10.29.2016

Ecuador Wins Its Second Miss Earth 2016 Crown



Katherine Espín, a 23-year-old model, cosmetologist and law student from Ecuador was crowned Miss Earth 2016 Saturday night (Oct. 29) at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines. She was crowned by the outgoing queen Angelia Ong of the Philippines. Espín's victory marks Ecuador's second Miss Earth crown; Olga Alava won in 2011.
The other winners are:
Miss Earth Air 2016: Michelle Gomez of Colombia
Miss Earth Water 2016: Stephanie De Zorzi of Venezuela
Miss Earth Fire 2016: Bruna Zanardo of Brazil
Rounding up the top 8 were the delegates from Russia, USA, Sweden and Vietnam. Completing the top 16 were the delegates from Australia, England, Italy, Korea, Macau, Mexico, Northern Ireland and South Africa. The host candidate from the Philippines failed to make the cut. 


Tatiana Ovcinicová of Moldova won the Best Eco-Beauty Video award while Charlotte Hitchman of Wales was awarded the Miss Best Eco Warrior title.
Espin said she joined the beauty contest to forward her advocacy of instilling in young students the importance of taking care of the environment.
"I chose this because I believe that the best age to teach a person to have environmental conscience is at an early age because on their growing years they will learn to have respect towards the environment which will help to the future generations," she explained.
Eighty-three contestants from all over the world competed in the 16th edition of the pageant. Three countries debuted this year: Iraq, Palestine and Kyrgyzstan.

10.27.2016

Philippines Wins Its Sixth Miss International Crown




Miss International 2015 Edymar Martinez and Kylie Verzosa of Philippines 
during the 56th Miss International Beauty Pageant at Tokyo Dome City Hall 
on Oct. 27, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Getty Images


     Kylie Versoza, a 24-year-old pre-school teacher from the Philippines, was crowned Miss International 2016 at Thursday’s coronation at the Tokyo Dome.  Her court includes 1st runner-up Miss Australia Alexandra Britton, 2nd runner-up Miss Indonesia Felicia Hwang,  3rd runner-up Miss Nicaragua Brianny Chamorro, and 4th runner-up Miss USA Kaityrana Leinbach

     Rounding up the top 15 semifinalists were the delegates from Finland, Japan, Mexico, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Canada, Argentina, Russia, Thailand and Poland. 

     In a speech after the announcement of the top 15 finalists, Verzosa spoke about her commitment to diversity and tolerance. "If I become Miss International 2016, I will devote myself to cultural understanding and international understanding because I believe that it is in developing in each of us sensitivity to other cultures that we expand our horizons, tolerate difference and appreciate diversity," she said.

     Verzosa is the sixth Filipina to bring home the Miss International crown for the Philippines, which was first won by Gemma Cruz in 1964, followed by Aurora Pijuan in 1970, Melanie Marquez in 1979, Lara Precious Quigaman in 2005, and Bea Rose Santiago in 2013.
PHOTO: FACEBOOK
 PHOTO: FACEBOOK


10.26.2016

Indonesia Wins Miss Grand International 2016



Ariska Putri Pertiwi, a 21-year-old medical student from Indonesia, was crowned Miss Grand International 2016 at the Westgate International Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday night, October 25th. Seventy-two contestants competed in the fourth edition of the pageant which was held outside Thailand (its home base) for the first time. Pertiwi's victory marks Indonesia's first ever international beauty pageant title. She was crowned by the outgoing queen Claire Parker from Australia.



     The first runner-up is Nicole Cordoves, 24, a professional speech writer from the Philippines. The second runner-up is Supaporn Malisorn, 22, a business administration student from Thailand. The 3rd runner-up is Madison Anderson, 20, a fashion design student representing Puerto Rico but living in New York City. And the 4th runner-up is Michelle Leon, a 19-year-old community college student from New York. 

     Completing the top ten were Selvinique Wright of the Bahamas, Hio Man Chan of Macau, Priscila Howard of Peru, Veronika Mykhailyshyn of the Ukraine, and Yeseul Cho of Korea who automatically advanced after winning the Popular Vote.

