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:


Miss Universe Panama 2019

Mehr Eliezer, a 22-year-old student of International Relations, representing Isla Flamenco, was crowned Señorita Panama 2019 on June 20th in Panama City. She will now compete in Miss Universe 2019 whose date and venue have yet to be announced. Eliezer was born in Delhi, India and her parents, who are Indians, emigrated to Panama when she was a little girl.

Also crowned in the same event were Betzaida Rodríguez from Los Santos as Miss International Panama 2019 and will compete in Miss International 2019 pageant in Tokyo sometime in November, whereas Carmen Drayton from Portobelo was crowned Miss Grand Panama 2019 and will compete in Miss Grand International 2019 to be held in Caracas, Venezuela on October 25. The first runner-up is Carmen Jaramillo from Panama Este and the second runner-up is Ana Lucía Tejeira from Coclé.

Photo credit: La Estrella, Panama


Review Of Binibining Pilipinas 2019 Finals

Watch Critical Beauty director Rafa Delfin share his thoughts on the Binibining Pilipinas 2019 pageant. Click the banner for the link to the video.


Miss India 2019

Suman Rao, 20, representing the state of Rajasthan, was crowned Miss India 2019 on June 15 at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Mumbai. She will now represent India in Miss World 2019 pageant in Thailand in December. She was crowned by her predecessor Anukreethy Vas.

The second place went to Shivani Jadhav (left) of Chhattisgarh who was named Miss Grand India 2019 and will compete in Miss Grand International 2019 in Venezuela in October.  She was crowned by her predecessor, Meenakshi Chaudhary (right).

The third place went to Shreya Shanker (left) of Bihar who was also named Miss India United Continents 2019 and will compete in Miss United Continents 2019 pageant in Ecuador later this year. She was crowned by her predecessor Gayatri Bhardwaj (right).

Photo credits: Femina Miss India


Review of Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2019 Finals

Watch Critical Beauty director Rafa Delfin give his two cents on the Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2019 Finals. Click the banner for the link to the video.


Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2019

Madison Anderson Berrios, 23, was crowned Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2019 at Centro de Bellas Artes in Santurce on June 13. Madison, who was born in Florida of American father and Puerto Rican mother, will now represent the Enchanted Isle in the next edition of Miss Universe whose date and venue have not yet been announced. She was crowned by the outgoing queen, Kiara Liz Ortega.

Madison is a pageant veteran, having competed in Miss Florida Teen USA 2014 (4th runner-up), Miss Florida USA 2018 (first runner-up) and Miss Grand International 2016 (3rd runner-up). She was heavily criticized for not speaking Spanish very well, claiming that English is her native language. Nevertheless, the judges looked past her lack of proficiency in Spanish and gave her the highest marks on overall performance.

The first runner-up is Estefania Soto, Miss San Sebastian, and the second runner-up is Fabiola Valentin, Miss Camuy. The remaining six finalists were the delegates from Dorado, Carolina and Cayey (who was chosen via online voting).


New Philippine Queens For 2019

New Philippine queens were crowned on June 9, 2019 at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Manila. Thank you to correspondent Peter Pe for covering the show for Critical Beauty. Here are the official results:

Miss Universe Philippines 2019 - Gazini Ganados (Talisay City, Cebu)
Bb. Pilipinas International 2019 - Bea Patricia Magtanong (Bataan)

Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2019 - Resham Ramirez Saeed (Maguindanao)
Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2019 - Samantha Ashley Lo (Cebu)
Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2019 - Emma Mary Tiglao (Pampanga)
Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2019 - Leren Mae Bautista (Laguna)
1st Runner-Up - Aya Abesamis (Pasig City)
2nd Runner-Up - Samantha Mae Bernardo (Palawan) - same position as last year

Gazini Ganados was crowned by her predecessor and current Miss Universe, Catriona Gray.  

Ganados will now represent her country in the next edition of Miss Universe who venue and date have not been confirmed.  

 Magtanong will compete in Miss International 2019 to be held in Tokyo on November 12.

 Saeed will compete in Miss Supranational 2019 sometime in December in Poland.

 Lo will compete in Miss Grand International 2019 to be held in Venezuela in October,

 Tiglao will compete in Miss Intercontinental 2019 whose venue and date have not yet been confirmed.

Bautista will compete in Miss Globe 2019 whose date and venue have not been announced.


Miss Universe Albania 2019

American-born Cindy Marina, 21, was crowned Miss Universe Albania 2019 on June 7 at the Palace of the Congresses in Tirana. She will now represent Albania at the next edition of Miss Universe whose date and venue have yet to be confirmed. The statuesque Marina plays for the Albanian volleyball team.

Watch her coronation:

Critical Beauty Chooses Top 15 Favorites For Binibining Pilipinas 2019

Watch Critical Beauty Director Rafa Delfin's Top 15 Picks For Binibining Pilipinas 2019 which will be held on Sunday, June 9 starting at 7:00 PM at Smart Araneta Coliseum. 


