Miss Universe 2017 to be held in the Philippines

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Resonate (by Cohan Chew):

Next year will mark the annual competition’s 65th year in the running and will be the third time that the pageant will be hosted in the Philippines.

Wanda Teo, the Tourism Secretary of the Philippines announced that the Miss Universe 2017 pageant will be held in the country on 30 January 2017.

“We have a president who comes from Mindanao, and our Miss Universe is from Mindanao, so I think this is the best time for us to do the Miss Universe here in the Philippines… I would like to inform everybody that the Miss Universe beauty pageant will be on January 30, 2017 here in the Philippines.”

Teo also assured that the Filipino governmentis not going to spend a single centavo” on the international pageant. “It will be the private sector that will shoulder the expenses,” the Tourism Secretary said, citing a budget of $11 million.

Reigning Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach, was the third Filipino woman to win the award since the pageant’s inception in 1952. Previous Filipino winners were Margie Moran in 1973 and Gloria Diaz in 1969. The Philippines has hosted the competition twice before, in 1974 and 1994.

Representing the Philippines will be Maxine Medina,a 25-year-old interior designer who has been modelling since 2008, in next year’s pageant. She will attempt to succeed Wurtzbach, the first Filipino woman to win the title in over four decades.

Half-Japanese/half African-American beauty chosen to represent Japan at Miss Universe 2015

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RocketNews 24:

Whoever said that Niigata Prefecture is home the most beautiful women in Japan may need to think again. For the second year in the row, the Japanese representative for the Miss Universe competition hails from Nagasaki, with last year’s crown holder being Keiko Tsuji. As cool as that is, the real story of the year is that the 2015 representative, Ariana Miyamoto, is half Japanese.

It’s no surprise that Western features are considered beautiful in Japan. Heck, some women are actively seeking a foreign partner in order to produce absolutely adorable “haafu” (half-Japanese) babies. Sometimes, due to their alluring features, haafu are not always treated the same, or even as Japanese, as their native peers. Miss Nagasaki faced her fair share of race-related challenges too and although some people are against her acting as a representative for Japan due to her mixed heritage, she is also receiving a lot of support.

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The final of the 18th Miss Universe Japan contest was held in Tokyo on March 8. As you’d expect, Miss Nagasaki faced some tough competition of equally beautiful and graceful young ladies, but it’d be a stretch to say that she didn’t stick out. However, it really was only her looks that set her apart, being born and raised in Japan, she is not only a Japanese citizen, but she identifies with Japanese culture and considers herself Japanese.

Twenty-year-old Ariana was born to a Japanese mother and an African-American father in Sasebo, Nagasaki, the location of a major American naval base. After junior high graduation in Sasebo, she spent her high school years studying in the US. Upon returning to Japan as a young adult she set her sights on becoming a model.

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Working part-time as a bartender, Ariana hesitantly entered the pageant scene, feeling that with her “foreigner look,” she would never make it far. How wrong she was!

But she’s not just a 173cm (5’6″) bombshell; Ariana is described as a saishoku kenbi, “a woman blessed with both intelligence and beauty.” Growing up in Japan, she is no stranger to Japanese culture and even has a 5th degree mastery of Japanese calligraphy. She lists her hobbies as cooking and “touring,” having obtained her motorcycle license, a rare thing for a young woman in Japan.

▼ “Watashi ha watashi” (lit. “I am myself.”)

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In an interview she revealed that the most influential person in her life is American pop-star Mariah Carey.

“She went through a lot of difficulties before becoming a popular singing sensation… She faced some racial hurdles, similar to myself, but she overcame them and became a top star, so she’s been a big influence on me.”

It’s wonderful that she has such a strong woman she can look up to, as well as a lot of very supportive friends, fellow contestants and fans. But unfortunately, not all Japanese people are excited about a half-Japanese girl representing their country. Being a very homogenous society, some people still have a time considering haafu as truly Japanese.

Although this should be a joyous occasion for the young beauty, Ariana is facing challenges that no other Japanese Miss Universe contestant to date has had to face, with those opposing Ariana voicing their dissent online with statements such as “She has too much black blood in her to be Japanese.”

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As sad as it is, luckily, Ariana also has a very supportive fan base who are making an even bigger impact on social media with praise and congratulations.

“Don’t lose to discrimination and with a strong heart do your best to go win the Miss Universe prize.”
“Having a different ethnicity in you doesn’t make you ANY LESS JAPANESE!”

Ariana appreciates the support that helped her get to this point and promised, “The world competition is going to be tough, but I’ll believe in myself and continue doing me best!” 

She has a long road ahead of her before the Miss Universe pageant in January of next year. She will be trained in walking, talking, make up, style and even physical training. We would love for her to win the world competition, because who better to represent the world (and universe) than a woman with a racially diverse background? Good luck Ariana, you have our vote!

▼ Here’s an interview with Ariana (Japanese).

Japanese beauty pageant for women over 35 crowns newest winner

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RocketNews 24:

While respect for the elderly and admiration of the experienced are both parts of Japanese culture, when it comes to ideals of fashion and human beauty, the country definitely puts a premium on youth. It’s not at all unusual for the careers of female models, actresses, and entertainers to have their career reach its zenith in their late teens or very early twenties, then disappear from the public eye altogether.

