseling psychologist and motivational speaker; Carlos Ramirez, musical and pageant show producer from Puerto Rico; and yours truly, Rafa Delfin, director of Critical Beauty.


         The contestants were judged primarily on three categories: interviews, swimsuit, and evening gown.  Last Saturday, the contestants underwent rigorous one-on-one interviews with the judges, followed by a closed-door scrutiny in their swimsuits. Special awards were distributed Sunday night to the following recipients: University of the Bahamas (Best in Swimsuit, Spirit Award, Top Model), New Providence (Miss Amity, Multi-Media, People's Choice, Fashionista), Long Island (Aliv Challenge Video, Sportswoman, Best Costume, Miss Popularity), Ragged Island (Beauty With a Purpose), and Andros (Miss Photogenic, Miss Critical Beauty Bahamas).

         This was the third time for me to judge the Miss Bahamas pageant, and I have to say that the production has become bigger and better, as well as the sponsorship and prize package. A big thank you to MBO President Michelle Malcolm for being a gracious host. Initially, she had assigned me as a social media correspondent but due to the high-caliber quality of this year's contestants, she reassigned me to judge instead. I think she made the right decision! The Bahamas has selected a strong contender for Miss World this year!


    Left: With the beautiful new queen. Right: With MBO President Michelle Malcolm

    #MissWorldBahamas #Bejeweled #CriticalBeauty 


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    Miss America is scrapping its swimsuit competition and will no longer judge contestants based on physical appearance, the organization announced Tuesday.

    "We are no longer a pageant," Gretchen Carlson, the first former Miss America to be named chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, said on "GMA.""We are a competition."


    PHOTO: The new logo for the Miss America pageant is pictured here. Courtesy Miss America Organization
    The new logo for the Miss America pageant is pictured here.

    In place of the swimsuit portion of the competition, Miss America contestants will now take part in a live interactive session with the judges, according to the organization.


    PHOTO: The 2018 Miss America Competition at Atlantic Citys Boardwalk Hall, Sept. 10, 2017, in New Jersey.Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images,FILE
    The 2018 Miss America Competition at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall, Sept. 10, 2017, in New Jersey.

    The contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be asked to demonstrate their passion, intelligence and overall understanding of the job of Miss America.
    The organization is also getting rid of the evening gown portion of the competition and instead asking contestants to wear attire that makes them feel confident and expresses their personal style. The contestants will also discuss how they will advance their chosen causes, called "social impact initiatives" by the Miss America Organization.


    PHOTO: The 2018 Miss America Competition at Atlantic Citys Boardwalk Hall, Sept. 10, 2017, in N.J.Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images
    The 2018 Miss America Competition at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall, Sept. 10, 2017, in N.J.

    "We’ve heard from a lot of young women who say, ‘We’d love to be a part of your program but we don’t want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit,’ so guess what, you don’t have to do that anymore," Carlson said. "Who doesn’t want to be empowered, learn leadership skills and pay for college and be able to show the world who you are as a person from the inside of your soul."
    She continued, "That’s what we’re judging them on now."
    In addition to being crowned Miss America in 1989, Carlson has more recently been an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual harassment and a champion of the #MeToo movement. In 2016, she settled a lawsuit against former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, who stepped down from his role after mounting pressure from additional employees with similar accusations.


    PHOTO: Gretchen Carlson attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, March 4, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images
     Gretchen Carlson

     
    "I could have never expected what would happen when I sued my former employer at Fox News for sexual harassment 22 months ago, but look what has happened," she said. "Thousands of women have been inspired to know that they can stand up and speak up and their voices will be heard."
    Carlson added, "If I’ve been a beacon of hope to any woman in that process, it has been worth it."
    The sweeping changes to Miss America aim to help the organization be more inclusive and empowering for all women. Carlson also said that she hopes the revamped competition will resonate more with young people.
    "We are now open, inclusive and transparent and I want to inspire thousands of young people across this country to come and be a part of our program," she said. "We want you and we want to celebrate your accomplishments and your talents and then we want to hand you scholarships."
    The Miss America organization courted controversy earlier this year when internal emails were released from the group's former CEO Sam Haskell. In the leaked emails, Haskell, who later resigned, and others were insulting the appearance, intellect and personal lives of former pageant winners, including Carlson.
    Carlson is now part of an all-female leadership team at Miss America.
    "This is a new beginning and change can sometimes be difficult but I know a lot about change," she said. "My life has worked in mysterious ways. I never thought I’d be the chairwoman of the Miss America Organization, but here I am and we’re moving it forward and we’re evolving in this cultural revolution."
    The 2019 Miss America Competition airs live on ABC on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 9 p.m. EST.
    Source: ABC News, 6/5/2018

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  • 06/06/18--03:45: Miss Universe Mexico 2018
  • PHOTO: QUIEN.COM


    Andrea Toscano, representing the state of Colima, won the first edition of Mexicana Universal pageant. She will now represent Mexico in the next edition of Miss Universe whose date and venue have not yet been confirmed. She was crowned by Lupita Jones, the national director and franchise owner. The selection for Mexico's representative for Miss Universe was for several years conducted by Nuestra Belleza Mexico Organization run by Jones, but Jones changed the name to Mexicana Universal.