     The remaining top 20 candidates included: Dani Fitch of Australia, Merys Navarro of  Cuba, Dianne O. Brown of Jamaica, Ranmeet Jassal of Malaysia, Paulina Flores Cantú of Mexico, Ana Bomfim of Portugal, Adriana Sanchez Rivas of Spain, Debora Medina of Venezuela, Nguyen Thi Loan of Vietnam, and Rachael Tate of Wales. 



     Special awards were given to the Bahamas (Best in Swimsuit), England's Cherelle Rose Patterson (Best in Evening Gown), Jamaica (Best in Social Media), and Indonesia (Best National Costume). Some of the early favorites like Brazil, Russia and Colombia were shut out, much to the dismay of their fans. Eight countries debuted this year: Aruba, Bahamas, Iraq, Jamaica, Lithuania, Rwanda, Turkey and Uruguay.

     The show was hosted by actor Brian White from the hit drama series, "Scandal" and was broadcast live via Channel 7 and DirecTV. Former titleholders Janelee Chaparro and Lees Garcia assisted in the coronation of the winner who receives a brand newly designed crown. The judging panel included MGI owner Nawat Itsaragrisil,  MGI Vice-President Teresa Chaivisut, MGI 2013 titleholder Janelee Chaparro and three local personalities.

     The most interesting part of the evening turned out to be the Final Question segment during which each of the top five finalists was asked to choose between U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for help in stopping war and violence, which is the main platform of Miss Grand International. Three of the finalists - Puerto Rico, Thailand and Indonesia - opted for Clinton and they all received thunderous applause. The other two - USA and Philippines - chose Trump. Miss USA was heavily booed (presumably by the Latino fans in the crowd). Here's her response:
"Good evening everyone. Believe it or not, I would choose Donald Trump. Why? Because the same way that we are all here is to change the minds of people, to share our passion to stop the war and violence is the same way I will share my passion with him. And the same power that he has to stand up for what he believes in is how I will have him stand up to stop the war and violence and change the lives of people together. Thank you."
     Miss Philippines got heckled despite her witty yet non-polarizing answer:
"Okay, you have to promise me that you would react after my first sentence. I would choose Donald Trump to stop the war and violence with me because if we choose him to switch to our side there won't be war and violence anymore. So, I will also make sure that he will read my speeches to stop the war and violence because imagine someone who would bring so much madness and so much emotion from these people. What if we use his voice to actually do good for the world? What if we use that to our advantage? That's why let's keep the peace and let Donald Trump switch to our side to stop the war and violence."
     How ironic that the pageant,  whose  platform is to "Stop The War And Violence," has managed to provoke the audience's anger and discord by asking such a polarizing question.

     Moments before the announcement of the winner, Vietnam was announced as the host country for the 2017 pageant.

     I covered the pageant for Critical Beauty and I must say that I am very impressed with the good quality of the show. The pageant itself unabashedly takes its inspiration from Miss Universe, with its fast-paced production, engaging camera angles, and upbeat music. Even the energy in the theater is not dissimilar to Miss Universe which attracts boisterous, colorful and passionate pageant fans. And like Miss Universe, Miss Grand International seems to relish in controversy. A few days before the finals, Miss Iceland Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir withdrew from the pageant after she was allegedly told to lose weight. Her story was picked up by many media outlets which made her an instant celebrity and she is now being hailed a hero on social media by supporters around the world. The original 2015 winner, Anea Garcia of the Dominican Republic, was dethroned (though she claims she resigned) for being too difficult and not fulfilling her duties as a titleholder. She was replaced by her first runner-up, Claire Parker of Australia. 

     Minor low points: Westgate International Theater, despite its state-of-the-art HD video screens and good acoustics, only sits 1,600 people. Members of the press were only allowed to station themselves in the left section facing the stage, which sometimes prevented us from taking decent images of the show, not to mention the big flags waved by fans that obstructed our view. Overall, it was a good show. And the unexpected controversial final question only added to the thrill and excitement. Why isn't that grand?


By Rafa Delfin



PHOTO CREDIT: MISS GRAND INTERNATIONAL


10.25.2016

Scandalous: Miss Bumbum Pageant Recreates The Last Supper Painting With Bikini-Clad Contestants




Brazil's Miss Bumbum beauty pageant has sparked anger after bikini-clad contestants posed for a recreation of the iconic religious painting The Last Supper - with the woman with the 'sexiest' bottom playing Jesus.

