Miss Honduras 2014 Maria Jose Alvarado and sister found dead

Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister Sofia Trinidad, 23, had not been seen since 13 November, said beauty pageant organiser Eduardo Zablah.

Both were last spotted leaving a party in the Santa Barbara region and four people have been questioned over the pair's disappearance, including Maria Alvarado's boyfriend. 

Honduran police chief Jose Coello confirmed: "Four people are under arrest. They include the owner of the party venue and Sofia Trinidad's boyfriend. They are being investigated."

Alvarado was crowned Miss Honduras World 2014 on 26 April in San Pedro Sula, Cortes, and was set to compete in the Miss World competition in London on 14 December.

San Pedro Sula has been described by some as the murder capital of the world with over 1,200 murders a year among a population of almost one million people.

This week, the pair's mother, Teresa, pleaded to God to release the girls from their unknown circumstances.

"Open your hearts and understand my pain," she said. "There is an all-powerful God that sees everything and I hope you set them free."

Source: International Business Times, 11/19/2014



Miss Colombia 2014

Ariadna Gutierrez was elected Miss Colombia 2014 on Monday, becoming the first representative of the state of Sucre to ever win the award. She is expected to compete in 2016 Miss Universe pageant.
The 20-year-old professional model was voted new Miss Colombia during the National Beauty Contest gala held in Cartagena. At the coronation ceremony, she received a near perfect 9,9 note. She was elected out of 26 candidates.
It is the first time in the history of the pageant that the top prize was given to a candidate from the Sucre state at the Caribbean Coast of Colombia.

In one of the most-watched annual events in Colombia, the jury elected Natalia Ochoa (Antioquia) as the first runner-up, Jesica Paola Castañeda (Cauca) as the second runner-up, and Viviana Davila (Bogota) as the third runner-up.
Gutierrez, who was hotly tipped for the grand prize before the ceremony, was born on December 25, 1994 in Sincelejo. She is 5’8″ tall and her “dimensions” are 33-24-35. A Communications student, she speaks English and German.
When asked about what she would advise the peace negotiators in Havana, Gutierrez replied “I would ask them to be wise, which is the quality that all Colombians should have at this point.”
In an interview with the Cromos fashion magazine, the newly elected Miss Colombia revealed that in school she used to be into sports, training volleyball and long-jump.
However, she has always dreamed about the National Beauty crown and has never missed a single broadcast of the annual ceremony.
This year’s gala took place in Cartagena in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the National Beauty Pageant.
The much celebrated Colombian beauty contests were recently challenged by the initiative from the authorities of the state of Antioquia, who canceled funding for the popular Miss Antioquia beauty pageant and –under the leadership of the governor’s wife — put that funding in a talent show for young women.

Source: Colombia Reports, 11/18/2014


Miss Honduras 2014 Maria Jose Alvarado Reported Missing Ahead of Pageant

Tegucigalpa, Honduras (CNN) -- A Honduran beauty queen has disappeared days before the start of the Miss World pageant. Investigators are searching for Miss Honduras World María José Alvarado Muñoz (above) and her sister, who went missing on Thursday, police in the Central American country said Sunday. Family members reported their disappearance on Saturday, police said.

Eduardo Zablah, director of the pageant in Honduras, told CNN affiliate Televicentro that the sisters were last seen getting into a vehicle after attending a party last week.

Contestants from more than 120 countries are scheduled to start arriving in London this week for early rounds of the Miss World pageant. They'll face off in a final round on December 14.

Alvarado, a 19-year-old student from Santa Bárbara, Honduras, describes herself as an aspiring diplomat who enjoys playing volleyball and soccer in her spare time, according to a profile of her on the pageant's website.
She beat 18 contestants to win the Miss World Honduras crown in April.

Journalist Elvin Sandoval reported from Tegucigalpa. CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet reported from AtlantaSource: CNN, 11/17/2014


Getting To Know Pernille Sørensen - Miss World Denmark 2014

Pernille Sørensen was crowned Miss World Denmark 2014 in Copenhagen on October 4, 2014. She will represent Denmark in the upcoming 2014 Miss World pageant to be held in London, England on December 14, 2014. Critical Beauty would like to thank Pernille and her national director, Lisa Lents, for granting us this interview and wishes her the best of luck at Miss World! 

Who is the real Pernille Sørensen? 

     The real Pernille Sørensen is a young woman living in a city called Aalborg which is the fourth largest city in Denmark. Her closest family contains her wonderful parents and her beautiful little sister, Kristina, with whom she has a very close relationship.