    Jones with Toscano / Photo: Mexicana Universal Facebook

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  • 06/09/18--14:13: New Aruba Queens For 2018

  • New Aruba queens for 2018 were crowned on June 7. In the photo above, from left to right: Miss Aruba Reina Internacional de Cafe 2018 - Hannah Arends - 21; Miss Aruba World 2018 - Nurianne Arias -23; Miss Universe Aruba 2018 - Kimberly Julsing - 20; and Miss Aruba Hispanoamerica 2018 - Raquel Reeberg - 25.


     Kimberly Julsing - Miss Aruba Universe 2018 - will compete in the next edition of Miss Universe whose venue and date have not been confirmed.


     Nurianne Arias - Miss Aruba World 2018 - will compete in Miss World 2018 to be held in Sanya, China in December.


     Raquel Reeberg - Miss Aruba Hispanoamerica 2018 - will compete in Reina Hispanoamericana 2018 pageant to be held in Bolivia sometime in November.


    Hannah Arends - Miss Aruba Internacional del Cafe 2018 - will compete in Reinado Internacional del Café 2019 which will take place in Manizales, Colombia in January 2019.


    Thank you to Karl Genser for providing this information.
    Photo credit: Miss Aruba Organization / Facebook


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    FILE- In this Oct. 17, 2017, file photo, Gretchen Carlson participates in the BUILD Speaker Series to discuss
    her book "Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Back Your Power" at AOL Studios in New York. Carlson,
    former Fox News Channel anchor and 1989 Miss America, has been named chairwoman of the
    Miss America Organization's board of directors, the organization announced Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.
     (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

    The Miss America Organization announced Friday another change to the board of trustees, as two former state titleholders resign.
    Less than six months after establishing a board of directors comprised of former Miss Americas, state titleholders and state executive directors, the Miss America Organization made changes to the annually televised scholarship competition, eliminating the swimsuit competition, with the hopes of re-branding Miss America. As "Miss America 2.0" has been launched, three new board members have been elected. 
    Dr. Shelley Robertson, author Mary Jane Clark and Dr. Debbye Turner Bell were announced as the newly elected members of the Miss America Organization's board or trustees. Robertson and Clark are the first two directors brought on since the beginning of the year from outside of the organization. Turner Bell, former Miss America 1990, joins the board, led by the woman who crowned her Miss America, MAO chairwoman Gretchen Carlson. 
    The new board members have had extensive careers in journalism, corporate business and non-profit governance. 
    "I am thrilled that Shelley, Mary Jane and Debbye are joining us to execute on the mission of Miss America, preparing great women for the world and preparing the world for great women," Carlson said in a news release.
    Jennifer Vaden Barth and Valerie Crooker Clemens resigned from the Board of Trustees last week and were removed from the Miss America website's Board of Directors page. Both were former state titleholders and were elected to the board in February.
    In December 2017, emails between former CEO and chairman Sam Haskell and members of the Miss America board that taunted, body-shamed and used vulgar language to talk about past Miss Americas were released. A collective of former Miss Americas and state titleholders called for their immediate resignations. At the beginning of the year, Carlson was announced to the organization's leadership. Several changes to bylaws were voted on and created and the nine member board of trustees was established. 
    According to Miss America Organization President and CEO Regina Hopper, the board positions held by the two Miss America State Titleholder Association representatives were "interim in nature", after helping to establish new changes to the national competition.
    "The two MASTA board members were brought on to help in the re-envision and re-branding. Once that was done board determined process, those people would step aside," said Hopper. 
    At the beginning of the year, the Miss America Organization consulted several marketing firms, as well as their own "stakeholders" on how to modernize the nearly 100-year-old pageant. The stakeholders include former Miss America, former state titleholders and state competition organizers. The MAO consistently emphasized the importance of having women who directly benefited from the competitions contributing to the changes.
    "The insights provided by the two interim MASTA representatives was vital in making sure this stakeholder group had a voice in the mission and vision for Miss America 2.0. Now that this work is complete, they will be relinquishing those seats. I hope you will join me in thanking Jennifer Vaden Barth and Valerie Crooker Clemens, for their service to this organization" Carlson said in a statement. Barth and Clemens will continue to serve as liaisons to the board to assist with this year's competition.
    The two board positions held by former state executive directors Ashley Bird and Jessie Ward Bennett are also interim positions, but they will retain their positions until changes to the state competitions under the new organization guidelines are finalized. 
    Hopper also said the MAO Board of Trustees is functioning as a member organization and can review the at the end of their fiscal year in March. 
    The Miss America Organization hopes to introduce the new competition guidelines at the Miss America 2019 contestant orientation in July. Miss America 2019 will be held in Atlantic City and broadcast on ABC networks on Sept 9, 2018. 
    Source: Press of Atlantic City, 6/25/2018