Gretchen Carlson Steps Down As Miss America Chairwoman

FILE — In this April 5, 2019 File photo, Gretchen Carlson attends Variety’s Power of Women: New York presented by Lifetime at Cipriani 42nd Street Miss America-Carlson in New York. Carlson is stepping down as board chairwoman of the Miss America Organization. The former Fox News host and former Miss America says in a statement Wednesday, June 5, that she has helped make the organization more relevant. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) Evan Agostini

ATLANTIC CITY — One year ago, Gretchen Carlson was on “Good Morning America” announcing a new Miss America Competition without swimsuits, kicking off months of strife and division within the organization.
On Wednesday, Carlson announced she is stepping away from her position as chairwoman of the Miss America Organization.
“I’ve agreed to stay on as an adviser to the board to allow this work to continue,” Carlson said in a statement, “Miss America will always be a part of who I am, and I will enthusiastically watch as the organization continues to grow and succeed.”

Shantel Krebs (Photo: Avera Health/Submitted)
Shantel Krebs, a former South Dakota secretary of state and Miss South Dakota 1997, will take over the position of chairwoman, and attorney Brenda Keith will serve as vice chairwoman.
“I am excited to support MAO in the chair role by helping to craft initiatives which will serve to inspire and motivate young women across the country to lead by example,” Krebs said in a statement.
Krebs and Keith have both been board members since October, according to the MAO, and were unanimously elected.
Carlson, a former Fox News host and Miss America 1989, took the position of executive chair of the Board of Trustees on Jan. 1, 2018, after a collective of former Miss Americas and pageant stakeholders called for the resignation of former CEO and Chairman Sam Haskell.
Regina Hopper was announced as CEO in May 2018.
While the dawn of 2018 spurred a bit of hope for the pageant, a schism quickly formed in the organization, with allegations of mismanagement, secrecy and mistreatment of the reigning Miss America.
Under Carlson’s leadership, Miss America 2018 Cara Mund called her year of service “tough,” saying she often felt “unheard or utilized or appreciated.” In an open letter, Mund described bullying from Carlson and other MAO leaders.
The allegations were reviewed by a Texas-based human resource firm and were deemed unfounded, but Mund continued to call for a change in leadership.
“I look forward to seeing the Miss America Organization continue to show women the power of their own voice as it approaches the 100th anniversary. I have learned that by having the courage to use one’s voice, influential change can occur. I wish Ms. Carlson the best on her new endeavors and fully support her decision to step down,” Mund said.
Jennifer Vaden Barth, the former MAO board member who claimed Carlson and Hopper orchestrated an illegal and bad-faith takeover of the organization in a lawsuit filed in Atlantic County Superior Court late last year, said Carlson’s resignation may be a good sign for the organization.
“Maybe she realized quitting is the best thing for her and the best thing for the Miss America Organization,” Barth said.
Barth said she noticed Carlson was not as engaged with the MAO on social media and at organization events. Carlson made a brief appearance at a conference in March for state executive directors, Barth was told by state leaders, and noted that Carlson’s efforts have been more focused on her role in the #MeToo movement and her Lifetime television series, “Breaking the Silence.”
Barth said she spoke with Krebs before she accepted the position on the board and explained many of the governing issues facing the MAO.
“I told her to give it serious thought before she joined the organization,” Barth said.
Miss America 1984 Suzette Charles was outspoken against Carlson and Hopper’s leadership following Mund’s bullying allegations and seeing traditional elements of the pageant fall by the wayside.
I’m pleased to hear she’s stepping aside,” said Charles, “though the damage has been done — there’s gonna have to be a lot of glue to repair what’s been done to the tradition of Miss America.”
“I’m pretty upset about it. She was a strong leader,” Miss New Jersey Executive Director David Holtzman said of Carlson’s resignation.
Holtzman was appointed in December after the Miss America Organization agreed to reinstate the state organization’s license, which was revoked for breaking from the central organization’s new vision.
Carlson’s “Miss America 2.0” sought to empower women but failed to bring positive attention to the pageant, instead dividing loyal supporters and producing lackluster event attendance and TV ratings.
After contracts expired for a state subsidy from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and television broadcast with ABC Networks, the MAO succeeded last month in partnering with NBC to broadcast the Miss America 2020 Competition. The pageant’s date and location have not been announced.
Source; Press of Atlantic City, 6/5/2019


Miss Universe Myanmar 2019

Swe Zin Htet from the state of Kayin was crowned Miss Universe Myanmar 2019 in Yangon on May 31st. She will now compete in the next edition of Miss Universe whose date and venue have yet to be announced. Myanmar began competing in Miss Universe in 2013 but has never placed, though the country won the Best National Costume award in 2016.

Htet competed in Miss Supranational 2016 pageant where she placed in the Top Ten.