6.14.2020

Miss South Africa Organisation May Sue City Press for 'Pure Body Shaming' Article



SASHA-LEE OLIVIER / PHOTO: WILLEM BOTHA


In an unprecedented move the Miss South Africa Organisation on Sunday released a statement in which it strongly condemned an article published in a Sunday newspaper. 

According to the organisation it’s "appalled with the article that appeared in City Press" on Sunday, 14 June titled "Is She or Not?" in which the publication speculates whether reigning Miss South Africa, Sasha-Lee Olivier is pregnant or not.

The source of the speculation is based on a photo of the South African beauty that was published on Instagram showing Sasha-Lee sitting at a bar in a mustard-yellow dress. 

According to the Miss South Africa Organisation a City Press journalist contacted them on Saturday asking for comment on the "rumours" which they categorically denied. 

"The Miss South Africa Organisation replied, stating categorically that Sasha-Lee is not pregnant. It was left at that. We did not condone entering into any salacious debate about Sasha-Lee’s body given the degrading and discriminatory intentions of this article," the organisation said in a statement. 

City press wrote: "If it’s true that there is a bun in the oven, it would be the first big scandal to hit South Africa’s most popular pageant. She would have gone against the pageant rules, which are quite clear that you cannot be pregnant when you enter – or even after – you are crowned."
The publication also published comments from "former Miss SA coordinator Thobile Sithole" echoing the statement that it would go "against international standard rules".

According to the Miss South Africa organisation it has "no knowledge of any such person and can state that no-one of that name has worked on the pageant since 2013. To this end, the Miss South Africa Organisation is further appalled by the lack of vetting utilised when asking for official comment and representation from the organisation itself."

LEGAL ACTION

The organisation added: "In a week in which President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks out against Gender Based Violence, the Miss South Africa Organisation is horrified about the story and would like to put the following on record: Sasha-Lee Olivier is not pregnant. City Press was told this in no uncertain terms.

"The article is pure body shaming, implying that if Sasha-Lee is not pregnant then she is fat. Let us put it on the record that Sasha-Lee Olivier is a real person and is deeply hurt by what appeared.

"As part of the 2019 campaign, Sasha Lee stood as an advocate for fuller figure women and expanded on the organisation’s prior representations of beauty. We as an organisation stand strong with Sasha Lee with this understanding of beauty and do not take lightly to any form of body shaming and discrimination which is intended to disempower and humiliate her.

"The Miss South Africa Organisation will be taking legal advice and action."

Sasha-Lee personally responded to the article in a live broadcast on her Instagram on Sunday night. "I know I’m not pregnant. I know who I am. I am comfortable in my skin," she said.

Adding: "I’m speaking up not for myself but for every single person I represent on this platform. It’s not even about weight. It’s about every girl that hasn’t felt comfortable or like she does not fit in. You don’t have to fit in. Just be yourself. That’s all and that’s enough.

"I’m so disappointed in the fact that we’re supposed to be building each another up but we choose to break each other down. I hope this is a teachable moment for every single one of you. You have a responsibility to use your platform to build and lift each other up. Let’s focus on what’s important."

Channel24 reached out to City Press for comment. The publication declined to immediately respond to the statement from the Miss South Africa Organisation.

Source: News24.com, June 14, 2020

6.02.2020

Ex-Miss Universe Malaysia Slammed For ControversialComments on 'Black People'


Samantha Katie James, who won the title in 2017, caused a furore by saying African-Americans "chose to be born as a coloured person in America".


The Miss Universe Malaysia Organization (MUMO) issued a statement late Monday (Jun 1) on Instagram to distance themselves from recent remarks made by former Miss Universe Malaysia winner Samantha Katie James.

MUMO said that James’ views were her own and not affiliated with the organisation. They added: “MUMO stands for a non-racial society and strongly condemns all acts of racism and prejudice anywhere in the world.”

The statement comes after James caused a furore online with her comments on the Black Lives Matter protests in the US, following the death of George Floyd.