Since 2010, though, the Bimajo Contest beauty pageant has been challenging the idea that if you’re old enough to have graduated from college you’re just about too old to be considered beautiful. Each year assembles a field of attractive women in their late 30s and 40s, and this week the pageant crowned its newest winner.

Bimajo literally translates as “beautiful witch,” but “beautiful enchantress” would be the better English equivalent for who the contest is looking for. Sponsored by Bist, a fashion magazine for women around the age of 40, this year’s Bimajo Contest was held at the Toranomon Hills Forum in Tokyo.

1,850 applicants answered the call for “women over 35 with a radiance that belies their age.” 21 finalists were selected by the organizers, with the winner being chosen from a combined score based on votes from the audience, online voting, and the evaluations of a panel of seven judges for events including swimsuit and evening wear modeling, plus the poise shown by the finalists as they addressed those in attendance.

▼ A few of this year’s finalists

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When the final scores were calculated, the winner of the fifth Bimajo Contest was Kumi Minowa.

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The 43-year-old Tokyo native and former model lists golf, surfing, and studying to be a honey sommelier among her hobbies. A mother of three, Minowa says she kept her entry into this year’s Bimajo Contest a secret from her children. “They’ll probably be really surprised if they see me on the news,” she said, adding that she felt bad for not having been able to do all she usually does for her family while preparing for the pageant.

Minowa cites actress and singer Mari Natsuki, who’s remained active as an entertainer into her 60s, as an inspiration. “I admire [the way she] doesn’t worry about her age, but is always joyful and energetic.”

Minowa is going to get more than just five minutes of fame for her win, as part of the prize she received is a contract with talent agency Oscar Productions. “I’d like to take on as many projects as they can find for me,” she said, because really, 43 is still way too young to start taking it easy.

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Meet Miss New Jersey: Emily Shah, daughter of Bollywood producer Prashant Shah

 

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A new Miss New Jersey has been crowned: 18-year-old Emily Shah.

Indian-American Shah was the youngest among more than 130 contestants in the New Jersey pageant held over the weekend. She will now go on to compete for the Miss USA and Miss Universe titles.

Shah has a background in entertainment in both India and America. She has acted in Hollywood films, like The Great New Wonderful with Naseeruddin Shah and Bollywood films such as Out of Control” alongside Riteish Deshmukh, “Ta Ra Rum Pum,” and “Jaaneman,” among others.

The daughter of LA-based Bollywood producer Prashant Shah, Emily plans to work in action films and is currently working as an assistant of the stunt team for the Hollywood movie Run All Night starring Liam Neeson and Ed Harris.

Photo/Video credit: Pageant Update
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Meet Miss New Jersey: Emily Shah, daughter of Bollywood producer Prashant Shah
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Artist Profile: Photographer Ernest Goh presents beautiful portraits of beauty pageant chickens

Bored Panda:

 

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Photographer and visual artist Ernest Goh has created a series of images that highlight the beauty and character that chickens can exhibit when given a chance.

The series of images focuses on the Ayam Seramas, a chicken bred specifically for its beauty. They even compete in chicken beauty pageants! They have extraordinarily high, full and proud-looking breasts and proud plumage as well. Some even describe their upright posture as human- or warrior-like, especially because they hold their wings close to their body and down towards the ground – like arms.

The stark black backgrounds on which Goh shoots his strutting models only serve to accentuate their unusual (for a chicken) postures and proud-looking plumage. This, along with the chickens’ interesting postures, makes for an interesting series of photos. And they’ve all been published in a photo book called Cocks: The Chicken Book, which you can buy on his website.

Source: ernestgoh.com | Facebook Instagram (via: petapixel)

 

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Ernest Goh presents beautiful portraits of beauty pageant chickens

 

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Japanese beauty queen barred from ceremony

A Japanese beauty queen said Monday she has been barred from a ceremony where she was to hand over her crown to a successor after she refused to sign with a major talent agency.

Ikumi Yoshimatsu, winner of last year’s Miss International contest, has filed a criminal complaint against a top agency executive alleging obstruction of business, stalking, intimidation and extortion. She accused the executive of threatening her life after she formed her own management agency rather than use his.

A teary-eyed Yoshimatsu told reporters Monday that the executive had threatened sponsors and shareholders and she was barred from Tuesday’s ceremony in Tokyo.

Eiichi Masunaga, official at the International Culture Association, the beauty contest’s operator, confirmed they won’t allow her to appear because they don’t want media coverage of the controversy to overshadow the event.

We’ve asked her to voluntarily refrain from the event,” said Masunaga.

Talent agencies have huge influence over the entertainment business in Japan and industry experts say it is common for anyone who rebels against the system to be bullied and threatened.

The executive, Genichi Taniguchi, denied doing anything to Yoshimatsu and said he holds no grudges against her.

He said in a phone interview that he was not aware of the charges against him.

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Japanese beauty queen barred from ceremony