Miss Universe Great Britain 2019

Emma Victoria Jenkins was crowned Miss Universe Great Britain 2019 on July 13, 2019 at the Riverfront in Newport, Wales. She will not compete in the next edition of Miss Universe whose date and venue have yet to be announced. Jenkins was crowned by outgoing title holder Dee-Ann Kentish Rogers.

Tongan Pageant Queen Dethroned After Speaking Out

               Kalo Funganitao hit out at "bullies" during a dramatic speech as part of the Heilala festival.

The reign of Auckland student Kalo Funganitao as Tonga's Miss Heilala has been wiped off the official records after she accused the beauty pageant of bullying.
Her speech last week at the Miss Heilala pageant in Nuku'alofa stirred controversy across the Pacific, with calls for pageants to come to an end, for the deputy prime minister of Tonga to resign and for young women to challenge authority.
The Tonga Tourist Assocation, which operated the Heilala Festival, issued a statement on Friday hitting back at Funganitao.
It said she had failed to perform her duties as Miss Heilala 2018-19 and had therefore forfeited her title. It said the runner up would be retrospectively named as Miss Heilala 2018-19
Before handing over the crown to this year's winner, Funganitao delivered a fiery speech which accused the pageant organisers of not supporting her, highlighted serious claims of cyberbullying and said the experience had been traumatic for herself and her family.
Her speech was not well received on the night. She spoke to a chorus of jeers and some support, before her microphone was cut off and music was played to drown out her speech.
"I have experienced just how hard it can be to be a young Tongan woman. I have dealt with people in official roles and in other places, in the work force that have been unprofessional and rude and just straight out mind-boggling," she said.
A local reporter from Matangi Tonga said they overheard Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Sika telling the DJ to play loud music over Funganitao. That allegation, which Stuff has repeatedly contacted the ministry for comment on, has led many in Tonga to call for Sika to step down.
In an interview with Stuff, Funganitao said the crowd and other contestants had bullied her when she was crowned Miss Heilala last year.
"The night that it happened, I got a lot of boos. As I was going up to revive my sash for those first places there were just more and more boos and then when I was crowned it was overwhelming how angry people were," she recalled.
"The team that I was with and my family had to form a protective barrier around me as I was going down the stage, and going out to the car, because there were actually people who were trying to cut through so that they could, I don't know..."
The Tonga Tourist Association, which was overseen by Sika, has not responded to Funganitao's allegations.
Its only public response has been to strip her of her title.

Source: Stuff.co.nz, July 13, 2-19


Miss Grand Thailand 2019

Coco Arayha Suparurk was crowned Miss Grand Thailand 2019 in Bitec Bangna Hall in Bangkok on July 13. She represented the municipality of Nakhon Phanom. She will now represent Thailand in 2019 Miss Grand International pageant to be held in Venezuela on October 25. 

Suparurk stirred some controversy after she posted on her Instagram a photo of the current Miss Universe Catriona Gray next to that of Miss Grand International 2018 Clara Sosa. In the photo, Clara was described as "fit" and Catriona as "fat". Her post generated much hatred mostly from Filipino pageant fans who were hoping that Suparurk would not win the national title. 


Did Paweensuda Drouin Copy Catriona Gray?

Watch Critical Beauty director Rafa Delfin's latest vlog where he discusses whether or not the new Miss Universe Thailand Paweensuda Drouin copied the style of current Miss Universe Catriona Gray. Click the banner to go to the link.


Miss Netherlands 2019

24-year-old model Sharon Pieksma from Rotterdam kwas crowned Miss Netherlands 2019 on June 30th. She will represent the Netherlands in the next edition of Miss Universe pageant whose date and venue have not yet been announced.

“Thank you Miss Nederland for believing in me, giving me bigger power to bring my vision into this world,” Pieksma posted on her Instagram.
Fabiënne Davelaar was named the runner-up. Leontine Brns won the Miss Social Media special award, while the Miss Congeniality subtitle went to Daphne Albers.


Will Thailand Win Miss Universe 2019?

Watch Critical Beauty director Rafa Delfin's latest vlog regarding the recently held Miss Universe Thailand 2019 pageant. Click the banner to go to the link.