James, who won the title in 2017, posted her thoughts on her Instagram Stories on Monday afternoon, reported the Malay Mail. She wrote: “I don’t live in America, it has nothing to do with me, but to me, it seems like the ‘whites’ won.”

“If you’re angry, you respond in rage and anguish and that means it has power over you. They have power over you,” she added. “Foolish humans.”

She later posted again on her Stories, saying: “To the black people, relax, take it as a challenge, makes you stronger. You chose to be born as a ‘coloured’ person in America for a reason. To learn a certain lesson. Accept it as it is, till now hunger and poverty still exists. It is what it is. It’s inevitable. Best you can do is remain calm, protect heart, don’t allow it to crumble. That’s your responsibility.”

Understandably, social media users were incensed with her remarks, with one user questioning her assertion that black people “chose” to be born so.

James posted her reply to the DM on her Stories, in which she explained: “Like our souls chose this life, this country, this race, this human form specifically for a reason. I always wondered why I was born in Malaysia as a white girl with a Chinese mum and Indian grandparents and a Brazilian dad. But I chose this all for a reason, as a soul.”

Many users are still calling her out for her comments, with one person saying, “Imagine telling black people to ‘just relax’ as if this isn't something they've been dealing with for YEARS. you should've just sat there and ate your food.”

Another user commented on James’ recent post: “No one CHOSE to be born a certain color. Black people have been protesting for YEARS and yet they still get racially profiled and killed because white privilege allows it. Perhaps don’t comment on things you don't have any clue of?"

Source: CNA Lifestyle, 6/2/2020




5.27.2020

Afghanistan In Pageantry



Watch CB Director Rafa Delfin's latest vlog on the status of Afghanistan in pageantry. Click the banner to take you to the link.


5.17.2020

Former Miss America Phyllis George Passes Away At 70


Phyllis George of Denton, Texas, the 21-year-old newly crowned Miss America, waves against backdrop of the beach and ocean at Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 13, 1970. (Associated Press)


Phyllis George, the former Miss America who became a female sportscasting pioneer on CBS's “The NFL Today” and served as the first lady of Kentucky, has died. She was 70.

A family spokeswoman said George died Thursday at a Lexington, Kentucky, hospital after a long fight with a blood disorder. Her children, Lincoln Tyler George Brown and CNN White House correspondent Pamela Ashley Brown, released a joint statement, saying:
“For many, Mom was known by her incredible accomplishments as the pioneering female sportscaster, 50th Miss America and first lady. But this was all before we were born and never how we viewed Mom. To us, she was the most incredible mother we could ever ask for, and it is all of the defining qualities the public never saw, especially against the winds of adversity, that symbolize how extraordinary she is more than anything else. The beauty so many recognized on the outside was a mere fraction of her internal beauty, only to be outdone by an unwavering spirit that allowed her to persevere against all the odds.”
Miss America in 1971, George joined Brent Musburger and Irv Cross in 1975 on “The NFL Today.” Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder later was added to the cast.
“Phyllis George was special. Her smile lit up millions of homes for the NFL Today," Musburger tweeted. “Phyllis didn't receive nearly enough credit for opening the sports broadcasting door for the dozens of talented women who took her lead and soared.”
George spent three seasons on the live pregame show, returned in 1980 and left in 1983, winning plaudits for her warmth of her interviews with star athletes. She also covered horse racing, hosted the entertainment show “People” and co-anchored the “CBS Morning News.”
George was briefly married to Hollywood producer Robert Evans in the mid-1970s and to John Y. Brown Jr. from 1979-98. Brown owned Kentucky Fried Chicken and the NBA’s Boston Celtics and served as the governor of Kentucky.

