Are Pageants Still Relevant in the #MeToo Era?

One of the biggest social movements happening in the world right now is women empowerment, a thrust that has put into the spotlight the pageant industry in question. Are pageants still relevant in this age of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements?

The movie releases of a full female cast/ predominantly female cast like “Ghostbusters“, “Ocean’s 8” and “A Wrinkle in Time” featuring strong and talented women are one of the signs that the world is changing. Then came one of the biggest steps for women in the Arab world, they are now allowed to drive in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia after years of the traditional ban on women drivers. These were just a reflection of how the world is changing and allowing more women to be taken seriously like equals to their male counterparts. So what does this mean for the pageant industry?
Continue reading “Are Pageants Still Relevant in the #MeToo Era?”


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!

Francesca Hung – Representing Australia’s Multiracial Side

For the first time in the Miss Universe Australia pageant they have crowned a Chinese-Irish-Australian  winner! Francesca Hung was so surprised to have won the title.

Since Jennifer Hawkins won Miss Universe a decade ago Australian reps to MU have largely been blue-eyed blondes or hazel-eyed brunettes of Caucasian heritage. Rarely have we seen a woman of color representing Australia in international pageants. So when Francesca Hung won the title a week ago, it was quite a pleasant surprise for all.
According to an article from SBS News Australia, Francesca ‘some will be shocked not to see a blonde haired, blue-eyed girl‘ representing Australia in Miss Universe. “I think internationally everybody has an idea of what Miss Australia should look like,” the 24-year-old told SBS News.
“And I think it will be a little bit of a shock to everyone when a blonde hair, blue-eyed girl doesn’t walk out.
“I guess looking at your past winners – Jesinta Franklin, Rachael Finch and Jennifer Hawkins – I used to think that was the typical Australian girl that everyone wanted to be and look.”

The 24 year old, Sydney-raised model has been trying for years to be re[resented by a number of modelling agencies in Sydney was always turned down due to her multi-racial heritage. She is currently studying her masters degree in publishing, while also learning piano and the Italian language. The 5’8 brown-eyed beauty hopes to represent the multiracial side of Australia in the Miss Universe pageant later 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 (?)”

Why is Angela Ponce a Threat to Miss Universe Pageant Fans Who are Gay?

During the weekend, we have had a historical and very controversial win with Angela Ponce winning Miss Universe Spain. What is controversial about that is having seen pageant friends and acquaintances be at the pro and con sides of her win. One side rejoices at the first transgender female to participate in Miss Universe. The other side, wanting to not allow her to be able to participate in the international competition. We then ask, why is  there such a polarity on this matter, specially from pageant fans who mainly comprises of the gay community?

Here are some of my personal thoughts and my final arguments on how pageant fans should ponder on their opposing stand on Angela Ponce.  Continue reading “Why is Angela Ponce a Threat to Miss Universe Pageant Fans Who are Gay?”

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”

Catriona on Trans-Females in Miss Universe

While an uproar among pageant fans has brewed over the winning and participation of Miss Universe Spain Angela Ponce in Miss Universe, Filipina-Aussie Catriona Gray has more of an open-mind in the issue.

Here is the news report by ABSCBN:
Catriona Gray, who will be representing the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant later this year, has no problem competing with a transgender woman in the prestigious beauty contest. Continue reading “Catriona on Trans-Females in Miss Universe”