Introducting Miss Louisiana United States 2010

New Orleans native Jennifer Nichole Connor is the new Miss Louisiana United States 2010.  Jennifer is currently a graduate student and received her Bachelor’s degree from Tulane University.  A model, dancer and actor – she plans to spend her reign reaching out to young ladies in her state by visiting schools and showcasing the importance of continuing your education and setting goals.

Jennifer has previously competed for the title of Miss Louisiana USA, the official state preliminary to the Miss USA pageant.    

CONGRATULATIONS

Congratulations to DeShawn Shepard, director of the Miss, Mrs. & Preteen Virginia and Mrs. Maryland International pageants.  She held a fantastic Valentine’s Day production, in which four dynamic women were  crowned in front of family and friends.  Three of these women, Miss Virginia International 2010, Mrs. Virginia International 2010 and Mrs. Maryland International 2010 will go on to compete in Miss International and Mrs. International respectively.  The national pageants will be held in Skokie, Illinois this July.   The beauties, with the help of the pageant’s wonderful supporters – Artistry by Hassana, Madison Donovan Group and Pageant Perks, DeShawn’s titleholders are definitely going to make an impact in 2010.  More about the new state queens.

The new Mrs. Maryland International 2010 is Angel McCoy, who represented Prince George’s County. Mrs. McCoy is a former two-time MAO local Maryland titleholder- Miss Howard County 2007 & Miss Chesapeake Bay 2008.  Angel is an avid supporter of the Special Olympics and was a top-ten semi-finalist in the 2008 Miss Maryland America pageant.

The new Miss Virginia International is Tamika Mills who represented Isle of Wight.  If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of Isle of Wight, VA.   I’ve since learned that Isle of Wight a county in the Hampton Roads area and one of the oldest county governments in the country.    Ironically, Tamika is a former MAO local titleholder as well – Miss Coastal Virginia 2009.  During the 2009 Miss Virginia pageant, she was a non-finalist talent winner

Second time around was a charm for the new Mrs. Virginia International, Heather Thompson.  Heather also competed in the 2009 Mrs. Virginia International pageant and competed this year as Mrs. Fredericksburg International.

 

The new Miss Preteen Virginia International is Kailee Delane Horvath.  Kailee represented Loudoun County.  Before winning Miss Preteen Virginia International, Kailee was National American Miss Virginia Junior Preteen.

The Little Princess

Being snowed in this week gave me plenty of time to catch up on many of my favorite television programs and books.  One guilty pleasure that I couldn’t turn away from was “Toddlers & Tiaras” on TLC.  The same station that recently brought us the most watched Miss America pageant ever. – OMG!!!  This show is absolutely insane!!!   Every time I watch it, I immediately have flash backs of JonBene’t Ramsey (rest her soul), probably the most {in}famous child Beauty Queen ever.  Glitz pageants for youngsters are not my preference, but they sure make for good entertainment.

JonBenet Ramsey

The amount of pressure some of the parents put on the little girls is ridiculous.  I am all for encouraging a young person to do what they want to do and financially supporting their endeavors, but some of that stuff was just a little over the top.  My favorite episode this week was when they were competing for Little Miss Perfect.  I completely loved it the Little Miss Perfect director, Michael Galanes, told one mom her daughter looked better without the flipper.   A flipper you wonder – well that’s just a “tool”  {dental appliance} that little girls can wear over their upper teeth to replace a missing tooth/teeth and perfect a smile.  On average, impression kits are between $40-$80 and the actual flipper is between $150-$250.

Add in the costs of coaching, prop design and manufacturing, talent training, talent costumes, false hair, spray tan and shoes and you’ve spent the equivalent, if not less, to fund a year of private school education.

Disney’s Princess and the Frog movie has peaked many little girl’s interest that they too, can be a princess. Mothers are now jumping at the chance to make this happen for their little girls. While I applaud the interest in pageantry, I hope that children and their parents look to other avenues, particularly non-glitz pageants like Miss America’s Princess Program, East Coast USA or American Co-Ed Pageants.

These pageants give young women the opportunity to compete in a natural age-appropriate state.  Pageantry is about so much more than just being pretty………or it it?

Maybe you have or know a little girl that wants to feel like a princess, but may not want to fully participate in a pageant, perhaps a princess party could be the answer.  Petite Priss is a company whose focus is encouraging self-esteem and confidence in young girls.

Snowpacalypse

This snow is totally causing havoc in the mid-atlantic region.  I totally forgot to pick up a dress I had at the tailor/cleaner that is needed for the Mrs. Virginia International pageant this weekend.  The gift bags are not yet complete and I just got a chance to move the car to ensure I can get out and get to Chester, VA on Saturday morning.  

