Maeva Coucke, Miss France 2018

It has been a while since we have had a strong redhead competing in Miss Universe. Miss France 2018 Maeva Coucke is a rare find.

The newly single Miss France (reportedly she and her boyfriend of almost 3 years called it quits last month) is perhaps the most highly talked about redhead to compete in Miss Universe since Alyssa Campanella of the USA in 2011. While Alyssa may have been born blonde, Maeva is actually a brunette. The 5’9″ green-eyed beauty is one of the perceived strong contenders in Miss Universe this year. She graduated with a BTS in International Business and is taking up a law degree in hopes to become a corporate lawyer. With her mother diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, Maeva advocates for this cause during her reign as Miss France.

Pageant fans are in agreement that she would be one of the ladies to watch out for in Miss Universe.  However, there are insider rumors that the MW org wanted Maeva to compete in Miss World instead. This is despite having Eva Colas crowned as the Miss World France. Although we are just filing this under rumors for now.
No doubt about it, IMHO if Maeva is sent to Miss World she would be our next Miss World winner. How about you ladies and gents? Do you think Maeva would do better in Miss Universe or in Miss World?

Marta Magdalena Stepien: A Major Force Come Miss Universe 2018

Today’s post is a feature on Miss Universe Canada, Marta Magdalena Stepien. This 5’9 brunette has the heavy task of bringing back the Mikimoto crown to Canada this year.

After 15 years, Canada will be back in the country that gave them their 2nd Miss Universe crown courtesy of Natalie Glebova. Like Natalie, Marta is also competing in Bangkok, Thailand this year. And there’s more, both ladies have European heritage with Marta having Polish origins. Having migrated to Canada at age 6, this Taylor Swift deadringer has been modelling since the age of 14. As a model she has traveled around the world and have been to major fashion cities New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Korea, Zurich, and Paris. But there is more, this lady is studying Biomedical Engineering Technology at St. Clair College. She also speaks English, French, German, and Polish.

Here is a snippet from her Miss Universe Canada 2017 (she was 1st runner up to Lauren Howe in last year’s pageant) bio:
In the past, she has taken part in charity events to raise money for breast cancer. She also enjoys volunteering her time for tutoring and teaching young children. Marta wishes to inspire young women, both in her generation and the coming ones, to build their confidence, self esteem and promote healthy body image. Marta also desires to ‘lead by example’ and inspire young girls to pursue a career in technology or the sciences, and inspire a movement of females in male-dominated work fields.

The Crowns Used in the Miss World Pageant

Just like the Miss Universe pageant  the Miss World pageant also had a number of crown changes. But did you know that the practice of crowning MW winners only started in 1955?

The very first winner Kerstin ‘Kiki’ Haakonson wasn’t crowned during the Festival Bikini Contest, as it was only the press that named the contest as Miss World. The victory rites during her time involved standing at the highest level of a podium (much like the Olympics) with a bouquet and sash. Throughout the history of the pageant the crown has been changed eleven times.

The first ‘crowned’ winner was Venezuela’s Carmen Susana Duijm. It was only used 3 times. The second crown was used at the crowning of South Africa’s Penelope Anne Coelen in 1958. It was only used for that edition of the pageant. In fact the three crowns after the original was used only once each.

The fifth Miss World crown was used for 9 years and the UK’s Rosemarie Frankland was the first to wear it. The crown made the pageant’s record for the first to be used in 9 consecutive editions. It concluded its run in 1969 with Austria’s Eva Reuber-Staier in 1969.

Jennifer Hosten of Grenada was crowned with a new one in 1970. The crown was nicknamed the jester’s crown/ the fool’s crown because of its design. That year was also controversial as the Prime Minister of Grenada was among the judges. It was also the year where the MW allowed two ladies from South Africa to compete (one black, one white) because of the apartheid issue.
In 1972 a new crown design was again used. It was only used for that year but its tenure wouldn’t end there as it is poised to make another comeback later. Belinda Green has the distinction of being the first to wear that crown.

1973 & 1974 were the years of short-lived reigns and short lived crowns. Marjorie Wallace like her rhinestone crown didn’t last long. Helen Morgan’s crown only lasted a year as well. By 1976 yet another crown was used, this time it was Jamaica’s Cindy Breakespeare’s honor to wear that crown. The crown was worn by 3 winners and lasted until 1978.
The crown design of 1972 made a comeback by 1979, Gina Swainson was first to wear the revised crown and it has been used ever since.


Miss Colombia: Rumbo a Miss Universe

The search for the Colombian rep to Miss Universe is already underway!