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    Angela Ponce, 26, representing Sevilla, has just made Spanish pageant history tonight by being the first transgender woman to be crowned Miss Universe Spain 2018. She will also  be the first transgender woman to compete in Miss Universe 2018 pageant which will be held later this year. Miss Universe began accepting transgender contestants in 2012 when the pageant was still owned by now American president, Donald Trump.

    Ponce beat 20 other contestants from all over Spain. She was crowned by outgoing queen, Sofia del Prado who made the top 10 in Miss Universe 2018 won by South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. 









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    BANGKOK — This year’s Miss Universe Thailand went to a finance student who studied in Las Vegas – and not everyone is pleased about it.

    Sophida “Ning” Kanchanarin, was crowned Miss Universe Thailand on Saturday night, but many fans cried foul on alleged favoritism for her wealth as she bested Thai-Indian Paveena Singh, who had been an online favourite to win in the weeks prior to the contest.

    “Next year, just pick rich people with good education to win. You don’t need to go to the effort of holding a pageant anymore. It’s bothering the eyes of millions of audience members. Even the Miss Elephant pageant is more fun,” commented Facebook user Thanakan Phetchaananya.

    Sophida graduated with a finance degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and was a manager at TMB Bank. Her profile includes winning a President’s Education Awards Program medal from President Barack Obama in 2013, awarded to about 3 million students. Her father, Tavatchai Kanchanarin, was a doctor at Phramongkutklao Hospital.

    Her victory won her 1 million baht in cash and the right to represent the country at the Miss Universe 2018 pageant.

    After her win, Sophida fans commended her for her perceived academic achievements and intelligence. A comment by Adisak Toffy Charoenrod showed her reading an issue of Time magazine on a plane and writing notes at a pageant meeting while other contestants used their phones.

    One of the most stalwart defenders of Sophida’s crown is Chalita “Namtarn”Suansane, Miss Universe Thailand 2016.

    “Beauty isn’t just on the outside. The judges’ decision is final. They must have seen something in her. You’re in the real world too, don’t just judge people on their outward appearance. Give her a chance to prove herself,” Chalita wrote Sunday in response to a disparaging comment posted to her Instagram about Sophita.

    Asked about the pros and cons of the acceptance of plastic surgery, Sophida said “the benefits of plastic surgery is giving you confidence because our outer appearance is more beautiful,” adding that it could however prove dangerous if not researched properly and that “everyone can be beautiful in their own way, too.”

    The first runner-up went to Thitaree Kasorn, who won 500,000 baht. Three contestants placed second-runner up: Valentina Giardullo, Palita Puttharassu and Paveena.

    Paveena was a fan favorite. In a June 26 post on the official Miss Universe Thailand Facebook page, a photo of Paveena in a bikini gained 21,000 likes – far outshining Sophida’s 2,700, Hitaree’s and Valentina’s 4,000 and Palita’s 2,600.

    Paveena graduated in Russian Studies from the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Thammasat University.

    Facebook uses Phatchanida Mint said she cheered for Paveena because “Veena tries harder than anyone. Her family isn’t ready to completely support her,” adding that she lost weight from 80 kilograms, saved money, practiced walking on the catwalk.

    “Not everyone has the means to be compared against someone who finished school overseas with their parents supporting them,” Phatchanida wrote.

    Source: http://www.khaosodenglish.com 7/2/2018

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    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Former Miss America winners and state pageant officials are split over the leadership and direction of the organization, which was rocked by a 2017 email scandal that led to the resignations of its top leaders.
    Representatives from 22 state pageants have signed a petition calling for the resignations of the new Miss America board, including Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson and President and CEO Regina Hopper, The Press of Atlantic City reported Saturday.
    But in a letter to the newspaper, 30 former Miss Americas said they "fully support" Carlson, Miss America 1989, and the board members "who are and have been working tirelessly to move our program forward."
    The Miss America organization is regrouping after a December scandal in which emails surfaced showing that CEO Sam Haskell and others mocked winners' intelligence, looks and sex lives. Haskell resigned Dec. 23, followed by board members.
    The shake-up at the organization has resulted in the top three positions being held by women, and the new leaders have begun making changes. The swimsuit competition has been dropped and in the evening-wear portion contestants will be allowed to wear something other than a gown if they want. The talent portion of the contest will remain.
    The petition from the state pageant officials expressed a vote of "no confidence" in the Miss America Organization's board of trustees. It cited a lack of transparency and adherence to best practices, The Press said.
    "As dedicated members of our state and local communities who lend our reputations, financial support and voluntary efforts to facilitate (the Miss America organization's) long and powerful mission of empowering women to stand up and speak out, we find ourselves needing to use our own voices of leadership to express our profound disappointment regarding what, in our view, is the failed leadership of the entire MAO Board of Trustees," the petition said.
    The former Miss Americas said in their letter Saturday that "We hope the voices of our majority can and will be heard."
    Hopper told The Press on Friday that "there are always those who disagree with or find it hard to accept change." She said the organization welcomes "those who want to move forward and be a part of a revitalized program dedicated to providing scholarships and opportunities to all young women."
    Suzette Charles, Miss America 1984, said "things have begun to unravel" in the organization.
    "There's been a lot of dismay with (Carlson's) leadership," she said. "We thought she would regard this program with reverence and keep this tradition alive."
    The nationally televised Miss America broadcast is set for Sept. 9 on ABC

    Source: USA Today, 7/8/2018

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    Participants in the 2018 Miss America competition on September 10, 2017, in Atlantic City.
                Participants in the 2018 Miss America competition on September 10, 2017, in Atlantic City.

    (CNN) Just a month after a momentous change, and a year after a scandal shook the Miss America Organization to its core, there's more trouble in its ranks.
    This week, a group of 22 state pageants signed a petition calling for the resignation of the organization's entire board of trustees. This includes chairwoman Gretchen Carlson, who was just appointed to the position in January.
    According to the petition, obtained by The Press of Atlantic City, representatives from the 22 state pageants aren't convinced by the organization's new direction, and want more accountability at the top.
    "The recent ouster of two duly elected Trustees, followed by the resignations of two elected Miss Americas from the nine-member Board, have underscored our grave concerns regarding the direction in which MAO is headed, its financial viability, and the expected exercise of all duties attendant to each Trustee as required by law," the petition reads.
    "We were promised transparency, competence, and adherence to best practices and good governance. The current Trustees and identified staff member have both individually and collectively failed to deliver on those promises and commitments. In our opinion their leadership has demonstrated that 'Miss America 2.0' is simply a new title for the same old tactics of obfuscation and fear-based governance."
    The petition also calls for the resignation of the organization's president and CEO, Regina Hopper. Both Carlson and Hopper are former Miss America champions.
    Gretchen Carlson, the current Chairwoman of the Miss America Organization Board of Trustees.           Gretchen Carlson, the current Chairwoman of the Miss America Organization Board of Trustees.
    In a counter to this petition, another group of Miss America veterans has stepped up to defend the pageant's current leadership. "[We] fully support Gretchen Carlson, Debbye Turner, Heather French Henry and our unified board who are and have been working tirelessly to move our program forward," reads a letter provided to The Press of Atlantic City, signed by 30 former Miss America winners. "We hope that the voices of our majority can and will be heard."
    The Miss America pageant has been a cultural mainstay for almost 100 years, but lately it's gone through some serious, history-making changes.
    In 2017, the organization's CEO Sam Newell was pressured into resigning after a report revealed e-mails he allegedly sent that disparaged former pageant contestants and contained sexual slurs and lewd references to their personal lives. In the following months, the organization effectively cleaned house and named its first all-female leadership team, which included former broadcaster and #MeToo ally Gretchen Carlson.
    Then, in early June, the Miss America Organization announced it was scrapping the iconic swimsuit portion of the competition in an effort to refocus the pageant's overall message.
    "We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That's huge," Carlson said at the time. But later that month, "Miss America 2.0" took a hit when some reshuffling of board members caused internal controversy.
    That, in turn, led to the current rift among some of the organization's most important faces.
    Hopper told The Press of Atlantic City that the current upheaval is just a part of the growing pains that occur whenever an organization tries to evolve.
    "On behalf of the Miss America Organization, in any transition, there are are always those who disagree with or find it hard to accept change. We welcome those who want to move forward and be a part of a revitalized program dedicated to providing scholarships and opportunities to all young women," she said.
    Source: CNN, 7/9/2018

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    Dee-Ann Rogers from Anguilla has been crowned Miss Universe Great Britain 2018 at the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre, Newport on Saturday night of 14th July 2018.

    About 40 beauties from Wales, Scotland, and England took part in this mega national beauty contest.

    Dee-Ann will represent Great Britain at the world’s most prestigious beauty pageant, Miss Universe 2018.