February begins the major pageant season in the mid-atlantic region, so I can only imagine what problems this snow is causing elsewhere.  So far, I’ve learned of the following pageants scheduled for this month:

1) Mrs. MD International Pageant
2) Miss/Mrs. Virginia International Pageant
3) Teen/Miss/Mrs. North Carolina International Pageant
4) Miss Pre-Teen Virginia International Pageant
5) Teen/Miss/Mrs. South Carolina Pageant

6) Miss Washington County, Miss Western Maryland, Miss Washington Outstanding Teen & Miss Western Maryland Outstanding Teen Pageant (MD-MAO)
7) Miss Appalachia, Miss University City, Miss Appalachia Outstanding Teen & Miss University Outstanding Pageant Teen (MD-MAO)
8) Mrs. West Virginia America Pageant

Be careful out there and take your time, no point in breaking a glass slipper or damaging a nail.

White, white everywhere

Sitting in the house watching what will soon amount to 24-30″ of snow in the area has me thinking bout the notion that white evening gowns always win Mrs. pageants.  During the last decade, many a coach told their clients that “if you want to win, you must wear a white gown”.  Suffice it to say, there were plenty of visual statistics to back up that claim.  Women all over ran out in droves to purchase a white evening gown, so much so that finals night stages often looked like a winter wonderland.

Andrea Preuss, who was crowned Mrs. United States 2003 and Mrs. America 2006, wore a white evening gown in both national pageants.

Four of the last 10 Mrs. United States winners, in addition to Andrea, all competed in white gowns: Edrienne Carpenter (2004), Dr. Chiann Gibson (2005), Stephanie Hunt (2007) & Tammy Johns (2009).

Stephanie Hunt, Mrs. United States 2007
 

Along with Mrs. America 2005, several other ladies also competed in white evening gowns and won the national title – Heidi Dinan (2003), Julie Love-Templeton (2004) &; Kelly McBee (2007).

  Julie Love-Templeton, Mrs. America 2004

White has definitely been the gown of choice on the national level as well as on the state level.  Take a look through a myriad of Mrs. pageants and look at the past winners.  Chances are most of the winning ladies competed in white gowns.

Mrs. International 2009 Armaiti Shahidi Fitzgerald

Although it’s been a trend for quite some time, if you love color don’t fret.  Some of the most recent Mrs. winners have won in beautiful color including – Mrs. America 2009 Andrea Robertson who competed in gold.  Mrs. International 2008 Laine Berry who won in a daring candy apple red gown and Mrs. Galaxy 2008 (and pageant coach phenom) Darlene Deeben competed and won in a fascinating sequined and tiger print gown.

Darlene Deeben, Mrs. Galaxy 2008

Just because something may be the it, thing to do – doesn’t mean it’s for you. Bottom line, pick the gown that works BEST for you – your body type, your style, personality and frame.  It’s not the gown that makes the woman, it SHOULD be the woman that makes the gown.

Miss Who…….

Everyone seems to be smitten with Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010.  And why not, she’s simply darling!!!  I am happy, she’s already graced the stage of my favorite morning show Regis & Kelly. Rush Limbaugh even told the Washington Post “Cameron won because she ‘has it all. Extraordinarily good conversationalist, amazing presence, unique and classic beauty, glamour . . . and the girl can sing!”

 ( Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron and Miss America 2004 Erica Dunlap at the post pageant press conference)
(Caressa and Kelly Ripa on the set of Live with Regis & Kelly)                 

But let’s be real – not everyone will get the chance or can become Miss America.  No fret, if you’ve been bitten by the pageant bug and have the desire, there is definitely something out there for you.

The country’s most well known Miss pageants outside of Miss America would have to be the Miss Universe Pageant and its official preliminary – Miss USA.   At my last search, there are at least 25 other pageants out there for women who fall into the Miss category.  Miss is usually defined as between the ages 18 – 24 (give or take), has never been married, is a natural born female and often times has never given birth.

While they all are not as well known as Miss America or offer the same scholarship dollars.  These pageants offer varying levels of competition and are exciting all on their own.  Some of the pageants require you to go at-large, meaning you pay a national fee and only compete at the national level.  Others have a state preliminary format, where you compete in your states’ pageant first and then are sent to the national pageant by your Director.

If you’re truly interested in promoting a platform or community service and charitable works, have ties to an organization that is doing great work and want to compete against like minded women.  Try your hand at Miss International.  The Miss International pageant is open to women ages 19-29.  Each contestant competes in Interview, Evening Gown, Fitness and Fun Fashion.  Each contestant has spends a year promoting a platform of their choice.

Suppose you’re a beauty who happens to wear a size 12 or larger, but still stops traffic!  You could be the next Miss Plus America.  The Miss Plus America pageant system is an organization devoted to celebrating the essence of the full-figured woman with ambition.

Those don’t do it for you?  Well there’s also Miss Belleza Latina, Miss Black USA, Miss Essence, Miss Galaxy, Miss United States, Miss All-American, Miss US World and Miss Earth.  The list goes on and on. Go ahead – find one for yourself.

Grammy Fashion – What’s hot !!!

I am still just too excited about Miss America 2010 and Caressa’s win, but it’s time to refocus. Tonight’s Grammy awards had more misses than hits in my opinion. However, as with other awards shows, the fashions worn tonight will serve as inspiration for many pageant competition outfits.   Most of the outfits were a little too zany for me, but here are a few of looks that caught my eye.

I could definitely see our new Miss America pulling off any of these looks!