Another dethroned queen charges Miss America of ageism

From Natalie Christina McGovern's Facebook 

     Early last week, Natalie Christina McGovern, Ms. Nebraska United States 2014, contacted Critical Beauty to inform us that the dethronement of Miss Delaware Amanda Longacre - due to the supposed discrepancy in her age - is similar to hers.

     Natalie writes: "In light of the Miss Delaware being dethroned and the Miss America age controversy, I have a personal story I'd like to share. I competed for Miss Alliance in 2012, a preliminary for Miss Nebraska, and an hour later was dethroned due to the age clause. Although I was 24 I would be 25 by Miss America. I had been given permission by my director to compete because I asked her if I was eligible to compete since the contract wording was confusing, and she confirmed I was eligible. Miss Delaware Amanda Longacre is not the first to be dethroned over age in the Miss America system."

     Natalie gave us permission to repost her story which was originally published in her blogIt is quite upsetting that the Miss America Organization had treated Natalie and Amanda unfairly. I think pageant followers need to know that MAO is not a perfect pageant system as generally perceived by many, and that it is in dire need to extend its age requirement; I think it should be extended to 28! Critical Beauty would like to thank Natalie for sharing her story and we wish her luck as she has testified in Amanda Longacre's lawsuit against MAO that was filed last Tuesday, July 15th. - Rafa Delfin

Saturday, June 28, 2014

     Miss America CEO Sam Haskell has stated that this has never happened before, that a titleholder has never lost her crown due to an age clause. I can attest that this is not true. In 2012 I won the title of Miss Alliance and an hour later I was stripped of my hard-earned title because I was too old at the age of 24. I wrote to Sam and the Miss America Board regarding my incident to extend the age, as it was the first one to ever happen regarding the age eligibility clause. Neither Miss Delaware Amanda Longacre nor I were dishonest about our age. We provided the proper documents. We asked our directors if we met the age requirement to compete and we were given permission.

     A girl’s dream of going to Miss America begins at the local level. I lost my local Miss Nebraska crown after I had competed in three different locals. The first local I ever did I was given distinct permission from that director since I made sure and asked if I met the age requirement. She confirmed with me that I met the age requirement and could compete. I was then allowed to go on and compete in two different locals and I won the third, Miss Alliance. I was awarded a crown, sash, and $200 in scholarship money.
What followed after I won was truly heartbreaking and traumatic for me.

     An hour after I was crowned I was told I was too old to hold the title even after I was allowed to compete in the three locals and numerous people had seen my birthdate, birth certificate and driver's license on paperwork. I was made to turn overmy crown and sash to the runner up and was even promised a crown by the local director who originally gave me permission to compete, but that did not happen. I was told not to post my win on Facebook, and they said it was as if I had never competed and won the title of Miss Alliance, a public event where there were witnesses and the media was present.
 Photo property right of Natalie McGovern
     It was all handled very wrong and it was traumatic for me, as I am still gaining closure. What followed was a period of ostracism in the Miss Nebraska community. People had thought I had a scandal. I had to work to gain back the friendships of mypageant sisters, as many were quick to judge me, including the staff of the Miss Nebraska board. I had to fight to clear my name because I did nothing wrong. I did not lie about my age. I had verified permission to compete.

     After I was dethroned I wrote a letter to the Miss America Organization asking to extend the age due to this incident but I didn't get anywhere. They told me they didn't have plans to change the age requirement back to 26 although they have made changes elsewhere, for example, bringing the pageant back to Atlantic city. Due to some ambiguous wording of the contract, and the reason my director gave me permission in the first place, the wording was changed to be more clear of the age cut off, so my incident supposedly helped to amend the contract. Years later, as with the case of Amanda Longacre, we can see this issue has still been unresolved.

     The Miss Nebraska board involved an attorney whereas I did not have anything to do with litigation; I wanted to take the high road. I was given a letter of apology at my own request, and reimbursed for the $100 I paid out of my own pocket, which was the Miss Alliance registration fee to compete. I was never reimbursed the $200 scholarship money I won, nor was I acknowledged by Miss Nebraska or Miss America as being the winner of Miss Alliance. They too tried to erase me from the system as if I had never competed. This kind of treatment Amanda Longacre has experienced is not unheard of.

     I am the reigning Ms. Nebraska United States 2014 competing for Ms. United States, and I still seek closure over the title I lost. I want to be recognized in the Miss America system as having won this local title, and to not be discriminated against my age when I had full permission. It was not my fault.