Miss Universe Thailand 2019

Paweensuda Drouin, also known by her Thai nickname Fahsai, has been crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2019 on June 29 at Thunder Dome, Muang Thong Thani in Pak Kret. She will now represent Thailand in the next edition of Miss Universe whose date and venue have not yet been confirmed. Drouin was born and raised in Canada, but moved to Thailand to pursue a modeling and DJ career. She is a pageant veteran, having competed in Miss Universe Thailand 2017 where she placed second runner-up. She also represented Thailand in Miss Earth 2017 where she made the top 8.

Drouin was crowned by outgoing Miss Universe, Catriona Gray. Her court includes first runner-up Miriam Sornprommas and second runner-up Thanatchaphon Boonsang.

Photo credit: Miss Universe Thailand Facebook Page


Miss Universe Australia 2019

The new Miss Universe Australia is Priya Serrao, 26,  who was crowned on June 27 at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins Hotel. Serrao was born in India, raised in the Middle East and moved to Australia when she was 11. Her story resembles that of the new Miss Universe Panama Mehr Eliezer who is also Indian-born and of Indian descent. Serrao represented the state of Victoria. She will now compete in the next edition of Miss Universe whose date and venue have yet to be confirmed.

 Serrao's court includes first runner-up Bella Kasinga, second runner-up Marijana Radmanovic, third runner-up Julia Edwards and fourth runner-up Madeline Cowe who is Miss World Australia 2016. Claire Parker, who was Miss Grand International 2015, was shut out from the top five.

Photos taken from Facebook

Miss England Pageant Adds "Make-Up Free" Round

Miss England 2019 hopefuls better back away from the contouring cream, as the U.K. beauty pageant has launched a “makeup-free” round of the national competition for the first time ever.
On June 25, it was announced that all contestants will now compete in a barefaced round to promote body positivity and natural beauty, The Telegraph reports, a breath of fresh air in today’s social media-crazed society full of unrealistic beauty standards.
The creative idea was dreamt up by pageant organizer Angie Beasley, who hopes that the new element of the competition will encourage participants to “wear less makeup,” according to The Independent.
Contestant Bhasha Mukherjee, pictured, has already embraced the makeup-free round, sharing two barefaced selfies to Instagram.
Contestant Bhasha Mukherjee, pictured, has already embraced the makeup-free round, sharing two barefaced selfies to Instagram. (Mercury Press)

"Recently we have been shocked to see Miss England contestants as young as 19 undergoing lip filler treatments and even Botox, and so many entering with full faces of thick makeup covering their natural beauty,” Beasley told The Telegraph.
"We tell the girls they don't need fillers, fake eyelashes and tattooed brows to enter our contest, but it just shows what a damaging effect edited social media images can have on young women's self-esteem and mental health,” she continued.
Miss England’s inaugural makeup-free round is serious business – as the winner of the “Bare Face Top Model” leg will be fast-tracked to secure a spot in the pageant’s final 20 contestants.
Miss England’s inaugural makeup-free round is serious business – as the winner of the “Bare Face Top Model” leg will be fast-tracked to secure a spot in the pageant’s final 20 contestants. (Mercury Press)

“The difference between what impressionable women see on social media and TV and reality is getting out of hand, which is why we decided to launch this round for the first time in the pageant's history,” Beasley mused.
Though modest in its mission, Miss England’s inaugural makeup-free round is serious business — as the winner of the “Bare Face Top Model” leg will be fast-tracked to secure a spot in the pageant’s final 20 contestants.
Over 20,000 young women have entered the English pageant this year.
Over 20,000 young women have entered the English pageant this year. (Mercury Press)

Over 20,000 young women have entered the English pageant this year, The Telegraph reports, with the final round scheduled for July 31 and Aug. 1 in Newcastle.
Beyond the crown, the champ will win a place in the elite Miss World pageant and a luxury vacation to the island of Mauritius.
Miss England hopeful Bhasha Mukherjee has already embraced the makeup-free stage, sharing two barefaced selfies to Instagram.
“Make up is a means of enhancement but how often do the lines get blurred between enhancement and concealment. So often we just hide behind a film of products and even artificial cosmetic enhancements be it Botox or fillers… so here I am owning my flaws,” Mukherjee wrote online.
In other beauty pageant headlines, in late May, the Miss India competition was slammed for a lack of diversity, after a newspaper released headshots of the 30 finalists who looked unbelievably alike.
And last summer, the Miss America pageant caused a stir for dropping the famous swimsuit and evening gown elements of the competition, explaining that contestants would no longer be judged on their appearance.
Source: Fox News, 6/26/2019