    Dee-Ann’s full name is Dee-Ann Kentish Rogers. She is from Anguilla. Dee-Ann has a degree in Law from the University of Birmingham. She is an Athlete and she competed twice in Commonwealth Games.

    She also is the reigning queen of the Miss Anguilla beauty pageant.

    Before her participation at the Miss Universe Great Britain, Dee-Ann had said

    “As many would know, I won the Miss Anguilla Pageant in 2017. Shortly thereafter, I set my sights on the Miss Universe Great Britain stage. That, for me, was an opportunity to advance the Miss Anguilla Pageant as well as to advance Anguilla on an international stage.


    Source: Toomuchloaded.com, 7/15/2018


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    After weeks of competition, CAO XUÂN TÁI of VIETNAM was crowned MAN OF THE WORLD 2018 held at the Fil-Oil Flying V Arena in San Juan City, Philippines.  He bested 26 others after going through rounds of preliminary and final rounds of competition last July 14, 2018.

    Full list of winners:

    Man of the World 2018 – Vietnam, Cao Xuân Tái
    First Runner-up – Philippines, Clint Karkliñs
    Second Runner-up – Malta, Bjorn Camilleri
    Third Runner-up – Czech Republic, Ondrej Valenta
    Fourth Runner-up – Thailand, Natapol AOn

    Top 10:
    Indonesia
    Malta
    Czech Republic
    Myanmar
    Thailand
    Vietnam
    Philippines
    China
    Korea
    Peru

    Top 17:
    Iran (Best in Talent)
    Philippines (World’s Choice Award)
    Korea
    Malta
    Guam
    Mongolia
    Czech Republic
    China
    India
    Nigeria
    Thailand
    Peru
    Myanmar
    Puerto Rico
    Indonesia
    Vietnam
    Italy

    Special Awards:
    Best in National Costume – Philippines
    Man of the World Congeniality – Philippines
    Man of the World Personality – Singapore
    Man of the World Photogenic – Ethiopia
    Best in Swimwear – Mongolia
    Best in Resorts Wear – Czech Republic
    Man of the World Talent – Iran
    World’s Choice – Philippines
    Best in Casual Wear – Vietnam
    Best in Formal Wear – Thailand
    Fashion of the World – India
    Man of the World Best in Advocacy – Myanmar
    Mister Highland Bali Villas Resort and Spa – Philippines



    “We are happy and we look forward to working with the new winner this year,” mentions PEPPS President Carlo Morris Galang.  “We also thank our Man of the World 2017 Mustafa Elizali for a very memorable year.  We wish him the best in the future.”

    New Crown

    Man of the World 2018 will be the first to wear the new custom crown designed by PEPPS officer JP Anonuevo.  The crown, made of brass and plated in gold, features the symbol for the advocacy of Man of the World through 5 torches that mean passion and knowledge.  The crown is further adorned by jade, tanzanites, and clear quartz.

    Twenty seven candidates from all over the world competed in the second edition of the pageant.


    Information by Peter Pe for Critical Beauty

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  • 07/22/18--17:04: USA Wins Mister Global 2018


  • Dario Duque (center). representing the United States of America, won the Mister Global 2018 competition in Bangkok on July 22nd. The pageant was originally to take place on July 21st but was postponed due to "unforeseen circumstances," according to the Mister Global Organization. However, a rumor was milling around on social media claiming that two contestants had failed to return to the host hotel the night before. 

    Dario Duque

    Duque's court includes 1st runner-up Ahmed Lasheen of Egypt, 2nd runner-up Jakub Kucner of Poland, 3rd runner-up Dwayne Geldenhuis of South Africa and 4th runner-up, Staporn Moollisan of Thailand. Completing the top 16 were the contestants from Venezuela, Brazil, Albania, Dominican Republic, Germany, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Korea, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.



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    Steve Harvey interviews Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters at Miss Universe 2017 pageant
    Paul Buck/Shutterstock


    Miss Universe is heading to Bangkok, Thailand, for the 2018 competition with Steve Harvey returning as host. The 2018 Miss Universe competition will air in the U.S. on Sunday, December 16 (7-10 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on Fox.

    This will be Harvey’s fourth time hosting the pageant, following his infamous snafu in the 2015 pageant, in which he misread the card and announced Miss Colombia as the winner instead of actual winner Miss Philippines. He returned as host in 2016, telling the Miss Universe Organization that he wanted to personally apologize to the Filipinos for the incident. He also hosted the 2017 Miss Universe pageant, which crowned Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa as the winner.

    Harvey also is host of syndicated daytime talk show Steve, Little Big Shots on NBC and Celebrity Family Feud on ABC.
    Over the pageant’s 67-year history, Bangkok has hosted Miss Universe in 1992 and 2005, with representatives of Thailand capturing the crown twice in 1965 and 1988.
    Source: 

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    Former Miss Universes, from left, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters (2017), Apasra Hongsakula (1965) and Natalie Glebova (2005) attended Tuesday’s announcement that the pageant will return to Thailand this year.


    Thailand is getting used to being in the world spotlight. After last month’s dramatic cave rescue in Chiang Rai, it’s preparing to host the 2018 Miss Universe pageant. And the competition to be held in Bangkok in December will feature the first transgender contestant in the pageant’s nearly seven-decade history – Angela Ponce of Spain.The Miss Universe Organisation amended its rules in 2012 to allow transgender people to compete. It’s left to each nation to adopt the progressive rule or not, but Spain this year became the first country to crown a transgender contestant as Miss Universe Spain.

    .Miss Universe’s first transgender contestant, Angela Ponce from Spain, will vie in Bangkok with 90 other women for the grand title. Photo/AFP

    Despite Thailand’s reputation as an LGBT-friendly country, the Miss Thailand Universe Organisation has not adopted the new rule. The reasons aren’t clear, but it’s possible that the organisers didn’t wish to detract from the popular Miss Tiffany’s Universe and Miss International Queen contests in which Thai transgender women have participated for years. Thailand was chosen as host for the 67th edition of the Miss Universe pageant over the Philippines, Japan and China. We’re good at it – this will be the third time the pageant has been held here. In return, tourism in Thailand and its capital are expected to get a multimillion-baht boost, and segments of the television industry will benefit too. Paula Mary Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organisation, held a press conference at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre on Tuesday, thanking the government for agreeing to host. She announced the venue as Impact Arena and set the date for December 17. “The Miss Universe contest has come here every 13 years,” she pointed out. “Thailand hosted the contest in 1992 and 2005, so 13 is a lucky number!” The United States, where the organisation is based, has hosted the pageant more than any other country, including last year in Las Vegas. The Philippines had the honour the year before. 

    Sharing the news, from left, were Miss Universe Organisation president Paula Mary Shugart, Tourism and 
    Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat and Tanawat Wansom of TW Investment Group.

    Tourism and Sport Minister Weerasak Kowsurat assured the press that everyone involved in its return to Thailand would be safe and able to fully enjoy its hospitality and rich culture. “We chose Thailand because we have a lot of fans here,” Shugart added. “The contestants from 2005 are still talking about it.” The woman who won that edition, [Canadian] Natalie Glebova, ended up moving here,” she laughed. “That tells you a lot about Thailand and its people.” Shugart introduced Tanawat Wansom of TW Investment Group, which has sole proprietorship over the 67th competition. “We’ve spent more than Bt1 billion to bring about this spectacular contest,” he told The Nation Weekend, adding that the final round will be starting very early at Impact on December 17 – at 7am – so it can be broadcast live to the US on the Fox Channel for primetime there. The feed will also be going out to 170 other countries, he said. Steve Harvey, an American comedian, will reprise his perennial role as emcee. Tanawat has commissioned Somchai “Tee Matching” Suthanont of Tee Entertainment Co, who was also responsible for the dramatic 2005 pageant held at the Sofitel Centara Grand.  

    The contestants will be arriving in early November to be steeped in Thai culture while touring the country. They’ll learn to weave silk, carve baskets, string floral garlands and cook local dishes. “We hope to make this a really memorable show, featuring charming elements of Thai culture along with a high-tech presentation,” Tanawat said. And Miss Universe’s first opportunity to address the gender issue is sure to give the event a fresh dimension. “This year, we will meet Miss Universe’s first transgender contestant, Angela Ponce from Spain,” Tanawat noted. “I think this will open a new chapter for the pageant in Thailand.” Weerasak pointed out that during the month leading up to the pageant, more than 6,000 people involved with it – including a media army – would be roaming around Thailand. “It’s a great opportunity to promote Thai culture and boost the economy of our secondary cities,” he said. “We’ll be supporting cultural and tourism facilities for this special event.” Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha remarked that the pageant would send out a “positive image” of the Kingdom.  Shugart said the contestants would all become “ambassadors for Thailand”.

    Former Miss Universes, from left, DemiLeigh NelPeters (2017), Apasra Hongsakula (1965) and Natalie Glebova (2005) attended Tuesday’s announcement that the pageant will return to Thailand this year.