Photo property right of Natalie McGovern

     For two years I did not speak of this incident and I tried to gain closure by putting on another crown in several different pageant systems. But when the magnitude of this incident is this big, at this level, and devastates you to your core, you have to say something about this issue to make it right. For yourself and for others involved. I feel since I have been directly affected by this, stripped of my title for no other reason than my age, I have every right to state my thoughts on this issue.
     What is wholly disheartening is the ageism I experienced. Being discriminated against my age is not just cause to be treated like you did something morally wrong. It is not just cause to be judged mercilessly by your peers or pageant officials, especially when they know the truth of what happened.
     I did read the contract, and many that read it may agree that the wording has been completely ambiguous for years. That is why I had confirmed it with my director to begin with because the actual things stated regarding the age requirement were confusing.
     Another thing I might mention that added more confusion was when Miss Alabama 2011
Courtney Porter's age flashed across the screen at Miss America 2012 reading "25." If they would not let someone compete at Miss America age 25 then why did they let her even reign knowing full well she would exceed the age limit?

     I pray for Amanda that she might receive justice and not be discriminated by her age, something that was very painful for me to experience. That she will get the chance to compete for Miss America, something I will never get to do.

Photo property right of Natalie McGovern

Miss USA 2014 Interviews

Miss Ireland 2014

Miss Buck Whaleys Jessica Hayes was crowned Miss Ireland 2014 last night at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin.

The 20-year-old Cork student told the Sunday World it was a night she would never forget.
Speaking to the newspaper, she said: “I am just so shocked. I am just so, so happy. I entered last year and thought I would not be as nervous this time but I was ten times worse.

“I hoped for the best and to get in the top eight was absolutely fantastic but when they announced I had won I just could not believe it.

“I am supposed to go back to college to continue my business studies but I think that’s on hold now.”
Jessica beat off competition from 35 other contestants, and was chosen by a nine-strong panel of judges, including former Miss Ireland winners Olivia Tracey and Sarah Morrissey, TV3 Xposé presenter Aisling O’Loughlin, Miss World representative Krishna Naidoo and Dublin Housewives star Roz Flanagan.

 Source: Sunday World, 7/20/2014

Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 2014

South Africa-based Miss Akwa Ibom, Iheoma Nnadi, on Friday night, in Yenagoa got crowned as the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria for the year 2014.
Ms. Nnadi came out tops amongst the 30 girls who represented 30 Nigerian states at the event, which held at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Ms. Nnadi, who also won the N3 million prize money, and a saloon car, will represent Nigeria at the Miss World beauty pageant holding in the UK later in the year.
Miss Edo, Queen Celestine (22) was First Runner-Up and Miss Kwara, Chinyere Adogu (21) was the Second Runner-Up.
The First Runner-Up also won the ‘Miss Amity’ prize and will represent Nigeria at the ‘Miss Universe’ beauty pageant.
The Second Runner-Up, who also won the ‘Miss Charismatic’ prize, will also represent Nigeria at the ‘Miss Tourism’ beauty pageant later this year.
The event that was organised by the Silverbird Group was themed “The Art of Beauty”.

Source: Premium Times Nigeria, 7/20/2014


Miss Earth United States 2014

Andre Neu was crowned Miss Earth United States 2014 at Radisson Hotel in Ontario, California. She will now compete in Miss Earth 2014 to be held in November (the venue has still to be announced). Neu was Miss U.S. International 2013 and she represented the U.S. in 2013 Miss International where she placed in the top 15. She has now the distinction of being the first American to hold two major national titles (Miss U.S. International and now Miss Earth United States).

The top five from left to right: Miss Air Eli Reyes,  Miss Fire CeCe Camps, Miss Earth U.S. Amanda Neu, Miss Eco-Tourism Lees Daryanne and Miss Water Candie Herrera. At the same event, Sara Platt was crowned Miss Grand U.S. and will compete in Miss Grand International 2014, while Channelle Chacon was crowned Miss United Continents U.S. and will compete in Miss United Continents 2014 pageant later this year.

Photo credit: Joey Galon


Miss Jamaica World 2014

Laurie-Ann Chin, 21, was crowned Miss Jamaica World 2014 last night in Montego Bay Convention Centre. The 1st runner runner-up was Shellianne Young and the 2nd runner-up was Kimberly WebbShe will now compete in Miss World 2014 pageant to be held in London on Dec. 14.


Miss United States 2014 is from North Carolina

Elizabeth Safrit of North Carolina was crowned Miss United States 2014 at Crystal City Marriott in Arlington, Virginia last Sunday night. At the pageant, it was announced that the winner of Miss United States 2914 will represent the United States in Miss World 2014 to be held in London on December 14. Attending the pageant was the current Miss World, Megan Young.

Photos from Facebook.

Kidnap Threat Against Miss Israel Investigated, Following Abduction and Murder of Teens

Miss Israel 2014, Mor Maman. Photos: Facebook.