In the photo, eight hopefuls in the popular 'rear of the year' contest are portrayed as Christ and his disciples on the night before his crucifixion in a scene that has offended many in the deeply Catholic country.

Last night religious leaders branded the remake of the Da Vinci masterpiece 'deeply disrespectful' while even Brazil's religious intolerance commission waded in to the debate as anger over the picture grew.

 And even the women competing for the 'best bottom' title last night expressed dismay at being made to pose for the controversial scene, with one claiming she had 'asked forgiveness from God for a great sin'.


Now in its sixth year, Miss Bumbum is one of Brazil's most hotly-disputed beauty contests with winners becoming overnight celebrities and often going on to earn millions and modelling contracts and endorsements. 

After a public vote, the 27 contestants, each representing a Brazilian state, are whittled down to 15 who then battle it out in a live final on November 9.

Daiana Fegueredo, representing the state of Ceara, was chosen to play Jesus in the photo as her bottom received the most number of phone votes, making her the frontrunner in the race for the coveted title.


But she said she now regrets agreeing to taking part: 'I did the photo because of my contract. But I didn't like it and I wasn't happy about it. You can't play around with the word of God.
'I completely understand people being angry about it, because even I'm angry and I'm in it. For me it is blasphemy.

'I feel really bad deep inside of me. I'm a practising Catholic. Since I did the photo my heart is tight inside my chest, I can't sleep and I don't stop thinking about it. I've already asked forgiveness from God, and I ask forgiveness from everyone else. We went too far. We were part of a great sin.'

Another contestant, Danny Morais, representing the state of Santa Catarina, said that at first she didn't understand what they were being asked to do.

She said: 'Afterwards I was filled with remorse. God knows my heart and knows I wasn't being bad. I think we can be controversial in other ways, but not using God's name, not using a biblical story.'

Father Clesio Vieira, from the Volta Redonda diocese of Rio de Janeiro, said the photo has caused 'great offence' to Catholics.

He said: 'Everyone's talking about it. It has broken the boundaries of ethics and respect, all in the name of money. This isn't creativity, it's the vulgarisation of the sacred and is deeply disrespectful.'

While assistant bishop of Rio de Janeiro, Antonio Augusto Dias Duarte, also criticised the photos, saying he was against any images showing women's bottoms, 'whatever the setting'.

 He added: 'Women need to be valued for their role as a wife, mother, professional, and for her intellectual and cultural qualities.'



In a statement, Babalawo Ivanir dos Santos, from Brazil's Commission to Combat Religious Intolerance, said that the picture was evidence 'that intolerance is not just confined to African religions.'

But the founder of the Miss Bumbum competition, Cacau Oliver, claimed the image was 'not offensive to the church' and never meant to shock anyone.

He said: 'It was the last meeting of the women before the grand final. It reminded me of the Last Supper. It was where Jesus was betrayed by Judas, because of jealousy, and like it or not the woman with the most votes is also the target of jealousy. 

'She is at the centre, and the other girls will want to crucify her because she got more votes than them.' 
 
SOURCE: Daily Mail UK, 10/24/2016




10.24.2016

Iceland Withdraws From Miss Grand International 2016 Pageant: For Being Fat


Miss Iceland had a great response for the owner of a beauty event after he told her she needed to lose weight.

Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir didn’t curse Nawat Itsaragrisil out and tell him to stick his pageant when he suggested she skip breakfast and just eat salads.

Nor did she accept what he said and frantically try to lose weight in time for the Miss Grand International final in Las Vegas on Tuesday, October 25th.



Instead she told him the truth, she’s a member of the Icelandic national athletics team and loves her broader shoulders.

‘If the owner of the contest really wants me to lose weight and doesn’t like me the way I am, then he doesn’t deserve to have me in the Top 10,’ Miss Iceland 2015 said, according to The Iceland Monitor.

‘Yes, my shoulders are a bit broader than the other girls’ but that is because I was a member of the Icelandic national athletics team and I am proud of that.

‘Of course, I don’t take these comments to heart, but to do my best then hear this… Personally, I think I’m fine as I am.’