    Thailand has two Miss Universes of its own – Apasra Hongsakula, who won in 1965, and Porntip Nakhirunkanok (Bui Simon), crowned in 1988. This year Sophida Kanchanarin will vie for the country’s third title. Shugart said the event was about women “coming together and doing their best to support each other”, but while in Thailand the contestants would also be visiting the disabled, the elderly and underprivileged children.  “It’s not about the television show – it’s about the experiences,” she said. “All of the young women that come here, whether they win or not, their lives afterward will not be the same. They will remember this for the rest of their lives and so will their families, friends and the thousands of other people that come.” Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa confirmed that. She said at the press conference that she’d learned a great deal about the world in her travels. “Miss Universe has completely changed my life,” Nel-Peters told The Nation Weekend. “I’m more dedicated to my country. I’ve grown so much personally and emotionally. I have so much more confidence in the future as a woman. And Miss Universe gave me a global platform to speak about the things I’m passionate about, things I care about, a chance to make a meaningful difference in changing the world.”  

    Nel-Peters is another big fan of Thailand, having celebrated her 21st birthday on Krabi two years ago, downing as much green curry and sticky rice with mango as she could. “Thailand has so much beautiful nature and culture and the women are so beautiful too,” she said. “I’ve never seen so many people so happy and calm as Thai women. No matter how busy or stressed they are, they remain very patient.”

    Source: The Nation (Thailand Portal), 8/4/2018

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    Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America board of trustees, called those opposing her leadership and the recent decision to drop the swimsuit competition 'a noisy minority.' Now, 11 former Miss Americas have banded together to call for her immediate resignation. (Ben Gabbe | Getty Images)