“Phyllis was a great asset to Kentucky,” Brown told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “We had a great partnership. I think we enjoyed every single day.”
From Denton, Texas, George attended the University of North Texas for three years, then went to Texas Christian University after earning a scholarship as Miss Texas in 1970. In her 2002 memoir, George wrote that a male friend told her sportscasting wouldn’t work because it was a man’s job. George even acknowledged knowing nothing about the industry and having no experience nor another female mentor to follow.
None of it stopped her.
George was a friend of minister Norman Vincent Peale and a devout believer in his best-selling philosophy of positive thinking, George credits that approach for launching a defining career she didn’t expect — one that saw her range into an astonishing variety of ventures and roles, in media, the film industry, food and beauty products, and as the glamorous first lady of the bluegrass state.
At a Super Bowl pregame taping, Phyllis George is seen with, from left, former NFL players Paul Horning and Joe Namath, and "All in the Family" star Carroll O'Connor, in Beverly Hills, Calif., Jan. 21, 1980. (Associated Press)
“Saying yes to yourself opens up opportunities that can take you anywhere,” George wrote. “Having a mentor in your life who says yes to you is also key. Appreciate your mentors when you’re starting out. And later, always give credit to the people who were there with you at the beginning.”
She entered a highly competitive pageant and emerged as Miss America,” Pitino wrote. “She became the first national female sports broadcaster. She flourished in the limelight as First Lady in the state of Kentucky. She’s been successful in business. And she is a respected humanitarian. Each step along the way, she embraced the mission at hand.”
Source: Fox News, 5/16/2020

5.12.2020

Miss America Postpones Annual Broadcast And Competition To 2021



CAMILLE SCHRIER, MISS AMERICA 2020
May 8, 2020
Miss America Postpones Annual Broadcast and Competitions to 2021 
NEW YORK, NY (May 8, 2020) –  The Miss America Organization announced Friday that the Miss America 2021 Competition, previously scheduled for December, is being delayed to next year due to the nation-wide impact of COVID-19. 
For the safety, health and welfare of the enormous community necessary to make the Miss America competition possible, including participants, volunteers, organizers, and fans, the Miss America Board of Directors has unanimously voted in favor of postponing the Miss America 2021 Competition and has advised the 51 qualifying competitions across the country to do so as well.
“As we all know, this moment in our history is one that will change the course of many programs, businesses, and institutions, and the Miss America Organization is not alone in navigating these challenges,” said Shantel Krebs, Board Chair. ”At this time, as an organization, our greatest concern is to make sure the thousands of people who are involved in or volunteer for our program are safe. This coming year will be our 100th anniversary for this iconic American institution, and we want to make sure that we take the time to ensure our annual broadcast and the surrounding experiences reflect our time-honored tradition.”
Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier was crowned live on NBC from Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut in December of 2019. An honors graduate of Virginia Tech with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry and Systems Biology, Schrier is now pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University. 
As Miss America 2020, a large part of my message is that science really is all around us,” said Schrier. “It is imperative that science and safety are at the forefront of our concern during this pandemic year, and it is with that in mind that I applaud the Miss America Organization’s decision to move this year’s competition to 2021.”
As a participant in the Miss America Organization, Schrier has earned over $77,000 in scholarship assistance to further her education. Camille will continue to serve in her role as Miss America 2020 until she passes the torch to her successor in 2021. 
“While I am sad that I am unable to promote my social impact initiative, Mind Your Meds, at events in person, I am grateful for the innovative ways we are broadening the conversation around prescription drug safety at home, such as the four-part webinar series on opioid addiction with Advanced Recovery Systems that launched this week. I remain hopeful that it will be safe to share my message in person soon. In the meantime, I will continue promoting the mission of Miss America while creating lasting change with my social impact initiative.” 
The Miss America Organization is working with the state qualifying organizations to amend rules and eligibility for the 2020 and 2021 competition years. For updates on the Miss America 100th Anniversary, please visit MissAmerica.org. 
Source: Miss America Organization

4.29.2020

Miss Philippines Earth 2020 Readies Virtual Presentation Due To Coronavirus




REIGNING MISS PHILIPPINES EARTH JANELLE TEE


It’s all systems go for the Miss Philippines-Earth 2020 beauty pageant as it prepares for a virtual presentation tentatively on May 24.