‘Rumbo a Miss Universe’ is the program that will be broadcast on September 30 by the RCN channel, where the woman who will represent Colombia in Miss Universe 2018 will be chosen. The candidate that is elected in the pageant in Medellín will travel to Thailand and compete for the Mikimoto crown on December 16, 2018.

Señorita Antioquia, Isabella Atehortúa Zapata – 20 years old, 5’8″ tall, student of Social Communication for Development and Social Change at the Universidad Católica de Oriente
Señorita Atlantico, Mirriam Isabel Caranza de Moya – 22 years old, 5’9″ tall,  social media commentator & journalist
Señorita Cartagena, Nathalia Marcela Blanco – 22 years old, 5’8 1/2″ tall, double degree student taking up Business Administration and Anthropology at Universidad del Rosario,  fluent in English
Señorita Cesar,  Jennifer Salazar Sánchez – 25 years old, 5’7 1/2″ tall, speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently
Señorita Choco, Alma Beatriz Diaz Bonilla – 25 years old, 5’10 3/4″ tall, studying Advertising/ Graphic Communication at the University of Medellín
Señorita Guajira, Claudia Maryam Montenegro Acosta – 22 years old,  5’8″ tall, a Social Communicator graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana,  fluent in English
Señorita Huila, Maria De Los Angeles Sarmiento Cardoso
– 25 years old, 5’7 1/4″ tall, a student of Fashion Design at the Grancolombiano Polytechnic, English is her second language
Señorita Norte de Santander, Sandra Patricia Palacios Martinez – 22 years old, 5’11 3/4″ tall, Psychology student at the Simón Bolívar University
Señorita Santander, Evelin Julieth Chávez Navas – 21 years old, 5’7 1/4″ tall, Law Student at the Autonomous University of Bucaramanga, speaks English

Señorita Cauca, Maria Camila Concha Osorio – 23 years old, 5’9″ tall, 86-68-90, Law Student at the Universidad del Cauca
Señorita Magdalena, Samara Saghair Granados – 25 years old, 5’8″ tall, 86-70-98, a student of Administration in Logistics and Production of the Universidad del Rosario. Speaks Spanish and English fluently.
Señorita Nariño, Mayeli Valencia Calderón – 23 years old, 5’8″ tall, 85-62-96, a student of Social Communication at the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente
Señorita Quindio, Maria Andrea Arango Isaza – 25 years old, 5’5″ tall, 84-60-92, Business Administrator of the EU Business School and has a Masters degree in Marketing Management and Commercial Management, , fluent in English
Señorita San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, Nirvany Natasha Bowie Steele – 23 years old, 5’11” tall, 88-61-92, currently studying  Acting and Presenting in Television at the Talentos Efraín Arce Aragón, , fluent in English
Señorita Valle,  Valeria Morales Delgado  – 23 years old, 5’8″ tall, 86-63-90, a student of Social Communication at Broward College, fluent in English

Why not Thitaree Kasorn or Valentina Ploy for Miss Earth?

We all know that the Miss Earth Thailand franchise is now under a new Thai organization, but still we haven’t heard anything new regarding the supposed pageant to select a Thai rep.
So we pose this question for all, why not handpick Miss Universe Thailand Thitaree Kasorn or Valentina Ploy Giardullo to compete instead?

The upside to this is that it will give the new franchise owner enough time to properly mount a competition next year. And it will give opportunity for either Valentina or Thitaree a chance to compete internationally for a title. This would also give them the necessary experience when competing for a bigger title in the future.

The downside on the other hand is if the Miss Earth org will allow a handpicked participation considering the rumored agreement that the new org is to set up a national pageant. Add to it is the unfair disadvantage of non-English speakers with really crappy translators from the MEOrg (I really hope that they are able to address this). This kind of disadvantage is really becoming a problem and should be addressed so that language barriers do not become a hindrance for crown-worthy candidates.

Let’s us you readers who do you think would be a better choice? Thitaree or Valentina? Let us know on the comment section below…

SCANDAL! Veruska Ljubisavljevic Sues Miss Venezuela Org!

The Miss Venezuela organization that Osmel Sousa left is in such a bind even after his departure. His last crowned Miss Venezuela Mundo 2017, Veruska Ljubisavljevic, is suing the MVO for damages due to her non-participation in MW this year. It was only informed earlier that due to the MW age cut off of 26 years old, she won’t be able to compete in the pageant in China this year.