     Pernille has a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing, and at the moment, she is studying at Aalborg University, where she is getting her Master of Science in Public Health.

     Pernille lives an active lifestyle and it is very important to her to work out regularly and eat healthy. She is very passionate about health, and she finds it very interesting to see health and well-being in many different contexts and from different perspectives.  

     When time allows it she loves to express herself creatively through drawing, painting and photography. Furthermore she has a passion for beauty and loves experimenting with makeup, as well as reading about the latest beauty products.

     To travel is also one of Pernille’s great passions. She thinks it is so inspiring to experience new places and she is very open-minded in the meeting with new people and different cultures.

How would your friends describe you?

     I have asked my friends and family about this question, and they all described me as a caring and emphatic young woman, with a very calm temperament and with a sympathetic and accommodating way to meet new people. My dear father described me as a very loving and caring big sister, as I have always taken good care of my little sister. He also described me as a very patient person, which has also been confirmed by former nurse colleagues. Some of my friends think that I often tend to be a little too structured and a bit of a control freak.

Define happiness. What makes you happy?

     I am happy when I conquer the challenges I give myself in life. With every challenge – big or small – I am developing as a person, and that makes me very pleased and strong. 

     I am also very
happy when I can make my closest ones happy. I am easily influenced by others' moods and therefore it is important to me to help spread good energy and give people a smile along the way. I am in general very generous with compliments and I am good at telling others when they do a good job.

What is the biggest problem that your country, Denmark, is facing right now and what do you propose to resolve it?

     Denmark is characterized by its social balance and universal welfare services, such as free healthcare and free education, and the Danes have been named the happiest people in the world in several studies. But if I should name a problem in our country I have been a part of and have seen on a daily basis, it would have to be, that our healthcare system often can be insufficient in terms of lack of resources, lack of space and not enough hands to give the best quality of healthcare possible. As a nurse I have felt the frustration of not feeling like you can do your best because of this. Sometimes I wonder about some of the things we spend money on, while we save in health care and the elderly.

What would constitute a "perfect" evening for you?

     I love meeting up with old and new friends and just talk about everything - great and small. Combining this with a delicious food and maybe watching a movie in the theater afterwards, this may be the perfect evening for me.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would you change and why?

     I wish that there were no famine in the world. No one, young or old, should starve, and it breaks my heart knowing that in 2014 there are about 24.000 people dying every day of starvation - especially when there are countries that have abundance of food and where obesity is one of the main problems.

How do you respond to a homeless person on the street asking you for money?

     When a homeless person approaches me on the street, I instinctively tend to give him/her a little money. But sometimes I afterwards think about, if the person maybe would use the money to finance an abuse of some kind, and I would actually rather have bought him/her some food in the first place or asked about the person's situation to get to know what he/she truly needs.

What is your idea of fun? How do you enjoy yourself to have fun?

     I really enjoy trying new things in form of physical activities, such as ice skating, rock climbing, scuba diving, canoeing, skiing and dancing.  I love using my body in different ways and challenging myself – and if these activities are combined with a lot of friends around me, this is my idea of fun.

If you could go back in time to any time period, which one would you choose & why?

     I would go back to my teenage years and tell myself not to worry about things I still could not change. I have spent too many years thinking about what other people would think of me and not just enjoying life as a young girl.

What is your opinion on cosmetic surgery? Would you consider submitting to it some day?

     I have absolutely nothing against plastic surgery as long as you do it for your own sake - however, I have never myself had any kind of plastic surgery. If there is something about your appearance that really upsets you and perhaps is diminishing your quality of life, I think it is alright. In return I think that you should say no to plastic surgery if you feel pressured into it by your surroundings, by girlfriends, by boyfriends or by family.

     At the moment I do not see myself having any cosmetic surgery in the future, but I am not dismissive about it.

Who is the woman you admire most and why?

     It would be Beyoncé, because she for me is the ultimate definition of girl power and independence. In addition to being a great musician and singer, she inspires me by being so down-to-earth despite of her fame. She also gives a lot to charity and I think she is a great role model for many young girls.

If women were to rule the world by 2050, how different would the world be?

     I do not think that good leadership is a matter of gender. There have been female political leaders throughout history and like their male counterparts, some may have been good leaders, others may not. Some may say that women possess an inborn trait to be more caring or righteous, but I think that both men and women possess these qualities, and it is more a matter of personality than a matter of gender.