 SOURCE: Metro.co.uk, 10/23/2016COMMENTARY: The story about Miss Iceland Arna Yr Jonsdottir's decision to leave the pageant yesterday has been blown out of proportion. I spoke with her national director Peter Hadward who said that Arna was well liked by the MGI owner Nawat Itsaragrisil, and that he was merely giving her an advice to look her best a few days before the finals. Arna had gained a few pounds and Nawat suggested that she eat much less and to drink more water. Instead of heeding to his advice, she thought it best to make a "statement" by taking pride of her body and leave the competition. Good for her. The girls were actually shocked that she left so suddenly. But this is a beauty pageant after all and even though there are no weight restrictions, we in the pageant industry all know that the judges look for a specific body type that conforms with the image or brand that a particular pageant is promoting. And that's the truth. - Rafa Delfin


 

10.16.2016

Puerto Rico Wins Miss Intercontinental 2016



Heilymar Rosario of Puerto Rico was crowned Miss Intercontinental 2016 on October 16 at Stein Studios in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her court includes 1st runner-up Tracy De Zilva of Sri Lanka, 2nd runner-up Silvia Commodore of Ghana, 3rd runner-up Fioriana Russo of Italy and 4th runner-up Amal Nemer of Venezuela. Each of the five finalist also won a continental queen title. 

Completing the top 15 are the delegates from China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Scotland, Philippines, Poland, Czech Republic, Seychelles, Thailand and the Ukraine.

Rosario's win marks Puerto Rico's third Miss Intercontinental crown. Elizabeth Robison first won in 1986 and then Maydelise Columna in 2010.




PHOTO CREDITS: MISS INTERCONTINENTAL


Miss Universe Singapore 2016


Cheryl Chou, a 20-year-old student born in China pursuing a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, was crowned Miss Universe Singapore 2016 on October 16 in Singapore. She will now represent her country in the next edition of Miss Universe whose date and venue have not yet been confirmed by the Miss Universe Organization.

The first runner-up is Tanisha Khan and the second runner-up is Sonya Branson.



10.13.2016

Four Women Including A Former Miss Utah USA Accuse Trump of Inappropriately Touching Them Years Apart: Reports


In May 2016, Temple Taggart McDowell, who represented Utah, told The New York Times
that Trump "kissed me directly on the lips" during the 1997 pageant.

Four women accused Donald Trump in articles published Wednesday of having touched them in an inappropriate manner, adding to the growing list of women who say Trump has insensitively treated them as objects over several decades.
The New York Times quoted two women as describing public encounters during which Trump grabbed or kissed them inappropriately.
Separately, the Palm Beach Post quoted a Palm Springs, Florida, woman as saying Trump groped her 13 years ago at Mar-a-Lago, his estate in Palm Beach.
And a People magazine staff writer reported Wednesday that at Mar-a-Lago in 2005, Trump pushed her against a wall and was soon "forcing his tongue down my throat."
Meanwhile, five former contestants in the Miss Teen USA pageant were quoted Wednesday as saying Trump deliberately walked into dressing rooms while teenage contestants were naked in 1997 and 2001, when Trump owned the pageant.
Two other women came forward earlier this week to accuse Trump of similar behavior.
The allegations are emerging in the final weeks of an unprecedented presidential campaign during which Trump has been beset by accusations that he has behaved insensitively toward women for much of his adult life.
NBC News has confirmed none of the allegations.
Trump's presidential campaign denied the new accusations. It called The Times article "fiction" Wednesday night and specifically accused the newspaper of "coordinated character assassination" in an attempt to swing the race to his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. A letter sent to the newspaper by Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz called the story "reckless" and "defamatory."
Trump and his campaign have denied that he has ever behaved toward women in a way reflected in an 11-year-old video in which he was recorded bragging about having made sexually inappropriate advances to married women.
"When you're a star, they let you do it," Trump says in the 2005 video, which was recorded by "Access Hollywood" and obtained last week by NBC News and The Washington Post.
In statements and in Sunday night's presidential debate, Trump characterized the remarks as "locker room" banter and said he never actually did what he boasted about.
Here's who has brought accusations against Trump this week:

