Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers: First Black Miss Universe Great Britain

The first dark-skinned woman to win the Miss Universe Great Britain title in 66 years is one of the signs of how the Miss Universe pageant is changing what is beauty.

Dee Ann Kentish-Rogers, hails from Anguilla, a British territory in the Caribbean (close to the Puerto Rico, US & British Virgin Islands). She is a 25 year-old heptathlete who once dreamt of competing in the Olympics. Here are snippets of an article from the BBC on her…  Continue reading “Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers: First Black Miss Universe Great Britain”


2018 Miss International South Africa, Reabetswe Sechoaro

South Africa is in a pageant Renaissance nowadays after winning Miss World in 2014 and Miss Universe in 2017. It is no surprise that that a gorgeous woman has been selected as the new Miss International South Africa.

Meet Reabetswe Sechoaro, she is the female winner of King and Queen of South Africa, the organization that selects the SA reps to Mister International and Miss International. Nicknamed Rambi, she is the half-sister of South African superstar Bonang Matheba. She is a model and a student taking up accountancy.

Below was her message on Instagram about her win…
Yaaaaay, we did it! I’m your new Miss International South Africa ‘18… 1st of all I’d like to thank God for entrusting me with this title. To the @kingandqueenofsa organization, the judges, my family, friends and everyone who believed in me and who supported me, your kind words and motivation has seen me through it all and without all of you I wouldn’t be in this position! I truly appreciate it, love love love you all… we are going to @missinternationalofficial baby🎉💥❤😘❤#missinternationalsa18 #missqueenofsa18
Do you think Rambi could be the first Miss International winner to emerge from Africa?


Pia, Denise & Zuleyka: Yes to Transfemales in Miss Universe

More and more past winners are now speaking through their actions their support and/or approval on the participation of transfemales in  Miss Universe.
Latest to show her support is Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach who in a news report from ABSCBN said that, “you don’t have to be natural born woman to be Miss Universe.” Pia who is a staunch supporter of the LGBTQ community is reported to be open to transgender females in the Miss Universe competition.

In a related report former Miss Universe from Puerto Rico and current Miss Universe Puerto Rico National Director Denise Quiñones confirmed that the local organization will follow the international rules of the MU pageant. In February 17 this year, the MUPR organization eliminated the “birth” clause requirement that included the naturally-born female aspect and instead replaced it with the clause “born in Puerto Rico” and resided in the country for 6 consecutive months. This would make Puerto Rico the latest country to open its pageant to transfemales. This makes 5 with Canada, USA, Israel, Spain and now Puerto Rico.

Former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera also expressed her support for Angela Ponce in the coming pageant. In the Spanish TV show Un Nuevo Dia on Telemundo, the former MU winner gave her support to Ponce and gave her advise for the MU competition. She said to relish every moment of the competition and drown out the noise coming from everywhere because ‘you can never get back the experience‘.

Seems like inclusion is the name of the game. The three former winners alongside Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo are just a few of the recent titleholders who are in favor of transfemales in the MU pageant.

The Evolution of the Miss Universe Crown

This post is all about the crowns used in the Miss Universe pageant and how it has evolved through time. While I already have posted individually on each of the 9 crowns of Miss Universe, I realized that I never had one post on all of them. Hence, we are featuring all of them in one easy post with links to the individual features on the crowns (to know more about the make, cost and years in use).

* The First Miss Universe Crown – The Romanov Nuptial Crown
Arguably the most expensive crown that has ever graced an international pageant. This crown may have been insured for US$500,000 at that time but it is actually priceless due to its association with the Romanov Imperial family. More on the Romanov crown here.

* The Second Miss Universe Crown – The Bronze Crown of 1953
Not much is know about this crown and remains to be one of the most enigmatic crowns of the pageant. This was only used once in crowning a winner. More of the Bronze crown here.
* The Third Miss Universe Crown – The Star of the Universe Crown
This is perhaps one of the most expensive crowns made specifically for the Miss Universe pageant as it is made out of pearls set in gold. The crown was so expensive that it can only be worn by the winner 3 times throughout her reign. More on the crown here.
* The Fourth Miss Universe Crown – The 10th Anniversary Crown
This is the first rhinestone crown used in crowning the winner of the pageant. This is only used twice. Read more on this link.