    The drama surrounding the upcoming Miss America pageant shows no signs of coming to a resolution. 
    With just four weeks left before the 2019 pageant gets underway in Atlantic City, a group of former titleholders have issued a letter calling for the immediate resignation of Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America board of trustees, along with pageant CEO Regina Hopper. 
    "We insist that our current Chairwoman and CEO resign now, not after September 9 (the date of the pageant)," the letter says, adding that the message is "not meant to be a personal attack on any one individual." 
    Unrest has consumed the pageant community in the wake of the decision to eliminate the swimsuit competition, but critics say problems with the pageant's current leaders surpass bikinis. 
    In June, Carlson, Miss America 1989, announced that Miss America would no longer be judging contestants -- she now calls them "candidates" -- on physical appearance. Those competing for the crown would not be required to wear bathing suits and heels.
    Miss America 2016, Betty Cantrell Maxwell, shared the letter on Instagram Thursday. The message was addressed to "faithful stakeholders," the Miss America State Titleholders Association, volunteers and Miss America 2018, Cara Mund. 
    The letter, signed by 11 former Miss Americas, agrees with Carlson's wish, as expressed in a recent interview with the Associated Press, that the Miss America community "come together and have a healing process," but says contestants and volunteers find it hard to trust Hopper and Carlson. 
    The message addresses "the loss of your elected board members" and the resignation of staff from the Atlantic City-based Miss America Organization this summer.
    "We continue to read newspaper articles that are not representing the organization in the best light," the letter says. "None of the other MAO leaders have lost so many board members and staff in such a short time."
    The former Miss Americas say that following an email scandal that resulted in the exit of the former CEO and chairman of the board in December, they were given the opportunity to install "our very own sisters." Former titleholders assumed temporary co-chair roles on the board. From there, Carlson was supposed to head up a national search to find a new CEO. 
    "We did not get that," the letter says, referring to the appointment of Hopper as CEO.
    "Instead, she (Carlson) selected the sole candidate for board consideration and together they have taken the organization in a direction that we do not condone."
    Hopper played a role in the eventual ouster of Sam Haskell, the former CEO, because she helped to bring his leaked emails to the attention of Dick Clark Productions, the pageant's former partner, which eventually dropped the organization after it took no action against leadership. 
    The letter also asks that the Miss America Organization issue an apology to state and local titleholders, volunteers and sponsors "if anything was done purposefully or unintentionally to divide our program." 
    The group that signed the letter includes two Miss Americas from New Jersey -- Suzette Charles, who served several weeks as Miss America 1984 after Vanessa Williams resigned over a nude photo scandal, and Kate Shindle, Miss America 1998, who resigned from the Miss America board this summer. Charles, a former Miss New Jersey, hails from Mays Landing and Shindle (who won as Miss Illinois) grew up in Brigantine and Moorestown. 
    The other signees are Marjorie Vincent-Tripp, Miss America 1991, who recently resigned from her post as chairwoman of the Miss America Foundation's board of trustees (that's the scholarship arm of the pageant); Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, Miss America 2012, who recently resigned from the board of the Miss America Organization; Carolyn SappDaniels, Miss America 1992; Heather Whitestone McCallum, Miss America 1995; Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999; Angela Baraquio Grey, Miss America 2001; Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004; and Caressa Cameron-Jackson, Miss America 2010.
    This letter follows a petition signed by 22 state pageant directors -- including Sally Johnston, executive director of the New Jersey pageant -- that called for Carlson and Hopper's resignation, along with the resignation of the entire Miss America board.
    Those criticizing Carlson and Hopper's leadership say the rift has much to do with the way the swimsuit decision was made.
    "'Miss America 2.0' is simply a title for the same old tactics of obfuscation and fear-based governance," the petition read, referring to efforts to rebrand the pageant. Changes have also been made to the evening gown part of competition (instead of just walking down the runway in gowns, contestants are invited to wear other types of outfits and will talk about their social impact initiatives, or platforms).
    Critics say that volunteers, former titleholders and the Miss America board, which voted on the issue, had been told that ABC would not air the pageant unless swimsuits were no longer part of the picture. But Carlson and Hopper say they never made the claim.
    "It is patently false to allege that Miss America claimed that the elimination of the swimsuit competition was a prerequisite to airing the telecast on ABC," the Miss America Organization said in a statement. "In fact, the Miss America Organization had confirmation from ABC in January, months before the swimsuit issue was voted upon, that it would air the Miss America Competition on September 9, 2018."
    This is the pageant's last year of a three-year contract with the network. It's also the last year of a three-year contract with the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, through which the pageant secured $4.3 million for the coming pageant, which begins with preliminary competition on Sept. 5. 
    "There were, however, extensive production company and creative partner negotiations in which the elimination of swimsuit was noted as a prerequisite to partner with MAO," the statement continued. 
    Jennifer Vaden Barth, a former Miss North Carolina and one of the former board members, told the Associated Press that Hopper and Carlson said "sponsors and networks will not come" if the swimsuit portion was still in effect. 
    "We do not accept the inaccurate words about the sponsors and swimsuit competition," reads the letter from the 11 Miss Americas. 
    But this isn't the only group of former Miss Americas to speak out. Directly after the state director petition circulated in July, 30 former Miss Americas signed a letter of support for Carlson, Hopper and the leadership.
    Hopper and Carlson have characterized the opposition as Miss America devotees who are resistant to necessary change and reluctant to see swimsuit struts relegated to the past. In her recent interview with the Associated Press, Carlson, a former Fox News host, labeled those who have called for her resignation "a noisy minority."
    Cantrell Maxwell has since used the hashtag #noisyminority as a point of pride. 
    "Just because you have a voice doesn't mean your particular opinion gets accepted," Hopper said in the same story, referring to the dissenting state directors. "States are licensees. If I'm a McDonald's licensee and the corporate office decides, 'We're going to serve chocolate French fries' and I'm sitting here saying, 'I don't want to serve chocolate French fries,' well, you're going to serve chocolate French fries."  
    The letter from the 11 former Miss Americas said the "hope is to unite in collaboration and lift the ideals of Miss America up higher than it has ever been before." 
    Carlson became chairwoman of the Miss America board in January after the email scandal that caused the ouster of Haskell, the former CEO. When Haskell and other executives were pushed out after his emails were leaked, showing misogynistic and body-shaming language in his correspondence with pageant staff, Carlson headed up an effort to stock the board with former titleholders. Regina Hopper, Miss Arkansas 1983, came on board as CEO of the Miss America Organization in May, and Vincent-Tripp was named chairwoman of the Miss America Foundation's board of trustees.
    For the first time in pageant history, all of the pageant's major executives were women
    But the new leadership structure began to crack not long after the announcement of the swimsuit decision. Two board members -- Vaden Barth and Valerie Crooker Clemens, a former Miss Maine -- said they were pushed out, while Carlson said they departed because their contracts were temporary. Then, two other board members -- Shindle and Fleiss -- also resigned.
    In July, Vincent-Tripp became the latest executive to resign. 
    Carlson sued former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes for sexual harassment in 2016. The following year, Carlson, the author of "Be Fierce," a book about sexual harassment and inequality in the workplace, became a prominent voice in the emerging #MeToomovement. But critics have accused Carlson of using the momentum of #MeToo and leveraging her status to push the swimsuit change.
    Carlson has denied this, saying that dropping the swimsuits will help update the pageant and make it more inclusive. One goal, she said, was to make the competition more attractive to potential participants. Past feedback had indicated that for some, the swimsuit portion was a major barrier to entry, she said. 
    But current and former contestants, including Dunlap and Cantrell Maxwell, have spoken out in support of the swimsuit competition. If Carlson and Hopper took a poll of state pageant directors, contestants, volunteers and former titleholders about getting rid of the swimsuit portion, "they would have gotten a resounding 'no'" Cantrell Maxwell, 23, told NJ Advance Media in July. 
    "On another point, it's like, we need to at least get thorough September so we can have a competition," she said.
    Source: NJ.com, 8/9/2018