Wednesday

* The Times quoted Jessica Leeds as saying Trump accosted her as they sat next to each other on a first-class airline flight more than 30 years ago. Trump, she said, lifted the armrest, grabbed her breasts and tried to put a hand up her skirt.
"He was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere," The Times quoted Leeds as saying.
* Rachel Crooks told The Times that in 2005, when she was a receptionist for a company with offices in Trump Tower in New York City, Trump approached her outside an elevator and began kissing her on the cheek and then "directly on the mouth." 
"It was so inappropriate," Crooks said, according to The Times. "I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that."
The Times reported that Trump grew agitated when a reporter called him for comment. "None of this ever took place," he shouted, according to the newspaper, which said Trump accused it of making up the allegations to hurt him and threatened to file a lawsuit.
* The Palm Beach Post reported that the 2003 Florida incident occurred during a performance at Mar-a-Lago by musician Ray Charles, when the woman, Mindy McGillivray, said she "felt a grab, a little nudge."
"I turn around and there's Donald. He sort of looked away quickly. I quickly turned back, facing Ray Charles, and I'm stunned," McGillivray said, according to the newspaper.
Asked whether it might have been an accident, she said no, the newspaper reported.
"This was a pretty good nudge. More of a grab," it quoted her as saying. "It was pretty close to the center of my butt. I was startled. I jumped."
* People magazine published an account by staff writer Natasha Stoynoff alleging that at Mar-a-Lago in 2005, when she was on what she called "the Trump beat," Trump shut the door behind her, pushed her against the wall and "forc[ed] his tongue down my throat."
"Now, I'm a tall, strapping girl who grew up wrestling two giant brothers. I even once sparred with Mike Tyson. It takes a lot to push me," Stoynoff wrote. "But Trump is much bigger—a looming figure—and he was fast, taking me by surprise, and throwing me off balance.
"I was stunned," she wrote. "And I was grateful when Trump's longtime butler burst into the room a minute later, as I tried to unpin myself."
A spokesperson for Trump told People: "This never happened. There is no merit or veracity to this fictional story. Why wasn't this reported at the time? Mr. Trump was the biggest star on television and surely this would have been a far bigger scoop for People magazine. She alleges this took place in a public space with people around. This is nothing by politically motivated fictional pile-on."
* The British newspaper The Guardian quoted a Miss USA 2001 contestant who didn't want to be identified as saying Trump deliberately walked into a dressing room during a rehearsal at the pageant while she and another contestant were naked. Unlike the women quoted in the other articles, she did not accuse Trump of having touched anyone.
* BuzzFeed quoted Mariah Billado, who represented Vermont, as saying Trump did the same thing during the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant. It said three other contestants who asked not to be named verified Billado's account.
BuzzFeed said 11 other contestants didn't recall seeing Trump in the dressing room, with some saying they didn't believe he could have been there.
"These accusations have no merit and have already been disproven by many other individuals who were present," said Jessica Ditto, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign.
"When you see questionable attacks like this magically put out there in the final month of a presidential campaign, you have to ask yourself what the political motivations really are and why the media is pushing it," she said

Tuesday

CBS Los Angeles quoted Tasha Dixon, who represented Arizona, as accusing Trump of similar behavior during the 2001 Miss USA pageant.
Trump owned the pageant from 1996 to 2015.
"I'm telling you Donald Trump owned the pageant for the reasons to utilize his power to get around beautiful women," Dixon told the station. "Who do you complain to? He owns the pageant. There's no one to complain to. Everyone there works for him."

Earlier this year

In May, Temple Taggart McDowell, who represented Utah, told The New York Times that Trump "kissed me directly on the lips" during the 1997 pageant.
McDowell confirmed the account in an interview with NBC News on Wednesday night.
"My dad was very confident, and he really admired Donald Trump, and so he went over and introduced himself first, and then he introduced me," McDowell said. "And it was at that time that he turned to me and embraced me and gave me a kiss on the lips.
"And I remember being shocked, because I would have just thought to shake somebody's hand, but that was his first response with me," she said. "I remember feeling kind of embarrassed, like wanting to turn and bite my mouth, like, 'What just happened?'"
In a statement, Trump said: "I don't know anything about her. I don't even know who she is. She claims this took place in a public area. I never kissed her. I emphatically deny this ridiculous claim."