With no cheering live fans and less spectacle, the environment-driven beauty contest will be aired on ABS-CBN and on the social media platform of the pageant.

“We are now preparing for a virtual presentation of MPE 2020 that will be aired on ABS CBN and in our social media account. Our tentative date is May 24, 2020,” said Lorraine Schuck, Executive Vice President, Carousel Productions, organizer of the annual pageant, during an exclusive interview on Sunday.
Reigning Miss Philippines Earth television host Janelle Lazo Tee will crown her successor at the end of the show. Other details of the pageant’s virtual presentation will be revealed in the coming days, she said.
Should MPE pushes its pageant plans next month, this would be the first time that a national beauty pageant would be presented on virtual reality.
Schuck admitted that the MPE preparations for this year have been greatly affected by the pandemic, considering that they have prepared early for the pageant. As early as December 2019, MPE already announced the staging of 2020 pageant. Later, organizers opened the screening of its official candidates.
“COVID19 prevented our preparations for below the line events and a pageantry, an elaborate presentation for the coronation night the normal way, but it did not stop Miss Earth from promoting its main cause — awareness on environmental issues,” she said.
Schuck also thanked the media for helping the MPE promote environmental causes.
The former beauty queen believed that it would still be very difficult to stage public shows until next year due to worldwide health crisis.
“I agree we cannot do pageants this year or maybe even next year because we may not be allowed to congregate until we all get the vaccine,” Schuck said.
The winner of the 20th MPE 2020 will represent the Philippines in the international edition of the competition.
Schuck, whose group also organizes the annual Miss Earth contest, said that they have not yet discussed plans for the Miss Earth contest, one of five prestigious pageants in the world.
She also said that the MPE is holding a series of Facebook forum featuring MPE winners and candidates on environmental issues and their uses to fight COVID-19.

Source: Manila Bulletin, April 27, 2020

4.25.2020

CB Director Rafa Delfin: My Top 15 Favorites For Binibining Pilipinas 2020


Watch CB Director's latest vlog where he reveals his top 15 favorites for the Binibining Pilipinas 2020 competition. Click the banner to go the link.



4.10.2020

Miss World CEO Julia Morley Has COVID-19 After All


     Two weeks ago, the Miss World Organization (MWO) denied on its official Instagram account that MWO CEO Julia Morley had contracted the Coronavirus (COVID-19), indicating that it is "not true" and that Morley "is well and is working at her office in London." The pageant world was relieved that Morley, who is 80 and belongs to a group considered most vulnerable to the virus, had not been contaminated.




     However, two days ago, Miss World license holders (national directors) received an e-mail from Morley herself stating that she is "just getting over Corona Virus myself" and that she is "glad to be back on my feet again." A partial screenshot of the e-mail was posted by the anonymous author of the Facebook page, "Exposing Miss World Contest."  Her statement clearly contradicts the announcement on Instagram. Why the cover up? Did Morley fear economic loss if her license holders renounced their licenses? Did she fear becoming a social pariah? What exactly did she have to gain by hiding and denying her condition? After all, her pageant has never been completely transparent.



     Well, whatever her real reasons are to hide her COVID-19 status, we are relieved to learn that she is on her road to full recovery.

4.02.2020

Former Miss Earth Olga Alava Tested Positive For Coronavirus




Olga Alava, Miss Earth 2011 from Ecuador, posted on her Instagram account on April 1 that she has tested positive for the Coronavirus.  She wrote (translation to English from Spanish) "Today my test resulted positive and I would like to share a few things with you. My best advice: don't wait until you have severe symptoms to ask for help. In time, everything will be much easier. Stay at home and take care of yourself. Wishing you strenght and have faith everyone!"  


Alava is the first titleholder of a major pageant to be contracted the deadly virus. Her compatriot, the current Miss Ecuador Cristina Hidalgo, also announced a few days ago that she has the virus. Likewise, the co-hosts of Ecuavisa, Samantha Mora and Gretta Cordova, have been affected by the virus, according to Ecuadorian news outlet, Expreso (4/1/2020).


