Mexican model, Ana Gabriela Molina, challenged both the beauty and pageant industry standards by showcasing her disability as a different ability when she was crowned Miss Nanchital 2020.
With Ana’s win at Miss Nanchital, she gained a ton of international attention. She was born with bilateral amelia, a birth defect targeting her arms. However, this is not stopping her from chasing her dreams. During an interview, the 24-year-old shared, “I’ve managed to overcome everything that has happened to me in my whole life.”
Her win qualified her to compete for the upcoming state title, Miss Veracruz. If Anna was to win Miss Veracruz, she would go on to be the first disabled women in history to compete for the coveted Miss Mexico crown.
Beauty pageants are not the only obstacle Ana has had to face. Despite having no arms, she manages to eat, use a mobile phone and write all with her feet. In addition to competing, Ana is also a graduate psychology student, motivational speaker and a part time model.
Ana wishes to inspire those with disabilities not to limit themselves simply because they’re disabled. She explains, “I feel like any other normal person because I’ve lived my life like that. So, for me, my disability is not a limit.”
The Miss Veracruz competition is set to be held March 3rd to the 18thth. If she wins, she will qualify for the national Miss Mexico pageant this June. During her interview, Ana expressed her confidence for the upcoming pageant, “In the contest I will go through the same thing. They will evaluate me in the same way as all the others.”
Will Gabriela win Miss Vercruz becoming the first disabled woman to compete for Miss Mexico? She’s active on instagram and documenting her journey to the crown!
Did you happen to catch the LIV Super Bowl half-time show? There’s been a lot of buzz online about the performance both good and bad. One person who knows what it means to show your Latin pride is none other than Miss Universe 1st Runner-Up Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson. She spoke out about the historic performance and a potential book deal coming her way during a recent interview with the Miss Universe Organization at their New York Headquarters.
“First off the Latin culture is just really shining right now and I’m so proud,” Madison gushed. This was the first time in Super Bowl history where two Latina women, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, were the featured headliners. The show actually gave Madison goosebumps when she watched. Jennifer Lopez’s performance specifically inspired her, “JLo is my big inspiration. She has literally shown what it is to be Puerto Rican.”
During the performance, JLo donned an American flag which, when opened, turned into the Puerto Rican Flag, in celebration of her Puerto Rican heritage. Madison felt a lot of emotions about this moment because in the 1940’s it was illegal for someone to carry a Puerto Rican flag with them. She shared, “to just see where we have come right now today, is inspirational.”
Madison’s experience growing up in a bicultural household helped shape her and is part of the inspiration behind pursuing writing a book detailing her upbringing. She explained, “I just want to write a book about my experiences,” including her life before and after competing for Miss Universe back in November.
She says in her book, she wants to detail her move to New York at just 19 years old to pursue a modeling career and how this led led her to find her a passion in communicating with other people. The move is one of the reasons she felt compelled to compete for Miss Puerto Rico and ultimately Miss Universe, where she placed first runner up to Zozibini. The substance of her book is based off taking uncomfortable risks. “If we don’t take risks in life we don’t know how far we can go,” she says.
Check out her full interview with the Miss Universe Organization below:
In honor of Black History Month, Pageants & Prosecco is highlighting the Black Pageant Queens who made a difference and broke through the mold.
These Queens paved a way and made a difference in our lives today. Many of whom broke barriers being a first in the pageant world to do something amazing.
Today, we honor Cheryl Browne the first Black woman to compete for Miss America. She won Miss Iowa in 1970 to everyone’s surprised including herself. Learn more about this Queen. Happy #BlackHistoryMonth
Tune in to Pageants & Prosecco, the Podcast to learn more about Cheryl Brown & the Miss America rule #7. Available on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, Spotify & wherever else you’re listening to your podcasts.
Congratulations to Kara and Garrett! He proposed to the former Miss USA over the weekend in front of loved ones, saying she makes him a better man repeatedly. Kara shared the special moment on Instagram to her 84,000 followers. Paying homage to Kobe, Kara says “blessings still fell” down despite sadness across the world for all the victims.
Garrett has an extensive career in the NBA currently playing for the Brooklyn Nets and played for Louisiana State University before going pro in 2009. His father Collis Temple was the first African-American to play basketball at LSU back in the early 1970’s. He played overseas in Italy for a year before stints with the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzles, Los Angeles Clippers and finding home in Brooklyn.
He’s on the executive committee of the National Basketball Player’s Association. According to CBS Sports, many think the 33-year-old will be next in line to be President of the union. His team mates praise him as a humble, God-fearing, perfect guy to be around. As part of the NBPA, he focuses on mentoring the rookie athletes coming in to the league, with a focus on mental health, financial literacy and preparing them for life after the NBA.
The pair first went social media official after Kara’s reign ended in 2018 and are true #relationshipgoals They adopted a gorgeous pup, Basil. Can’t wait to follow the wedding journey. Congrats to the fabulous couple!
In this episode, LeslieAnn opens up about her experience during pageant week including favoritism toward Miss Mexico, Miss Columbia’s viral onstage protest and the contestants’ fears about their own safety!