* The Fifth Miss Universe Crown – The Lady Crown AKA The Sarah Coventry Crown
Arguably the most iconic of all Miss Universe crowns. Used for 33 years, this crown has been passed on from one winner to another with a copy being given to each winner. Arguably also the most well-used crown, this rhinestone crown was one of the most visibly photographed crowns of the all. It was used in majority of a Miss Universe’s public appearances.
Didn’t you know that this crown was made adjustable only in the 80’s? Furthermore, all former winners get to keep their version of the crown. More here on this link.

* The Sixth Miss Universe Crown – The Phoenix Mikimoto Crown
Inspired by the feathers of the famed mythical bird, this crown made by the Mikimoto company of Japan is one of the best loved crown designs by the fans of the pageant. It is so well loved that it was returned in use after an absence of almost a decade. More of the crown here.
* The Seventh Miss Universe Crown – The Vietnamese CAO Crown
It was a ‘courtesy’ crown and was only used once in the crowning of a Miss Universe winner. This was used in the 2008 pageant held in Vietnam as a celebration of the Vietnamese people’s hospitality. Know more about this crown on this link.

* The Eighth Miss Universe Crown – The Diamond Nexus Crown
This is the one of the most traveled crowns among the recent crowns of the Miss Universe pageant. With its eco-friendly, laboratory-grown diamonds, the Diamond Nexus crown was commissioned during the end of the Mikimoto tenure. Miss Universe pageant co-owner (prior to its 2015 sale to IMG) NBC’s green initiative prompted the creation of this ‘green friendly’ crown. Read more here.
* The Ninth Miss Universe Crown – The DIC Crown
Nicknamed the ‘French Fries crown’ by pageant fans, this is perhaps one of the least loved crowns of the pageant. It was used only in crowning three Miss Universe winners. After a lawsuit was filed with the crownmakers in 2017 due to non payment of contractual obligations, the crown was discontinued in use. More of this crown on this link.

The pageant has created some seriously gorgeous crowns over the years. But my personal favorite is still the Sarah Coventry crown/ the Lady crown simply because is was the one that I grew up with. Most millennials would identify with the Mikimoto more and I understand why. What I loved about the Lady crown is that the outgoing winner gets to wear her own crown as she crowns the next Miss Universe with a new one. Each of the winners could gladly boast that they own a piece of the Miss Universe history with their own crowns, sashes and trophies, and for some lucky few in the late 60’s and early 70’s they get to keep their Miss Universe scepters.

The Miss Universe Transgender 2012 Ruling

There is a common lack of awareness of the Miss Universe Transgender Ruling of 2012 for a number of Filipino pageant fans that only started following the pageant during the time when Pia Wurtzbach won. So it is very likely that a number of them are uninformed of the ruling allowing transgender females to compete in the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.

It all started in 2012 when former MUOrg owner Donald Trump has overturned a decision to disqualify Jenna Talackova in competing in the Miss Universe Canada pageant. Trump legal counsel Michael Cohen stated, “As long as she meets the standards of legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, which we understand that she does, Jenna Talackova is free to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant“.
The MU pageant has this posted on their website during the 2017 July Pride Month celebrations:
In 2012, the Miss Universe Organization allowed transgender contestants to enroll and compete at Miss Universe. Working closely with GLAAD, The Miss Universe Organization said in a statement that year, “We have a long history of supporting equality for all women, and this was something we took very seriously.
There have been a number of transgender females who were allowed to compete in state and national levels for a chance at the Miss USA title or a chance to represent their country at Miss Universe. Below  are just a few of transgender females in the Miss USA/ Miss Universe system:
1. 2012, Jenna Talackova in Miss Universe Canada 2012 – sparked the original debate of transgender women in Miss Universe. She ended as one of the top 10 semi-finalists and won Miss Congeniality at MU-Canada.
2. 2013, Arianna Wenzel competed in Miss California USA
3. 2017, Anita Green competed in Miss Montana USA – read more on what motivated Anita to comepte in Miss Montana USA in this link
4. 2018, Talleen Abu Hanna in Halyofi Israel – she was one of the more popular candidates in the Miss Israel pageant. She managed to make top 5 in the pageant.
5. 2018 Angela Ponce as the winner of  Miss Universe Spain – this isn’t the first time she tried for a national title as she competed in Miss World Spain in 2015. She is now in a media frenzy as she will be the first trans-woman to compete in Miss Universe.

Even the Olympics have been open to allow transgender athletes in both the Summer and Winter games. In 2004, just before the Athens Olympics, the International Olympic Committee ruled that transexuals could compete in the Olympic games, as long as they had completed sex reassignment surgery — and had undergone hormone therapy for at least two years. This was later updated in 2016 when female-to-male transgender athletes were allowed to compete prior to their gender realignment surgeries.