The official Miss Earth Instagram account confirmed the story. We wish Olga a quick recovery from the virus and we strongly urge everyone to stay at home and observe the guidelines on social distancing.



3.29.2020

Miss Ecuador Cristina Hidalgo Tests Positive For Coronavirus




The current Miss Ecuador, Cristina Hidalgo, announced on her Instagram account on March 28 that she has contracted the Coronavirus. Hidalgo wrote that she had been experiencing symptoms of the virus in the last few days - coughing, body aches, high fever, fatigue, difficulty in breathing, among others.

She also advised her followers to stay home and to take all necessary safety measures. Hidalgo represented Ecuador in 2019 Miss Universe pageant last December 8 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Source: El Universo, 3/28/2020

3.28.2020

Magali Febles Has Tested Positive For Coronavirus




Magali Febles, the national director for Miss Universe Dominican Republic, has announced on her Instagram account that she has been infected with the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. Febles was also the franchise holder of Miss Universe Puerto Rico for several years. 

Febles recounted how it was a "pesadilla" (nightmare) to get tested for the virus as she had to wait nine days to get the testing done. She blames the Dominican government for its inefficiency and lack of testing kits. It wasn't until her private doctor intervened to receive her test.

Febles is the second Dominican celebrity to have acquired Coronavirus. Jenny Polanco, a world-renowned designer and former Miss World Dominican Republic, succumbed to the virus two days ago. Critical Beauty wishes Magali Febles a quick recovery and strength.

Source: El Nuevo Dia, 3/26/2020

3.26.2020

Former Miss World Dominican Republic Jenny Polanco Dies From Coronavirus





Jenny Polanco, a well-knowDominican fashion designer and former Miss World Dominican Republic 1978, died on March 24 from Coronavirus which she contracted from Spain where she was promoting her line of clothing. She arrived in Santo Domingo on March 4 and told a reporter that she was feeling fine and did not have any symptoms, but on March 9 she started getting ill. Her health worsened as she suffered from respiratory failure. 

Polanco is the first Latino celebrity to have succumbed to the deadly virus. May she rest in peace. 
(Source: El Imparcial, 3/24/2020) 


Related News:
Jenny Polanco Is The First Latino Celebrity To Die From Coronavirus

3.18.2020

The Coronavirus And Its Effects On Pageants


Watch CB DIrector Rafa Delfin's latest vlog. The Coronavirus and Its Effects on Pageants. Click the banner to go to the link.




3.09.2020

3.06.2020

New Indonesian Queens For 2020



AYU MAULIDA



Three new Indonesian queens were crowned on March 6 at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta.   Ayu Maulida of East Java (Jawa Timur) was crowned Puteri Indonesia 2020 and will represent Indonesia in the next edition of Miss Universe whose date and venue have yet to be announced. Announced as 1st runner-up was Putu Ayu Saraswati of Bali, who will represent her country in Miss International 2020 to be held in Yokohama, Japan on October 29.  The 2nd runner-up was Jihane Elmira Chedid of Central Java (Jawa Tengah) who will compete in Miss Supranational 2020 in Poland in early December.

The finale was attended by Miss Universe 2019Zozibini Tunzi of South AfricaMiss International 2019Sireethorn Leearamwat of Thailand; and Miss Supranational 2019, Anntonia Porsild of ThailandPia WurtzbachMiss Universe 2015 from the Philippines served as one of the judges.