Beauty Pageant Winner Accuses Ex-Gambia President Of Rape


DAKAR, Senegal — A Gambian beauty pageant winner has accused the country’s former dictator Yahya Jammeh of raping her four years ago, the latest allegation of human rights abuses committed by the ex-president now living in exile in Equatorial Guinea.
Fatou “Toufah” Jallow, now 23, made an announcement to journalists Tuesday and said she plans to testify later this year before Gambia’s truth and reconciliation commission, which is investigating abuses committed under the Jammeh regime.
The dictator of 22 years is accused of ordering opponents tortured, jailed and killed. The sexual abuse allegations raised by Jallow and others directly implicate him in personally committing violence against Gambians.
Jallow and other young women interviewed by Human Rights Watch say the president was a sexual predator who coerced young women into sexual relationships by promising scholarships and even putting some on the state payroll.

Jammeh is reportedly living a lavish but reclusive life in exile in Equatorial Guinea, where he is protected from extradition by the dictator in charge of the oil-rich country.
Jallow, who wanted to come forward publicly, said the president began lavishing gifts on her and her family after meeting her when she was crowned queen of the Miss July 22 Pageant as an 18-year-old back in 2014.
Jammeh took a special interest in her, she said, ordering the utility company to install running water at her mother’s home, and having his cousin purchase the family expensive furniture.
While initially he expressed interest in funding her charity project, she said that Jammeh, a married man that she considered a mentor, asked for her hand in marriage. After she declined, he told her that as the pageant winner she had to attend an event at his official residence, State House, ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.
Once there, she said she was locked in a room and drugged by the president himself.
“He told me, ‘No woman has ever rejected me. And who do you think you are?’” she said. “His face changed, his eyes were so red, different from the man before. He said, ‘No woman rejects me. You think you can get away with it?’”
As she tried to leave, Jallow said the president told her: “If you make any move, I will kill you with my own hands.”
The president then drugged her, shoved his genitals in her face and raped her before she blacked out, she said. Several days later she told her family she was going to the market to shop, and then fled to neighboring Senegal.
Jammeh later lost the 2016 election to now President Adama Barrow. After initially refusing to accept his defeat, Jammeh succumbed to international pressure, stepped down from office and fled to Equatorial Guinea. Gambia’s new administration has estimated that Jammeh and his associates fled with up to $1 billion in funds from the state coffers.
The truth and reconciliation commission does not have the powers to prosecute but will make recommendations for the Attorney General Chambers to act on a number of cases that may be taken up with the court. Jammeh for now remains untouchable in exile.
“It’s going to take a lot of heavy political lifting to pry him out of Equatorial Guinea,” said Reed Brody, counsel at Human Rights Watch who led the investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse.
Jallow, who later received asylum in Canada, says she is undergoing therapy and hopes other young women victimized by Jammeh will come forward.
“Nobody discusses rape and yes, I am scared,” she said. “I am scared. But I want the next person after me to be a little less scared than me.”
Source: The Washington Post, 6/26/2019


What? The New Miss Panama Is From India?

Watch Critical Beauty director Rafa Delfin discuss the controversy surrounding the new Miss Panama for Miss Universe 2019. Click the banner to go to the link.

Mexicana Universal 2019 (Miss Universe Mexico 2019)

  Sofia Aragón, 23, representing the state of Jalisco, was crowned Mexicana Universal 2019 on June 23rd. She will now represent Mexico in the next edition of Miss Universe whose date and venue have not been confirmed.

Yuridia Durán, representing Nayarit, was crowned Miss International Mexico 2019 and will travel to Japan on November 12th to compete in Miss International 2019.

 Regina Peredo, representing Puebla, was crowned Mexicana Universal Reina Hispanoamericana and will travel to Bolivia sometime in November to compete in Reina Hispanoamericana 2019 pageant.

The pageant was attended by the outgoing Miss International, Mariam Velasco (center) and by its director, Lupita Jones (farthest right), Mexico's first Miss Universe.

Watch Sofia Aragón's coronation: