This week, all eyes have been on the reigning Miss Tourism Wendy Bella who has been in Kuala Lumpur for the Miss Tourism finals.
Earlier, during the event’s preliminary stages, the Kenyan beauty impressed the judges, wearing amazing gowns designed by Afrostreet by Melanie. Hopes are high that she will do well.
It is only a month since Magline Jeruto, the reigning Miss World Kenya did the country proud by reigning supreme during the pageant’s finals in China. She was crowned Miss World Africa after emerging among the top five in the world and the best from the continent.
Two other international beauty pageants; Miss Universe and Miss University, were also concluded two weeks ago; sadly, the Kenyan contestants returned home with nothing much to show for it.
As the curtains come down on this year’s beauty pageants, the question has remained as to what criteria judges use to pick winners; even as stereotypes linger.
Interestingly, Jeruto’s complexion could have worked to her advantage during the China finals as the judges are said to have liked the fact that she was naturally unique. Critics argue that modelling is not just about beauty, but also brains. However, participants should also know that each beauty pageant has its own criteria of judging, hence all models might not make the cut, thanks to the laid-down rules.
For example, the Miss World pageant is run differently from Miss Universe, and so is the judging criteria.
“In the Miss World Competition, the judges mostly focus on the outer beauty of course, the dental structure and character, which is mostly seen in the Beauty with a Purpose project. They judge one’s etiquette as well as one’s focus and determination in the competition,” explains Terry Mungai, the Miss World Kenya franchise owner.
She says that the boot camp, which is attended by the participating models in the beauty pageant helps the judges to observe the models slowly and that contributes a lot in one’s chances of winning. “The slimmer you are, the higher your chances of winning, of course,” Terry remarks.
The age bracket for anyone participating in the Miss World Kenya beauty pageant is 18 to 24. One should not be pregnant or be a mother and it has it that one should not have been legally married.
“One should not have any tattoos, traditional markings or scars. She should be taller than 168cm and must have bust size of 32 feet, waist 28 feet and hips 32 feet. At the same time, she should have a near perfect dental formular and flawless skin,” notes Terry.
Unknown to many wanna-be models, girls who have contracts with modelling agencies for the period leading up to the event are never considered for such competitions. Models who have been convicted of a felony crime are also barred from participating.
The trends and rules in most of the beauty pageants have changed to remove unnecessary stumbling blocks. For example, the Miss World pageant has now scraped the bikini contest that some religions found repulsive. According to Julia Morley who is the chairperson of the pageant, they now focus on the beauty with a Beauty with a Purpose project among other categories in the pageant.
“Few people realise that before the actual pageant is held, the models fly off to a destination for a boot camp to prepare them ahead of the competition. This requires you to put in a lot of hard work as it prepares you fully to participate in the competition,” says Jeruto.
People may have their choices. But the judge’s pick is final and they always believe that they have chosen winners who can very well represent the country both locally and internationally,” she concludes.