EAST JAVA

BALI

CENTRAL JAVA


Photos courtesy of Puteri Indonesia


3.03.2020

Miss New Hampshire’s Ties to Fur Prompt PETA Action



Miss New Hampshire 2020 Sarah Tubbs (left) and an unidentified woman model fur jackets provided by the New Hampshire Trapping Association

Derry, N.H. – Following accounts that Miss New Hampshire organizers reportedly forced pageant winners to wear fur coats provided by the New Hampshire Trapping Association—which has sponsored the pageant for more than two decades—PETA sent a letter calling on the pageant to stop awarding winners with fur coats and stop accepting blood money from the association. The action comes as a bill to prohibit recreational trapping is currently under legislative review in the state.
“Animals can languish for days after a trap cuts into their bones, sometimes even chewing off their own legs to return to their babies, before the trappers return to shoot, stomp, or bludgeon them to death,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on this beauty pageant to stop associating with something so ugly and drop fur immediately.”
PETA’s letter points out that pageants are evolving. Miss America dropped its swimsuit competition and no longer requires contestants to wear evening gowns. The Miss Florida USA pageant stopped awarding fur coats to winners nearly a decade ago. Miss New Hampshire is long overdue for a humane makeover and should take a progressive stand by going fur-free.
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear,” and the group opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Foundation President John Conley follows.
John Conley
President
Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Foundation, Inc.
Dear Mr. Conley,
Greetings from PETA. I’m writing on behalf of our 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including nearly 29,000 in New Hampshire, in light of former Miss New Hampshire contestant Kacie Flahive’s revelation that winners are pressured to accept and wear a real fur coat. It’s time for the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Foundation to stop accepting blood money from the New Hampshire Trappers Association and end the archaic tradition of awarding fur coats to winners.
Real fur is as outdated and out of touch as corsets and calling women “baby doll.” Major fashion brands—including Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Versace, Burberry, and Michael Kors—are dropping fur in droves, more than a dozen countries around the world have banned fur farms, and New Hampshire is considering a ban on recreational trapping.
Animals who are trapped for their fur can suffer for days from blood loss, shock, dehydration, frostbite, gangrene, and attacks by predators before being shot, stomped on, or bludgeoned to death. Mother animals who are desperate to return to their starving babies have even chewed off their own legs. Pressuring contestants to ignore their conscience and wear the product of this cruelty seems the opposite of Miss New Hampshire’s mission to “empower” young women.
Compassionate women like Flahive shun fur because they know that it’s deadly for animals and destructive to the environment. Producing an animal fur product is up to 10 times more damaging to the environment than producing a faux-fur one. Rivers and lakes often become contaminated with the toxic chemicals that are used to prevent real furs from rotting in buyers’ closets.
Pageants are evolving. Miss America dropped its swimsuit competition and no longer requires contestants to wear evening gowns. The Miss Florida USA pageant stopped awarding fur coats to winners nearly a decade ago. Miss New Hampshire is long overdue for a humane makeover: Please, take a progressive and kind stand by going fur-free.
Sincerely,
Danielle Katz
Campaigns Director
PETA

2.22.2020

Miss Universe India 2020 Crowned



Adline Castelino was crowned Liva Miss Diva Universe 2020 during a star-studded gala event on February 22 at Yash Raj Studio, Andheri West, in Mumbai. Castelino will represent India in the next edition of Miss Universe. Aavriti Choudhary was chosen as Liva Miss Diva Supranational 2020 and will compete in the next edition of Miss Supranational pageant. The first runner-up was Neha Jaiswal

The judges include big Bollywood celebrities Anil Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapoor, the current Miss Supranational from Thailand, Anntonia Porsild, and Miss Universe 2000 Lara Dutta who is also the mentor for the contestants.
Adline Castelino


Aavriti Choudhary


Neha Jaiswal


Photos courtesy of The Times Of India

Netherlands Wins Manhunt International 2020




Paul Luzineau of the Netherlands was declared the new Manhunt International 2020  on February 22 at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City, Philippines.

His court includes 1st Runner-Up Nikos Antonopoulos, Greece;  2nd Runner-Up Matheus Giora, Brazil; 3rd Runner-Up Yeray Hidalgo Hern├índez, Spain; and 4th Runner-Up Mayur Gangwani, India. 


What Is So Noble About Noble Queen Of The Universe?


Watch CB Director Rafa Delfin's latest vlog. The indecency of Noble Queen Of The Universe. Another dirty Miss World tactic. Zozi Tunzi's Homecoming (finally!), Philippine pageant season kicks off, Manhunt International.