1997

Jill Harth Houraney — filed a $125 million lawsuit against Trump alleging that at Mar-a-Lago in 1993, Trump "forcibly removed plaintiff to a bedroom, whereupon defendant subjected plaintiff to defendant's unwanted sexual advances, which included touching of plaintiff's private [parts] in an act constituting attempted 'rape.'"
Harth made the allegation in the midst of a contract dispute between the company for which she worked and Trump.
The suit was later withdrawn, but in an interview with The Guardian in July, Harth — the name she uses now — said: "I had to physically say: 'What are you doing? Stop it.' It was a shocking thing to have him do this ... How could he be doing this when I'm there for business?"

1993

In his unauthorized biography "Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump," former Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III disclosed a deposition from Trump's 1990 divorce. In it, Ivana Trump alleges that Donald Trump forced her to have sex with him against her will in 1989, which she characterized as "rape."
Donald Trump denied the rape allegation. Ivana Trump confirmed that she used the word in the deposition, but later said: "I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense."
Source: NBCNews.com, 10/13/2016

10.08.2016

Getting To Know TERESA YUOL - Miss Grand South Sudan 2016. Unique. Passionate. Proud.


TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR BACKGROUND, AND HOW YOU BECAME MISS GRAND SOUTH SUDAN 2016.
I was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and moved to Australia when I was 10 years old. I lost my parents in the war and was raised by my auntie until I moved to Australia with my cousins. Growing up without parents has always been challenging but I never let it stop me. I am a passionate individual with the desire to help others to believe in themselves and that has been the reason why I was lucky enough to be asked to represent South Sudan at Miss Grand International. 
In early August this year I competed in Miss Grand and Miss Supranational Australia and became a 1st runner up. I didn't realize that the national director of Miss Grand South Sudan was following my journey and saw a potential in me so she got in contact with Australia's national director. This was an opportunity not to pass and I am very proud to be representing South Sudan. 
 

IF YOU WERE TO INVITE YOUR FRIENDS TO VISIT SOUTH SUDAN, WHERE WOULD YOU TAKE THEM?
If I were to invite my friends to South Sudan I would invite them straight to Duk county. Duk county is where my parents were born. I felt in love with Duk when I first visited South Sudan. Duk county is made up of small villages but what makes it so special is the rich culture, the nature that surrounds the town, the green mountains, the white sand and the appreciation of  culture.  I would love to share all of that with my friends. 

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF THROUGH COMPETING IN YOUR LAST PAGEANT?
To never compare yourself to someone else. In my first pageant I did not make it through to the national finals and I remember that day, I started to look for reasons to differentiate myself from others. It is not a good feeling and competing among 20 or more beautiful girls can be hard  but you have to be your own person. Love yourself because we are all different regardless.

 

IF YOUR FRIENDS WERE TO DESCRIBE YOU, WHAT WOULD THEY SAY?
Energetic, humble, caring and enthusiastic young person who is devoted to stand up for a good cause. High achiever and looking for opportunities to build herself up.

IF YOU HAD A CHOICE BETWEEN FAME AND FORTUNE, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?
If I had the choice between fame or fortune I would choose fame. Money comes and goes but fame is a legacy that I would love to be remembered with. 

IF YOU COULD CONTRIBUTE ONE THING TO THIS WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I would love to become a public speaker who advocates on behalf of people who are affected by the war and to be someone who shares her stories worldwide. 

IF YOU COULD BE ON THE COVER OF ANY MAGAZINE, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Vogue magazine. I think it would be an amazing opportunity being on a cover of Vogue. Vogue is an international well-known magazine and who wouldn't want to be on the cover? 

A GOOD LISTENER OR A GOOD TALKER? WHICH ONE IS MORE IMPORTANT?
I believe it is more important to be a good listener. Being aware in the moment, you're more likely to retain what you're hearing and to respond with more authenticity. 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE VACATION SPOT.
I am in love with Bilbao. Bilbao is a city in northern Spain surrounded by beautiful mountains. There is something unique about the city, the culture, the atmosphere and the people. The architecture of the city is unique and that is why I fell in love with the city. 

