By: Kiana Wilburg
Tonight at the National Cultural Centre, eight stunning damsels will showcase their beauty, charm and intellect as they engage in a “civilized battle” to win the title of Miss World Guyana 2014. The outstanding lady who takes over from the reigning Miss World Guyana, Miss Arti Cameron, will represent Guyana at the International leg of the Miss World Pageant which will be hosted in Indonesia later this year. The contestants are Cherese James, Rafieya Husain, Rebekah London, Atisha Gaskill, Denicia Williams, Gericia Francis, Ayana Whitehead and Tiffany Megnath.
Since its launching and during its preparation mode, Kaieteur Entertainment has published a number of editorials on the quality of the preparation and training for the delegates. With the mantle of the popular pageant being given to a new and vibrant franchise holder Natasha Martindale, and a committee which consists of the acclaimed Fashion Designer, Michelle Cole who is the Pageant Director, the expectations are high.
Now let’s get to the crux of the matter. Often little worry is expended over the physical beauty of our enchanting women and whether they stand a chance against the international beauties. But the real worry begins when most ask as to whether our girls are ready for the “dreaded final question.”
Thankfully for the recent airing of the “beauty with a purpose” segment of the pageant on Channel 72, we got a close up look at how articulate and well prepared some of the delegates were on their platform.
The delegates were required to make a video which explained their platform, and what they have done thus far to create awareness about the platform and also to improve it even if this involved the raising of funds to donate to a charity or school. In some cases, some of the delegates produced their own videos to showcase snippets of their humanitarianism while some opted to give oral presentations or a mixture of both. The young ladies were then asked questions on their platform and presentations by three judges who included the Franchise Holder and Dr. Faith Harding.
Some concerns did flow into Kaieteur Entertainment as to the Franchise Holder being a part of the panel and whether her presence was even a conflict of interest. But Miss Martindale appeared to be quite impartial and her questions were nothing short of the international standard, some opined.
For some delegates, nervousness and lack of preparedness was sorely evident to the point where it sometimes affected their well prepared videos. Some contestants relied too heavily on their scripts as opposed to those who appeared to be more au fait with the information on their platform and presented in a more interactive manner. Those which stood out during the segment included, Ayana Whitehead, Denicia Williams and Rafieya Husain.
But what stumbled most of the well prepared girls with their charming smiles was the question and answer segment. Some of the delegates failed to properly answer the questions posed by the judges while others made very good attempts at answering effectively.
The beauty with a purpose segment gave viewers an opportunity to see what they can expect tonight. It gave citizens the chance to see just how well trained and prepared these girls were. But for those who did not perform satisfactorily, one could only hope that they used the opportunity to strengthen their weaknesses and wow the audience tonight.
However, it is imperative that we once again reflect on the preparation and training done by the competitors of the international leg.
For our international delegates, preparation goes way beyond aiming for physical perfection. In the USA, contestants are provided with a range of choices. These range from online training, to Pageant Prep classes and then possibly the ultimate Pageant Academy. Pageant Prep, for example, helps young women through several tested techniques to overcome anxiety and build confidence for those few critical life-changing hours. Training is also done to help the selected candidates develop skills to facilitate showcasing their refined image throughout the pageant. It also provides vital information on how to deliver the best answer during the “dreaded final question.”
Even in India the preparation is also intense. When contestants are chosen for pageants they are housed in a training camp for approximately one month where meticulous training is done. During this period the contestants are refined in several areas. These include Fashion and styling, Heath and Fitness, modeling, spirituality, conduct and seminars on how to exude the presence of a queen.
Each category is headed by an expert who is designated to training the women and transforming them into queens. Even a dermatologist is hired to ensure that skin care is paid attention to. A hair specialist, dental surgeon, a diction coach, grooming expert and a makeup artist are also attached to the transformation booth camp.
The training in essence is done to transform the women’s understanding of womanhood and life. This process is not just about aiming for physical perfection, as delegates undergo several training seminars on the “do’s and don’ts” of proper conduct. And this of course is a very important aspect of the programme as contestants, if chosen to be the queen, will have to interact with diplomats, ministers and even heads of state. They are even trained on how to speak on controversial topics.
Potential queens are also taught that they must also possess a certain tone of voice and as such, women in India are given several lessons in voice intonation. And just when you thought this must be the ideal power transformation programme, another element was added.
Past queens were summoned to deliver presentations to the potential winners on how they can possibly secure the title and sound advice on how to answer the final question.
The Franchise Holder and her committee have reportedly said that our girls have been through training that is of an international quality. We have seen snippets of the product of their power package, during the beauty with a purpose segment and I will say no more.
Let the battle between beauty and brains begin and may the best girl win.
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