A kidnapping threat against Miss Israel, Mor Maman posted on her Facebook page, apparently from an Arabic-speaker, is being investigated by Israeli authorities.
The scare came after she posted a photo of herself after her first week in the army.
Her photo was shared by an Arab youth on Facebook, who tagged her and included the threat in an Arabic caption, “the next kidnapping target.”
She initially ignored the share until she arrived home for the weekend and told her family what had happened.
“…they said ‘it’s serious,’ and that I’d have to report the incident immediately,” she said. “I immediately understood that I could be abducted, and didn’t want to take any chances.”
The IDF is taking the threat seriously, has opened an investigation and is trying to track down the poster, according to Channel Two News. Police warned her to be very alert for any unusual activities.
“I, like all the women (in the IDF), am supplied with tear gas, and was taught self-defense, since we’re located close to Arab areas,” she said.
Mor Maman FB kidnapping threat (Facebook screenshot)
Mor Maman FB kidnapping threat (Facebook screenshot)
“Our officers warned us not to hitch hike, and, after the kidnapping of the teens, I understand not to dismiss the danger,” she said, adding that, “truthfully, I’m pretty fearful from all of these threats.
“The post isn’t funny, and I hope they catch the guy,” she said.
Her photo shows her wearing a t-shirt and IDF pants, and holding a rifle, standing next to a typical barracks bed.
She is currently undergoing a one-month basic training course at a base in the north of the country.
The 18-year-old Beersheba native said she knew, despite her winning the national beauty contest, that she’d enlist, as per Israeli law.
“I wanted to fulfill my obligations in order to set an example for youth, that they shouldn’t try to get out of service,” she wrote.
Miss Israel 2014, Mor Maman. Photo: Facebook.

Source: Algemeiner.com, 7/1/2014


Miss Austria 2014

Julia Furdea , Miss Wahl was crowned Miss Austria 2014 in Baden/Linz last night. She will compete in both Miss Universe 2014 and Miss World 2014, whichever pageant comes first. The first runner-up is Miss Kärnten, Nadine Stroitz and the second runner-up is Miss Vienna, Katharina Nahlik

The current Miss Universe Gabriela Isler served in the judging panel. Austria's participation in Miss Universe has not been consistent; it was absent for 18 years between 1990 and 2012. The last time Austria placed was in 1977 when  Eva Maria Düringer placed second to Janelle Commissiong of Trinidad & Tobago.

Miss Ghana 2013 Giuseppina Nana Akua Baafi stripped off her title

PHOTO CREDIT: Graphic Showbiz

Exclusive Events Ghana, organizers of the Miss Ghana event, the longest running beauty pageant in Ghana, has with immediate effect relieved the reigning queen, Miss Giuseppina Nana Akua Baafi of her role as Miss Ghana 2013 Ambassador.
The decision, Exclusive Events say has been reached after Miss Baafi’s decision to stand down as Miss Ghana 2013.
A letter dated July 3, signed by the Chief Operating Officer of the company, Samuel Bokorvie, and sent to Miss Baafi reads:
“As you are aware, upon your crowning as MISS GHANA at the 2013 Beauty Pageant Contest organised by Exclusive Events Ghana Limited, the Franchise holders of the MISS WORLD GHANA PAGEANT you became the Ambassador of the MISS GHANA brand and as a result you were to be mentored and groomed for the MISS WORLD 2014 event.
“To facilitate this grooming and mentoring process, you were housed at an official residence and given a chaperone.
“In view of this elevated status as the Miss Ghana Brand Ambassador you undertook to behave and conduct yourself in a manner that would not bring the brand into disrepute and public ridicule.
“We regret however, that your conduct has not been consistent with your commitment to these values that you subscribed to, on becoming the Miss Ghana Ambassador at your crowning.”
The letter further implored her “to hand over all properties belonging to Exclusive Events Ghana Limited in your possession within five (5) working days of receipt of this notice. “
It also reads: “Also, you are advised not to hold yourself or represent the MISS GHANA brand at any forum and please be informed that Management of Exclusive Events Ghana limited reserves to itself the rights to institute legal proceedings against you or any person holding herself out as such.”
The decision, Exclusive Events also adds was informed by Miss Baafi’s decision on Thursday May 22, 2014, that she was no longer interested in being the Miss Ghana 2013 Brand ambassador.
“We seemed to have been naive as we rather chose to remain optimistic of your character and role. However, your subsequent acts seem to suggest that you were serious about your decision not to continue with your role as the Miss Ghana brand Ambassador.
“Management has decided to accept your decision to stand down as MISS GHANA 2013.”
The company is to make another announcement in the coming days on who gets to represent Ghana at this year’s Miss World event, which takes place in the UK in December.

Source: VibeGhana.com, 7/4/2014


Miss U.S. International 2014 & Miss U.S. Supranational 2014

Samantha Brooks (right), representing California, was crowned Miss U.S. International 2014 and will compete in Miss International 2014 in Japan in November. Allyn Rose (left), representing the Atlantic Coast, was crowned Miss U.S. Supranational 2014. The coronation took place at the Holiday Inn in Kissimee, Florida on June 27th.  Rose is a pageant veteran; her previous titles include Miss Sinergy 2010, Miss Maryland USA 2011 and Miss District of Columbia 2012 (for Miss America). Brooks competed in Miss California USA 2013 where she placed in the Top Ten.

Allyn Rose

Samantha Brooks