WHAT WOMAN IN PUBLIC LIFE DO YOU MOST ADMIRE AND WHY?
I really admire Angelina Jolie. I like the way she carries herself with such a class and elegance. And most importantly, she has a strong voice in advocating on human rights.

IF YOU WERE TO WIN MISS GRAND INTERNATIONAL, WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU WOULD SAY IF SOMEONE WERE TO SHOVE A MICROPHONE IN YOUR HAND?
"Oh my God! This is a dream come true!"

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL APPEARANCE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I wish I had longer eyelashes!

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE TO ANYONE WHO LACKS SELF-ESTEEM?
To never compare themselves to anyone because they are just as important as anyone in their own ways. To believe in themselves and know it is okay to be different because if we were all the same, the world would be boring. 

IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERTED ISLAND AND COULD ONLY HAVE THREE THINGS WITH YOU, WHAT WOULD THEY BE AND WHY?
A knife to hunt for food and protect myself. A torch to be aware of my surroundings (there are too many wild animals!). A blanket to keep myself warm at night.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
Five years from now I see myself in Africa or Southeast Asia working in the humanitarian sector. I see myself as advocate of "women at risk" and girls' education in Third World countries. 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY HEIDI HANNELE / STYLING BY PETER SERENO


TERESA'S FAVORITES:

Singer/Musician – I don't have any favourite but I would say Whitney Houston and Keith Urban 

 Actor – Denzel Washington 

 Actress – I don't really have a favorite actress but there are so many out there that I admire. 

 Color – Any bright colour

 Fashion Designer – Michael Cinco

 Perfume – Lady Million by Paco Rabanne 

 Flower – Lily flowers 

 Writer – James Patterson 

 Book – "Guilty Wives" by James Patterson 

 Movie – "Safe House" starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds 

 Quote - "I might not be the most intelligent, talented or driven with creativity, but I am a woman, a woman of my own integrity, thoughts, and wisdom." - Teresa Yuol

Hashtag - #missgrandinternational #missgrandsouthsudan


TERESA WITH DANI FITCH, MISS GRAND AUSTRALIA 2016

FOLLOW TERESA YUOL ON SOCIAL MEDIA





Getting To Know DANI FITCH - Miss Grand Australia 2016. Fabulous. Scientific. Humanitarian.


Photography by Brendan Radke


TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR BACKGROUND, AND HOW YOU BECAME MISS GRAND AUSTRALIA 2016.
My name is Dani Fitch. I am a 27-year-old Australian-Filipino, qualified pharmacist, model and humanitarian. I studied for a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science and a Master's of Pharmacy in Queensland which eventually brought me to Sydney where I now work for a medical research company as a medical scientific liaison. Since 2013, I have been working alongside an anti-human trafficking organisation to help put an end to child sex slavery and violence throughout Asia, focusing specifically on funding rescue missions in Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines and India. Last year, I raised over $20,000 single-handedly for Variety the Children's charity which went towards providing medical aid and assistance to disadvantaged or sick children here in Australia. I became Miss Grand Australia in my pursuit to landing a platform whereby I may continue making a social impact and provide light to those in need in a dark, formidable world.
Photography by Leigh Warner 

YOU WILL BE COMPETING IN ONE OF THE WORLD'S FASTEST-GROWING INTERNATIONAL PAGEANT. HOW ARE YOU PREPARING YOURSELF FOR THE COMPETITION?

I have been a model for nearly 8 years now, so a lot of my photographic and runway training has been focused on refining technique specific to pageantry and weeding out bad habits. Otherwise, most of my preparation has been focused around styling, speech and PR/media training. I have been going to yoga 3 times a week to keep fit, manage my stress and keep myself centred. I also walk most mornings to clear my mind. I am an avid soccer player and dancer, so that also keeps me in shape.

Photography by Heidi Hanelle

DID YOU HAVE ANY MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT PAGEANTS IN GENERAL? IF SO, HOW HAVE THEY CHANGED? IF NOT, THEN WHY ARE YOU COMPETING IN ONE?