Veru, on her official Instagram page, has this to say:
I have always known that as citizens (and as human beings) we all have rights and responsibilities. Fulfilling the responsibilities acquired is a serious obligation, and I have always faced them with all the aplomb and best possible disposition. But it is also an obligation to defend the rights of equality, non-discrimination and individual freedoms, when these are threatened or violated.
As is known throughout Venezuela, I was crowned Miss Venezuela World thanks to my own efforts and sacrifices, to the support and affection of my family and friends. I have been very disciplined with my obligations and the requirements of my presence and the use of my image and my name as the representative of Venezuela in the Miss World.

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Siempre he sabido que como ciudadanos (y como seres humanos) todos tenemos derechos y responsabilidades. Cumplir con las responsabilidades adquiridas es una seria obligacion, y siempre las he encarado con todo el aplomo y mejor disposición posible. Pero también es una obligación defender los derechos de igualdad, no discriminacion y libertades individuales, cuando estas son amenazadas o vulneradas. Como es conocido por toda Venezuela, fui coronada Miss Venezuela Mundo gracias a mis esfuerzos y sacrificios propios, al apoyo y cariño de mi familia y mis amigos.  He sido muy disciplinada con mis obligaciones y los requerimientos de mi presencia y el uso de mi imagen y mi nombre como la representante de Venezuela en el Miss Mundo. He llevado un mensaje de integración y respeto como bandera y entiendo que el respeto a los demás siempre empieza con la valoración y el respeto a uno mismo, por eso al haber sido electa representante de la mujer Venezolana en el próximo Miss World, no puedo permitir que me usen arbitrariamente como mujer sin exigir respeto y hacer valer mis derechos. En una reunion no formal las señoras Nina Sicilia y Maria Gabriela Isler me informarón que mi participación en el Miss World no sería efectiva. Entonces por qué en la noche del Miss Venezuela 2017 se permitió que se me otorgará la banda y corona de Miss World.? Por qué informarme de tal decisión tanto tiempo después.? Recordemos que la figura gerencial del Miss Venezuela cambió, pero siempre ha sido la misma organización y son ellos los responsables de esta injusticia, no alguna persona en particular. Apartir de este momento estoy en la obligación de hacer valer mis derechos como ciudadana , como mujer, y como Venezolana, exigiendo que me sea restituido mi total y absoluto derecho de representar a mi país VENEZUELA 🇻🇪 en la próxima Edición del #MissWorld . Un derecho adquirido de buena lid y valorado como la gran oportunidad de representar a mi país ante el mundo. A todas las personas que me han apoyado quiero hacerles llegar el más sincero de los abrazos por estar conmigo, darme aliento y fuerzas en momentos tan difíciles. Gracias Venezuela 💛💙❤ 🇻🇪

A post shared by Veruska Ljubisavljevic (@verulju) on

I have carried a message of integration and respect as a flag and understand that respect for others always begins with the valuation and respect for oneself, that’s why having been elected representative of the Venezuelan woman in the next Miss World, I can not afford that they use me arbitrarily as a woman without demanding respect and asserting my rights. In a non-formal meeting, ladies Nina Sicilia and Maria Gabriela Isler informed me that my participation in Miss World would not be effective. So why on the night of the Miss Venezuela 2017 did you allow me to be awarded the Miss World band and crown? Why inform me of such a decision so much later? Remember that the managerial figure of Miss Venezuela changed, but it has always been the same organization and it is they who are responsible for this injustice, not any one person in particular. From this moment I am obliged to assert my rights as a citizen, as a woman, and as a Venezuelan, demanding that I be restored my total and absolute right to represent my country VENEZUELA 🇻🇪 in the next edition of #MissWorld. An acquired right of good fight and valued as the great opportunity to represent my country before the world.
To all the people who have supported me I want to send you the most sincere hug to be with me, to give me encouragement and strength in such difficult times.
Gracias Venezuela.

Angela Ponce & Her Advocacy for Transgender Youth

Miss Universe Spain Angela Ponce’s participation in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant is a huge game changer in the competition. Being the first transgender female to compete in the pageant has given her a larger platform to talk about her advocacy and personal experience.

The transgender community is one of the most abused communities within the LGBT community. It is said that 30%-50% of transgender people experience dating violence a huge statistical gap compared to the 28%-33% of the general population. That is why Angela Ponce’s advocacy of helping transgender youths is such an importance as it is estimated that about 41% of transgender people will attempt suicide. The 25-year old model has been a volunteer for a bit over three years for the Daniela Foundation, where she helps provide counselling to troubled transgender teenagers as well as providing their families information on dealing with difficulties being with a transgender family member.
Continue reading “Angela Ponce & Her Advocacy for Transgender Youth”

The Pageant Destinations of the 2018 Bb. Pilipinas Winners

October will be the start of the international pageant season and would last until around January of next year. We now have the pageant destinations of the Binibining Pilipinas winners in their respective pageants.