Grab your bottle & tune in. This is def a goodie you don’t want to miss.
In what seems like the never ending saga of the Miss America competition it has been announced Regina Hopper is no longer the CEO & President of Miss America 2.0 going forward. In a statement sent out by the Miss America Organization on Tuesday they begin with a cryptic message of welcome, “we hope you’re doing well as we dive into a new year and look toward the Miss America 100th anniversary exclamation!”
They then go on to further nonchalantly in a matter-of-fact way tells us, “we are writing to inform you that President and CEO Regina Hopper is no longer with the organization. Miss America Organization Board Chair Shantel Krebs will assume leadership responsibilities on an interim basis as the board begins a search for a new president and CEO.” Girl what?
And so it continues…
It seems like MAO cannot go a week without making noise. Whether its from switching up the style of competition or the subliminal sneak diss to past titleholders causing a social media frenzy, they can’t catch a break. Tuesday was no exception.
Regina joined the Miss America Organization just two years ago in May 2018 when round one of this began with offensive emails from the former president about past titleholders’ appearances. Many pageants fans did not approve of the changes witnessed during last month’s shark-tank style competition. Public perception and faith in this organization began to dwindle when Gretchen Carlson & Regina came on board as the Chairwoman & CEO/President respectively and the famous swimsuit portion was officially eliminated. A first for the pageant founded as a swimsuit competition 99 years ago. This news follows Gretchen’s announcement she was stepping away from the Chair position back in June 2019.
One person eager to post the news was former Miss America Cara Mund, who dealt with the biggest burden of this changing system during her entire reign.
During her reign as Miss America, Cara wrote an open letter to Forever Miss Americas & that year’s class of contestants saying both Regina & Gretchen had “systematically silenced me, reduced me, marginalize me and essentially erase me in my role as Miss America is subtle and not-so-subtle always on a daily basis after a while the parents have clearly emerged in the sheer accumulation of the disrespect, passive aggressive behavior, belittlement in our right exclusion has taken a serious toll.”
-words from Cara Mund about the Chairwoman & President at the time
Her work speaking up may have add some waves in the Miss A front office. Even though she say she supports a nationwide job search, many are calling on the law student to step up with #caraforprez tagged under her picture on Instagram mentioning Regina’s departure.
Speaking to the Press of Atlantic City, Regina said she is proud of the progress made in this short period citing the “successful Miss America 2019 and 2020 competitions and broadcast, and with network and venue negotiations underway for America 2021, the organization is positioned to move forward to deliver the commemoration of its 100th anniversary.”
Read the full statement from MAO then tell us who do you think can turn this pageant around in time for the centennial celebration? Give us your best recommendations down below…
Those of us who have been around pageants have either watched or participated in a pageant where we thought the results were skeptical. However, the 2020 Miss Global pageant takes that suspicion to a whole other level! The depth of corruption was beyond belief over the weekend.
During Saturday’s pageant, held in Oaxaca, Mexico, viewers and contestants astonished by a certain sponsor’s push for Miss Mexico Global, Palmira Ruiz, to win the crown. Apparently, Miss Mexico was treated differently than the other 56 competitors. Speaking with local media following the debacle Miss Dominican Republic 2019, LeslieAnn Padilla said Palmira was treated better than the other competitors throughout the pageant. She claimed, “Mexico was always late to rehearsals and was always absent.” According to her, during the final show all the other contestants were crammed in a small area with no heat and were freezing changing in and out of their competition wear while Miss Mexico was comfortable with her two of her own heated rooms.
LesilieAnn says only her, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, Cuba, and Venezuela spoke Spanish. This meant she could understand a lot of what was going on behind the scenes.
During a conversation with Pageants & Prosecco, she told us she overheard a man backstage with Van Pham the CEO and Founder of Miss Global. For safety reasons she chose not to disclose his name or position with the organization. She told Us it was this guy who told Van Pham, if Miss Mexico did not win, they would pull the plug on the entire televised show. LeslieAnn felt the need to call out the man for the unfairness and was threatened if she did not remain quiet!
This did not stop Miss Columbia Global, Jesenia Orozco from speaking out on stage during the pageant, “It’s fraud! There is a lot of corruption in Mexico and it’s unfair.” In order to attempt to silence her, staff played music over her protests. In videos from that night you can hear Jesenia saying, “It is disrespectful to all the women that worked hard to be here.” She went on to say the pageant was full of corruption and fraud, and the Miss Global Mexico representatives were giving Latinos a bad name.
However, it is important to know she and the other contestants don’t see the Miss Global organization as the ones to blame, “it should be on Miss Global Mexico.”
So, who was behind the scheme to crown Mexico as Miss Global? According to those close to the competition, it was one of the host country’s sponsor, Ramiro Gutierrez, who pressured the Miss Global organization to crown Miss Mexico the title; going so far as to threaten to cancel the entire broadcast if she was not selected. When the Miss Global Organization refused to meet his demands, Gutierrez carried out his threat and pulled the plug during the live televised broadcast, ending the pageant without a winner being crowned and before onstage questions began.