What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done, and what did you learn?

     The most adventurous thing I have ever done was completing a diving certificate during a trip to Thailand and Malaysia. By doing this I had to exceed some personal boundaries, because I have been quite hydrophobic during my entire childhood. I learned that I had to try some new things in my life, even though it scared me at first. It is so important for me to evolve as a person throughout my whole life, and I can only evolve if I dare to challenge myself.

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

     I think I would come back as a dog. Like dogs, I am loyal and devoted and I like to be in the company of people who mean something to me. I'm not that good at being alone for too long and I enjoy long walks with a good friend.

Do you think social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, have a positive or negative influence on teens?

     It depends. It is upsetting to see young girls being affected by the social media in connection with getting a wrong image of what is a normal appearance. As a nurse student I have worked with girls with eating disorders and low self-esteem, and these girls' understanding of health and striving for perfection is so heartbreaking. In their teenage years the teens are actively seeking to find an identity, and it is sad if they believe that they have to be thin to exemplify beauty and success.

      On the other hand I think that the social media is a great way of spreading inspiring posts and stimulate young teens to build up their self-esteem and be kind and helpful human beings.

     Exposure to information and news about events occurring around the world can also develop cultural and political awareness and it challenges the teens to reflect on different causes.

If you were on a TV talk show and could get one message across to the viewers, what subject would it be on?

     There is not much in this world that I outright hate, but it really bothers me when people smoke cigarettes. Smoking is the cause of the highest number of lifestyle-related deaths in Denmark and I wish that people stop smoking. So if I could get more people to quit smoking, I would feel like I had made a great difference both for the smokers themselves, their surroundings and the health care system.

If you could spend the day with anyone (living or deceased), who would it be and what would you do with that person?

     I would spend one last day with my dear aunt who passed away last year due to cancer. I would take her to see her family, parents, husband and children. Our whole family was heartbroken when we lost such a loving and caring soul, and she was a great inspiration to me.

If you were judging a pageant, what would be the most important quality that you’d look for in the winner?

     All who take the time to be friendly and help other people is beautiful in my opinion, and these are very important qualities to me. Additionally there is nothing more mesmerizing than a sincere and joyful smile.

Do you think the world will be a better or a worse place 100 years from now?

     It is very hard to say, and the situation in the world is always changing in different directions. For example I think that we will find a cure for cancer and find new vaccines, but I think that in the future there will just be another new life-threatening disease or epidemic that we cannot control. 

  I hope that we in the future will be more environmentally conscious through green energy 
for example, so we can reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. So many beautiful places in the world will not exist in just 50 years if we continue to mistreat our earth as we do now.

     I also hope that we in the future will be able to reduce or eliminate famine and extreme poverty in the world.

Why do you want to become Miss World 2014?

     As a nurse,  it is very natural for me to want to help and make a difference for people, and I hope that I, through the competition, can bring focus to concerns that are close to my heart. I am amazed how huge a difference the Miss World Organization through the years has done for disadvantaged and ill children around the world. I would be so proud to be a part of this endeavor!

     It will also be a great honor for me to be a role model to others and it will mean a lot to me if I could inspire others to make a difference for people in need of help. 

     I am a
young woman who is always looking for new ways to challenge myself, as I believe that it is important to constantly evolve as a person, and by doing this, I hope I can inspire others to follow their dreams and always seize the opportunities they get in life!

Pernille's Favorites: 

Music: Pop and R&B

Musical Artist/Entertainer: Beyoncé

Movies: Avatar and Inception 

Actor: Channing Tatum and Mads Mikkelsen

Actress: Zoë Saldaña and Jennifer Aniston

Author: Stieg Larsson, J.K. Rowling

Book: The Harry Potter Series

Flower: Orchids

Perfume: Amor Amor by Cacharel

Color: Silver

Fruit: Avocado and watermelon

Vegetable: Tomato

Proverb: “Kindness makes you the most beautiful person in the world. No matter what you look like”


Puerto Rico wins Miss International 2014

     Valerie Hernandez, a 21-year-old student and model from San Juan, of Puerto Rico has been crowned Miss International 2014 at the pageant's 54th annual event held November 11 at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa in Tokyo, Japan. She is the second woman from her country to have won the coveted title (Laurie Simpson won in 1987).

