6.29.2018

Transgender Woman Crowned Miss Universe Spain 2018



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. 








6.25.2018

More Changes To Miss America Organization Board


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

6.09.2018

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

6.06.2018

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

Miss America Ditches The Swimsuit Competition


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