Not really, no. Not anymore anyway. I have been in the pageant game for over 5 years now (I competed in Universe, World and now Grand) so I think I stamped out most of my misconceptions years ago. Initially, like many others in Australia, I believed pageants to be just a glorified top model search, but after my first pageant I soon came to realise that pageants are a platform for empowering determined women who are doing their best to better the world.

 
IF YOUR FRIENDS WERE TO DESCRIBE YOU, WHAT WOULD THEY SAY?
I think they would mention words like 'determined' and 'resilient'. I have experienced a lot of set backs and hard times throughout my life, but nothing and nobody got in the way of what I set out to achieve.

WHAT MAKES YOU SAD/ WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?

Violation of human rights deeply disturbs and saddens me. Puppies always make me happy, so when I'm having a blue day I go down to the park behind my house, sit on the grass and watch all the dogs play.

Photography by Heidi Hanelle

IF YOU COULD CURE ANY DISEASE, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Mental illness - particularly the 'black dog' (depression). Not only does my job require that I discuss detailed patient cases every single day, 9 hours a day, but I also have many people close to my heart affected by this silent demon. No one deserves to feel that lost or hopeless.

YOU HAVE BOTH AUSTRALIAN AND FILIPINO HERITAGE IN YOU. WHICH ASPECT OF EACH RESPECTIVE HERITAGE DO YOU LIKE THE MOST? LIKE LEAST?

Like most -Aussie: easy going natureFilo: smiley temperament - no matter how bad their situation or disposition, they always find a reason to put on a big smile 
Like least - Aussie: lazinessFilo: laziness

Dirty Love Photography

HOW DO YOU HANDLE A TACTLESS PERSON WHO MAKES HIS/HER PREJUDICES KNOWN IN PUBLIC?

If it isn't my business, I won't get involved. However, if I feel it is negatively affecting another person, organisation or group and it is a deep injustice, I will intervene by opening up the lines of communication based on fact, not emotion. Understanding reasons why is the most important part of conflict resolution.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A BOY REJECT YOU? HOW DID YOU HANDLE IT?

Of course. I went out and got a Bachelors degree, a Masters degree, a great job, a strapping modelling career and a shiny crown. That's how I handled it.

IF YOU COULD SPEND A SATURDAY READING A NOVEL OR SHOPPING, WHICH WOULD YOU PICK AND WHY?
Reading a novel, I'm a huge book worm! It fuels my creativity when I write.

Photography by King Cheung

DO YOU THINK YOUNG WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD COSMETIC SURGERY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO COMPETE IN PAGEANTS AGAINST CONTESTANTS WHO HAVEN'T HAD SURGERY?

I am pro-choice and as competent adults I feel each person can make up their own mind about what they think is necessary for their own life. To each their own. I would not exclude anyone from making a difference in this world due to something as superficial as cosmetic surgery, whether that be in a beauty pageant or in their community.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL APPEARANCE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

My whole life I struggled with my skin colour, particularly growing up in Northern Queensland where racial prejudice still resided, but now I embrace my complexion and wouldn't change a thing. Besides, I have saved so much time and money in pageantry with this all-year long tan!

WHO DO YOU ADMIRE MOST IN LIFE AND WHY? 

My dad. No matter how many times life kept trying to knock him down, he kept getting back up and going back for more. I can really resonate with that type of mentality.

WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF THE WORD "SUCCESS?"

Getting back up even when you fail. The ultimate success is achieving your goal despite failing the first/second/third time.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?

I see myself leveraging my position to run regular rescue missions in Asia funded by the gala fundraising events I host in Sydney and Melbourne. I currently run what I have titled #FortuneProject whereby I bring together more fortunate and well positioned people of Australian capital cities to put forward donations, services and goods to provide for the less fortunate.


Photography by Heidi Hanelle



DANI'S FAVORITES


Singer/Musician – India Arie


 Actor – Robin Williams


 Actress – Julia Roberts


 Color – rainbow


 Fashion Designer – vintage


 Perfume – Elizabeth Arden Pretty


 Flower – Lily


 Writer – e. e. cummings 


 Book – "Chinese Cinderella"


 Movie – "The Shawshank Redemption"


 Quote - “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

― Marianne Williamson

Hashtag - #danifitch #missgrandaustralia 



Photography by United Images


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