Top five: Hernandez (center) poses with first runner-up, Colombia's Zuleika Suárez (far left), second runner-up, Thailand's Punika Kulsoontornrut (far right), third runner-up, United Kingdom's Victoria Tooby (second from left) and fourth runner-up, Finland's Milla Romppanen (second from right)
Completing the top 10 semifinalists were the delegates from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Panama and Indonesia. Colombia won two special awards (Miss Friendship, Best Dresser), Indonesia won Best National Costume, France won Miss Perfect Body, and India won Miss Internet Beauty. 73 young women competed in this year's edition of the pageant which was live streamed.
Hernandez was officially crowned by Miss International 2013 winner Bea Santiago of the Philippines.

Filipino pageant fans were hoping a back-to-back victory with their delegate Bianca Guidotti who failed to advance to the finals. Hernandez's victory was a shocker, since she had not figured on most of the fans' list of favorites. Miss Thailand, who had placed third in Miss Earth 2013 and eventually was dethroned for not fulfilling her duties as Miss Earth Air 2013, placed third again in Miss International 2014. 

The live stream started at 4:00 PM Tokyo time (Nov. 11), which would be 2:00 AM (Nov. 11) in Boston. I missed the first two hours of the show as I had fallen asleep at around 11:30 PM. When I woke up at 3:30 AM, the contestants were already parading in their evening gowns. Meanwhile, ardent pageant fans were expressing their comments at the Critical Beauty Fan Page; many of them were not happy with Hernandez's victory and were favoring either Miss Colombia or Miss United Kingdom instead. Oh, well... that is Miss International to you and me... it is ultimately the least predictable pageant of all! :) - Rafa Delfin


Miss Ukraine Universe 2014 Anna Andres replaced by her 1st runner-up Diana Garkusha

     In a press conference yesterday. the Miss Ukraine Universe Organization announced that the current Miss Universe Ukraine 2014, Anna Andres (above), has stepped down from her title as Miss Ukraine Universe 2014 due to school obligations. Her 1st runner-up, Diana Garkusha from Kharkov has been promoted to Miss Ukraine Universe 2014 and will representing the Ukraine at Miss Universe 2014-2015 in Doral, Florida on January 25, 2015.

     Watch the video from the press conference:

     Andres is the second Miss Universe 2014 contestant to have stepped down from her position. Just last week, Miss Universe China 2014 Nora Xu was replaced by her 1st runner-up, Karen Hu, citing school obligations as well.

Diana Garkusha is the new Miss Ukraine Universe 2014


Miss Universe China 2014 Nora Xu replaced by her 1st runner-up Karen Hu

 Nora Xu                                         Karen Hu
     This morning, Yue-Sai Kan, President and National Director of Miss Universe China, announced that Nora Xu has relinquished her title as Miss China 2014.  As she is only 19 and continuing her college education, her parents did not want her to suspend her schooling to fulfill her duties.  

     The organization wishes Nora all the best in her future career, but is also excited to welcome Karen Hu (HU Yanliang) as the new Miss China.  Karen is 24 years old, 1.80 m tall and a graduate of the Beijing Film Academy.  She is an accomplished athlete and photographer, with her own studio in Beijing, and has graced numerous magazine editorials and high fashion runways in China. Karen is also fluent in English.  She is currently training in Shanghai and will travel to New York for a month of preparation in December.

     Here is a link to the letter that is being distributed to our sponsors and friends, as well as some photographs of Karen.

     You can also find the six episode documentary, "Finding Miss China," at this link.

By Jeff Lee for Critical Beauty

1st runner-up Karen Hu and winner Nora Yu at the Miss Universe China 2014 
pageant last Sept. 3 

Karen Hu, the new Miss Universe China 2014, will compete in the 63rd edition of Miss Universe pageant to be held in Doral, Florida on January 25, 2015.


Bolivia wins Hispanic American Queen 2014 (Reina Hispanoamericana 2014)

Bolivia's Romina Rocamonje, 21, was crowned Hispanic American Queen (Reina Hispanoamericana) 2014 Saturday night in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. She will also represent Bolivia in the 63rd edition of Miss Universe to be held in Doral, Florida on January 25, 2015. Her court includes 1st runner-up Andrea Lira of Venezuela, 2nd runner-up Inés Panchano of Ecuador, 3rd runner-up Carolyne Desert of Miss Haiti, 4th runner-up was Luly Gallimore Campos  of Panama; 5th runner-up Cindy Clavijo of Colombia, 6th runner-up Raquel Benetti of Brazil, and 7th runner-up Laura Melisa Mejía of Curaçao