Bb. Pilipinas Globe, Michelle Gumabao – Tirana, Albania
* So it seems that the Vietnam hosting of the pageant didn’t push through and it will be held once again in Albania. Michele is going to be the first of her batch to compete with the finals scheduled on October 21st.
Bb. Pilipinas Grand International, Eva Patalinjug – Myanmar
* Yangon, Myanmar is where Eva will be battling it out on the month of October. The pageant is slated to get over 80 delegates from all over the world this year and will culminate on the evening of October 25th.
Bb. Pilipinas Supranational, Jehza Huelar – Krynica-Zdrój, Poland
* Krynica-Zdrój hard as it seem to pronounce but that is where Jehza will be competing for the blue Supranational crown. It will be the 10th anniversary of the pageant which will be celebrated through it’s finals on December 7 (a day ahead of its European pageant rival Miss World).

Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, Karen Gallman – Philippines
* The 47th Miss Intercontinental pageant will be held in the Philippines from January 9-26, 2019 with the finals at the MOA Arena on the 26th. She will be the last in her batch to compete for an international title.
Bb. Pilipinas International, Ahtisa Manalo – Tokyo, Japan
* Mark your calendars on November 9th as our very own Ahtisa will be competing for the MI Mikimoto crown at the Tokyo Dome. The 5’9″ Ahtisa would probably enjoy most the Tokyo-based pageant as it will be filled with packed fun-filled schedule to experience the wonders of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Miss Universe Philippines, Catriona Gray – Bangkok, Thailand
* Wouldn’t it be great if the Christmas present we get from Catriona would be the Miss Universe crown? Slated to compete at early morning of December 17th (to match the December 16 evening broadcast over at the US), the 5’10 Aussie-Filipina will aim for the 4th Miss Universe title of the country.

Throwback Thursday to Yedda Marie Mendoza

Last July, former Binibining Pilipinas International 1996 Yedda Marie Mendoza Kittilstvedt was featured in the official Facebook page of the Miss International pageant. The 5’9″ model was a semi-finalist during the 1996 Miss International competition. Yedda, who is of Filipina-American-Norwegian heritage, has then found herself on a career in public service…

Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez was Bb. Pilipinas International 1996 (Miss International Philippines 1996) where she represented her pageant-loving country at the 36th edition of Miss International. Now she is a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, and is serving her consituents in Leyte Island.

Yedda is just one of the many former Miss International contestants who have brought different meaning to the title that they had carried and passed on. Serving the public is an example.

Demi Leigh Nel-Peters on Hard Work

Miss Universe Demi-Leigh on success: I’ve had to work hard for everything! Thus reads the headline of South Africa’s article on reigning Miss Universe Demi Leigh Nel Peters.

Demi said that she takes pride in the fact that success hasn’t just landed in her lap and she’s had to earn everything she has achieved.
I’ve had to work really hard for anything that has ever come my way. That is why I never take any victory for granted. I believe every situation and experience I’ve lived has prepared me for the present and has made me the woman I am today.
As the reigning Miss Universe, she does work hard since the start of her reign. She has traveled to Indonesia, the Philippines, France, Peru, Mexico, different parts of the US and recently to Thailand for the Miss Universe 2018 official announcement. She has completed a couple of media tour since her winning MU, done a number of endorsements, numerous photoshoots and magazine covers, different speaking engagements and different public appearances (including television appearances). Hence hardwork is nothing strange to her.

Additional snippets of the article below…
Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was recently unveiled as the August cover star of Women’s Health magazine where she opened up about the importance of keeping your body and mind healthy.
“Beauty is about being healthy, feeling good, being energised and glowing from the inside out. It’s about being able to take care of yourself and your body and giving it the nutrition it needs. I mean, it’s the only body you’ll ever have.”

A Gloriously Gorgeous Vickie Marie Rushton

Do you want Binibining Pilipinas 2018 1st runner up compete again for any of the BBP titles next year?

After celebrating her 26th birthday last May and a lovely holiday break in the UK, the 5’6″ beauty is all over Instagram these days with her photos modelling lovely clothes and gowns for the brand, Apartment 8 Clothing. The Ilonga beauty is looking more and more gorgeous these days that we are hoping she would consider Binibining Pilipinas one more chance in 2019. (PS., I’d like to say that the long straight hair looks marvelous on her and should sport it a bit more often.)

