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Thread: Miss USA and Miss Universe

  1. #161
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    Re: Miss USA and Miss Universe

    This is an interesting pageant....but God bless them nonetheless......

    Miss Landmine Pageant

    1st Prize: A Norwegian leg prothesis
    With the project Miss Landmine 2007, Norwegian artist Morten Traavik ventures into a controversial balance act that reaps equal parts outrage and applause. The Angolan contestants in the unusual beauty pageant are namely all landmine victims.


    By Michael Reiter
    The truth hides in the second glance. On first sight, one is seduced by images of a stylized African paradise – including sandy beaches, ocean and deep blue skies. In the foreground, dark-skinned beauties are posing – smiling and sensual, clad in brightly-couloured beach attire and elegant cocktail dresses. The dreamlike images could be taken from the pages of Elle or Vogue. But suddenly, the beholder’s gaze catch something that would hardly find its way into the glossy magazines – a detail almost like a thorn in the eye: All of the models are missing one leg. Some of them support themselves on cruthes and prosthetics.
    The women amputees are the protagonists of Miss Landmine 2007 – a controversial project that turns established concepts of beauty upside-down, to put a different focus on the plight of landmine victims. The models all hail from Angola. The are among the country’s more than 80.000 mine victims who have lost arms and legs from having stepped on mines left over from a more than 20 year long civil war. Instead of depicting them as suffering victims, Norwegian artist Morten Traavik ,with photographer Gorm K. Gaare, has made them the stars in a beauty pageant. The finals take place in Angola in the autumn. Until then, the models can be viewed in a photo exhibition and on the project’s web pages miss-landmine.org – where one can also vote for one’s favourite candidate.


    Beautiful victims
    Morten Traavik had the original idea when visiting Angola for the first time in 2003. Seeing the many landmine victims made a profound impression on him.
    – It is, of course, a tragedy to lose one or both legs, says Traavik.
    - But even so, life doesn’t end. One is still a resourceful person with possibilities and potential. I saw dignified and completely normal people, who have had bad luck – but who are often treated like retards by the local community. And because Angola’s welfare system is practically nonexistent, they get by basically by various odds-and-ends, such as small-time street trading.
    The Angolan passion for beauty pageants made quite another - positive – impression on Traavik:

    – Some kids staged their own local beauty pageant in the backstreet behind our house, and I had the honour of being a jury member. So we sat there with all of the neighbourhood, while the kids paraded up and down. It was like a big street party! Their understanding of beauty pageants is very unlike ours, which almost per definition sees them as exploitation of women. In Angola, contestants and audience alike perceive the pageants as a party, celebrating beauty.

    Freakshow
    It was in the fusion of these two strong impressions that Morten Traavik saw the possibility to put the global landmine problem in the spotlight in a new way. However, it soon became clear that not everybody shared the Norwegian artist’s views on beauty and ways of staging African landmine victims. All of the foreign NGOs and aid organisations declined to support the project.
    -They were afraid that it was going to be some kind of ’freak show’, explains Traavik, who instead got funding from the Norwegian Arts Council and the Angolan National Demining Comission. The reservations, however, were only a first taste of the heated debate generated when the news of Miss Landmine started spreading on the internet and in the media this spring.
    Critics deemed the project an unethical exposition of physical disabilities for the benefit of a voyeuristic public. Traavik was accused of presenting stereotypes of Africa at the expense of naïve and disenfranchised contestants, who were payed to participate. On the other side, supporters of the project applauded it’s positive way of depicting landmine victims – because it shakes our preconceptions of beauty and of Africa.

    - The participants were savouring the opportunity to be, and be seen as, beautiful, sensual and complete women, Morten Traavik counters the criticism.

    – To imply that they themselves are incapable of weighing the advantages versus disadvantages from participating, is at best condescending. At worst, it is an expression of exactly the same racism that the critics themselves claim to be opposed to.
    Be sure and click on the candidates and read their bios Candidates
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

  2. #162
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    Re: Miss USA and Miss Universe

    Oh, wow, that's amazing! I honestly would feel foolish to pick a favorite; they're all incredible.

  3. #163
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    Re: Miss USA and Miss Universe

    Link Here

    Mystery Deepens in Miss Puerto Rico Pepper-Spray Incident
    TUESDAY NOVEMBER 27, 2007 08:55 AM EST

    The mystery surrounding the alleged pepper spraying of Puerto Rico's 2008 Miss Universe contestant's belongings is nothing to sneeze at.

    Police are now said to be investigating just how Ingrid Marie Rivera was able to stop crying between camera appearances at Saturday's pageant, if indeed her gown and makeup had been sabotaged with the spray, as she asserts, NBC News reports.

    The reported skepticism about Rivera prompted Today show host Meredith Vieira to inquire on Tuesday's broadcast if, possibly, crime-scene investigators believe the pepper-spray claim may have been imaginary.

    "They're saying, they think she made it up?" Vieira asked reporter Kerry Sanders, who replied: "They're looking into it. They're curious."

    Rivera is due to be interviewed on Wednesday's Today show, where, on Tuesday, co-anchor Matt Lauer said he intended to get to the bottom of the mystery.

    Beating 29 rivals, Rivera took home the crown and the chance to vie in the Miss Universe pageant. Throughout the competition, Rivera was composed while appearing before the cameras and panel of judges.

    But once off-camera, she was forced to shed her clothes and apply ice bags to her face and body, which twice swelled and broke out in hives, the Associated Press reports.

    "We thought at first it was an allergic reaction, or maybe nerves," said pageant spokesman Harold Rosario. "But the second time, we knew it couldn't have been a coincidence." Later, Rivera's garments and cosmetics tested positive for pepper spray.

    Rivera's bag containing her gowns, makeup and credit cards reportedly had also been stolen before the pageant.

    Saying that she had wavered about remaining in the competition, Rivera, 24, told reporters at a Sunday news conference, "It was a lot of sacrifice, and my tears were genuine," reports Reuters.

    "At one point, I asked, 'Am I a masochist?' But I said regardless of the results, this is my goal. The more rocks there are in my path, the more thanks I will give to God for sustaining me."

    Miss Puerto Rico Universe pageant director Magali Febles also told the AP that pageant officials were forced to postpone Thursday's final day of competition because of a bomb threat.

    Authorities said they searched the premises with dogs but did not discover any explosives.
    Geez...the beauty pageant world is a little nuts-o
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

  4. #164
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    Re: Miss USA and Miss Universe

    i saw the pic and some video, unless they have expert make up artist, i needed see any hives on her.

  5. #165
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    Re: Miss USA and Miss Universe

    Congratulations to our new Miss World, Miss China!

  6. #166
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    Re: Miss USA and Miss Universe

    this is the one pageant i find extremely boring. since mr morley passed away, that pageant lost its spark

  7. #167
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    Re: Miss USA and Miss Universe

    Miss usa 2008 is underway in vegas and the finale is april 14 or 11 i don't remember

  8. #168
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    Re: Miss USA and Miss Universe

    i found out it is this friday on nbc

  9. #169
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    Re: Miss USA and Miss Universe

    It is on now, anyone else watching?

    FL is from DeLand this year, so obviously we're rooting for her. Pretty girl, too! NY, NJ, CA, NV, KY, and SC are all really beautiful too, from the intros.

  10. #170
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    Re: Miss USA and Miss Universe

    FL, SC, CA, and NJ made it of the ones I picked. OK is really beautiful too, wouldn't be surprised to see her take it. Very surprised NV didn't make top 15-- pretty girl, and usually the host state or country in pageants have their contestant make the first cut as a nod if nothing else, it seems.

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