Anabella Castro is Miss International Bound!

After months of speculation on whether Anabella Castro is being handpicked by Colombia’s Concurso Nacional de Belleza to compete in Miss Universe, an announcement has been officially made.

Anabella who was one of the finalists in last year’s pageant was designated the title of Srta. Colombia Internacional. This gives her the opportunity to compete in Japan for the Miss International crown. She will be aiming to win Colombia’s 4th MI crown.
Below is the official announcement on the Senorita Colombia Instagram account of her appointment!

Por designación del Concurso Nacional de Belleza®, Anabella Castro Sierra @anabellacastros , Srta. Cesar® 2017, será Colombia el certamen Miss International 2018. . Castro Sierra obtuvo los títulos de ”Reina de la Policia” y “Elegancia Primatela” durante su participación en el pasado certamen. ¡Deseamos muchos éxitos a nuestra Srta. Colombia Internacional®!

Congratulations to Anabella’s appointment as Srta. Colombia Internacional. All we need to wait for now is whether or not Vanessa Pulgarin will be designated to compete in Miss Universe this year!

Angela Ponce: “We Are More Than What You See”

It is easy for traditional fans of the Miss Universe pageant to demonize people and situations that they do not understand. So it would only be fair that people get to know Miss Universe Spain Angela Ponce in her own words…

My goal is to be a spokesperson for a message of inclusion, respect and diversity not only for the LGBTQ+ community, but also for the entire world…
Society is not educated for diversity, it’s what made me go public, I mean, here I am and I’m not weird, I just have a different story, a woman who came to life differently but I’m a woman.” – Angela Ponce, 20 Minutos
Continue reading “Angela Ponce: “We Are More Than What You See””

Miss Universe 2018 Pageant in Thailand (?)

You have probably heard the rumor by now that the Miss Universe is to be hosted in Thailand this year.

Well, that is nothing really surprising considering that even former DOT Secretary Wanda Teo mentioned Thailand bidding to host previously (and we’ve blogged about that last May 8).  In fact she has mentioned as well in interviews that Thailand and Vietnam are the Philippines’ biggest rivals on the bidding for the MU hosting rights. If it does pushes through, then this would be the 3rd time that the Land of Smiles will be hosting the competition.
Continue reading “Miss Universe 2018 Pageant in Thailand (?)”

The Winning-est Countries & Continents in Miss International

Today’s post focuses on the countries and the continents of the winners of the Miss International pageant. Established in 1960, the Japan-based pageant has 57 winners in its roster. The following breakdown shows the numbers per country and continent where the winners come from.

30 countries so far has won the Miss International title at least once… Out of the 57 winners of the Miss International pageant, only 7 countries account for almost half of its winners.  28 of the MI winners come from these top 7 countries, which is practically 49.12% of the total MI winnings…
1. Venezuela – 7 wins, 7 runners up
2. Philippines – 6 wins, 3 runners up
3. United States – 3 wins, 19 runners up
4. Australia – 3 wins, 6 runners up (Australia gets the lead over Colombia on our list as it has 3 1st runner up placements compared to the 2 of Spain)
5. Spain – 3 wins, 6 runners up
6. Colombia – 3 wins, 4 runners up
7. Poland – 3 wins, 2 runners up
Venezuela and the Philippines are the two countries with the most wins and have a share of 22% of the total number of wins.

Africa – ø wins
Asia & Oceania – 13 wins
Europe – 20 wins
North, Central America & the Caribbean – 8 wins
South America – 16 wins
35% of the MI winners come from Europe, the most for any continent followed by Asia with 13 wins. Africa has no crowns so far, which is why the pageant is criticized as being racist as no African has won the pageant. Even the first dark-skinned winner of the pageant, Cristina Sawaya is from Lebanon. Even that Cristina isn’t totally black, she is more of a mixed mulatto in color, much like Elizabeth Mosquera of Venezuela who isn’t totally black. Asia’s wins is mostly through the Philippines with half of the Asian titleholders being Filipinas.
Will this statistic see some changes this year? We will find out on November when a new winner is crowned.

Miss Earth 2018 Music Wishlist

I know that the pageant is still quite a long way out but I thought that it would be interesting to create a music playlist for the pageant.

The Miss Earth pageant could need some help in the music department specially in modernizing it’s sound. First thing to go should be the violin covers and the trance remixes used in the evening gowns and opening numbers respectively. It has been used for a number of years now and it has to upgrade to the times.
On to the music! Continue reading “Miss Earth 2018 Music Wishlist”