Vickie was rumored to be one of the top 2 ladies in the BBP 2018 finals and that her 1st runner up placement was probably a strategic move on BPCI’s part so that she can come back. She has a very underrated quiet beauty that would be appreciated in Miss International (though we might have to check if she would still be eligible for that title by next year). Vickie also has a very compelling backstory, similar to that of Miss Universe Demi leigh Nel Peters. I also have observed that she has the unassuming qualities that is both endearing and genuine, akin to that of the late Audrey Hepburn. You can see compassion in her eyes and that is perhaps one of the reasons that she placed that high prior to the BBP deliberation of titles. Something that I am confident she can replicate should she join Binibining Pilipinas 2019.
Hopefully, she would give it one last try…

Hong Kong: Official Mister Gay World 2019 Venue

The Mister Gay World organization has officially named Hong Kong as the next country host of the annual male competition specifically for members of the LGBTQ community.

The coveted Mr Gay World 2019 contest dates have been officially announced. This prestigious contest, now in its 11th year will be held in Hong Kong from 28 April to 4 May 2019. Mister Gay World 2018 Jordan Bruno, an Australian reality TV star and chef, will be crowning his successor then.
Last June, Hong Kong won the bid to host the contest. Hong Kong has also been chosen to host the Gay Games in 2022.

The Mr. Gay World Competition is a Twenty First Century public performance where the delegates represent their nation as the best spokesperson and embody the spirit of their nation.
As a treat, here are several photo-collages of reigning winner, Jordan Bruno…

Jordan was a contestant on My Kitchen Rules, and now is an advocate for mental health and the LGBTI community.
Self confessed Mama’s Boy…

Eva Patalinjug: Divine Goddess in Amir Sali

Today’s #FashionFridays feature is on the showstopper creation of designer Amir Sali worn by Eva Patalinjug. Divine! Simply Divine!

That is how Binibining Pilipinas Grand International Eva Psychee Patalinjug looked during the Marry Me at Marriott show last evening. Wearing a showstopper ‘Traje de Mestiza’ wedding gown, the 5’7″ porcelain skinned mestiza beauty turned heads with her over the top ensemble.

I would say that this is such a delight to witness the splendor of what our Filipino designer could do in term of design. This actually reminds me a a vintage John Galliano for Dior Haute Couture collection, perhaps around circa 1997/98.

Would something in this same style work for her come Miss Grand International? We all know that Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia take their national costumes seriously, what could she have in-store for us? I’d still think an Aliwan Festival costume would be her best bet, but we may have to see what surprise she has under her sleeve come October!

Kim de Guzman: Miss World Philippines as her Swan Song?

Rumor has it that former Miss Earth-Air, Kim de Guzman is full steam ahead in her participation for Miss World Philippines this year. Could this be her swan song in pageants?

At age 26, she is at the borderline of the age requirements of the MWP pageant. Which make this a “now or never” opportunity. In all honesty, I think she waited just fine in joining pageants as with age comes a certain level of maturity. Aside from that she looks much better now that in her early twenties where she looks “too young” for her age, that you can actually mistake her for a teenager. Nowadays, she looks much more feminine and womanly. She has that sophisticated aura on her nowadays that is quite rare to look for in pageant girls. #LooksExpensive to say the least.
Plus her stint at the Miss Philippines Earth pageant would be a valuable experience that she can bank upon in whichever international competition she may end up with.

It would be exciting to see her later competing again and get to represent the country in an international competition…

Margo Midwinter for MWP or BBP?

Margo Midwinter is no longer the Philippine rep to the Miss Progress International pageant. Rumor has it that she is currently mulling over joining the Miss World Philippines pageant this year or the Binibining Pilipinas pageant next year.

My honest opinion on that matter is that she should try for the Binibining Pilipinas pageant. And here are the two reasons why:
1. 3 Back-to-Back Challenges – 3 out of the 4 titles will be back to back challenges. And based from our experience in 2013 where a similar scenario happened, our reps ended up in less than spectacular results in 2014 (Miss Supranational, Miss International and Miss World). There is only the Miss World Philippines title that is going to be fought nail and tooth for by the candidates this year that won’t have the extra burden of a b2b pressure.
2. Prep Time for a Strategy – joining MWP is one that is historically for girls who have a meticulously planned strategy… from sports, talent and Beauty with a Purpose project, down to each aspect of the challenges. Let’s be honest, the past Filipina beauty queens who did exceptionally well in Miss World are those who competed in MWP as if they were already in the international pageant. Nothing is left unplanned as MW is a pageant where you cannot just ‘wing it’ for the fasttrack challenges.

Margo needs to plan her strategy well if she wants to win the MWP crown, to which I would assume is the title she aims specifically for. However I would understand if she does go for the MWP pageant as a possible stepping stone and a learning experience. After all, crossovers are not uncommon practice in national pageants. Whatever she decides, she should do her best and give it her all.