In the days following, Van Pham issued a public statement on behalf of the Miss Global Organization denouncing this behavior. He asserted that, while Guiterrez was one of the country’s sponsor, he is not affiliated with Miss Global. He expressed his support of Miss Columbia’s public protest onstage and said Guiterrez needed “to uphold the rules and procedures that Miss Global has always honored.” The public statement ended with the announcement of the winner, Karolína Kokešová, Miss Czech Republic (who reportedly had the highest score at the time of the interruption) and the organization’s commitment to maintain the integrity of their pageants in the future.
You can see his full statement here:
What do you think about the events and public outrage at Miss Global? Tell your thoughts below…
Everyone is in mourning right now. Kobe Bryant impacted more than the sports world, he touched everyone through the game and his love of basketball. Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, pilot Ara Zobayan, Mamba girls’ basketball assistant coach Christina Mauser, eighth grader Payton Chester and her mother Sarah Chester along with Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa, a teammate of Gianna’s, passed away on Sunday.
A moment the world will never forget and a name which will always be yelled when tossing a wad into the trash can. For many, like myself, this news comes with great sudden sadness as he represented who you can be if you have the drive, courage, God-like confidence with enough humbleness wrapped into his famous Mamba mentality. His tenacity, determination and motivation I am sure has been put in a few of our journals and on our vision boards as we prepared for that next level of competition.
Our timelines were flooded with love for the NBA Legend and his daughter GiGi. Similar to Los Angeles and the world, the pageant community as well is in mourning:
Remember, you are more than what you do (being an amazing titleholder), it’s who you are in Kobe’s famous words. As a pageant family, let’s look to Kobe’s legacy and continue to push the definition of excellence in our communities, our industry and on stage.
Pageant history was made in Omaha, Nebraska when Megan Swanson was crowned Miss Nebraska USA 2020. You see, Megan’s younger sister, Allie, is the current reigning Miss Nebraska and just competed at Miss America in December. Meaning both major state titles are held by the Swanson sisters! And they both competed at Miss America.
Megan shared her euphoria with Pageants & Prosecco, “I can’t even describe the feeling of having these next few months as LITERAL sister queens with my real-life sister.” This is not the first time history was made by these Swanson sisters. Both were also the first pair of sisters to win the coveted Miss Nebraska (MAO) title. Megan said her sister’s epic win last summer was “just the icing on the cake.” Things got even more serendipitous when Megan said the two won their titles wearing each other’s gown! Megan explained how this was not done on purpose, “it was what we had!”
Allie showed her excitement over her older sister’s Miss Nebraska USA win on social media, “can you believe that this is real life and that our dream come true?” Both of the sisters will reign together for the next 6 months. Allie expressed her gratitude, “still can’t get over how good God is!”
Last June, Allie won Miss Nebraska 2019 at the North Platte HS Performing Arts Center in North Platte, Nebraska. The 6’2 beauty shared on social media after she won she believed she had a shot at the Miss America crown because she’s a “powerhouse that will make you smile, laugh, think, and learn to love yourself for who you are.”
Pageantry unsurprisingly brought these two very close. Megan gushed about her sister, “she’s the best Miss Nebraska we’ve ever had, and almost doubled the organization in a year.” She went on to say how her little sister Allie, inspires her to be a better person each and every day. Megan even called Allie “part of my WHY to be Miss USA.”
So, what did the sisters do once they were both crowned? Of course, they went on a sister-sister media tour across the state. There is also more in the works, so be sure to follow both sisters on social media. Allie wants the public to know the sisters are only just beginning, “look out world… Here the Swanson sisters come!”
NEW TITLEHOLDERS ALERT! Two new Miss USA state queens were crowned this past weekend and they are no strangers to the national pageant stage. Congratulations to 2020 Miss New York USA, Andreia Gibau, and Miss District of Columbia USA, Cierra Jackson!
Andreia was ecstatic to share the news to her followers, “words can’t express how happy I am that I get to experience the opportunity of a lifetime.” Andreia won Miss New York USA 2020 on January 19, at Purchase College’s Performing Arts Center. She is definitely not new to the world of pageantry. The former Miss Earth USA placed Top 16 at the international Miss Earth 2017 competition was also Miss Teen United States in 2015. She previously went after the Miss New York USA title before competing in the Miss Earth organization. She shared “the one thing I feel so deeply right now is gratitude.”
Cierra Jackson was crowned Miss District of Columbia USA 2020 on January 19, at the Carpenter Theatre in the Dominion Energy Center. Like Andreia, she is definitely not a pageant newbie. Cierra competed at the 2017 Miss America pageant as Miss District of Columbia, winning the preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness award. Cierra grew up as a military child, which led her to create the platform, Behind the Frontline. Her social impact initiative focuses on aiding military children, like herself. With two of the last five Miss D. C.’s winners capturing the Miss USA crown back-to-back, the District of Columbia is quickly making itself a pageant powerhouse within the Miss USA pageant. Can Cierra keep it going?
The excitement surrounding the 2020 Miss USA competition continues to grow. Who will go on to win the coveted title of Miss USA 2020? We will simply have to wait and see, but until then let’s admire these confidently beautiful queens!