Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Las Vegas, the center of the "Universe"

Here in Las Vegas, we love pageants and pageants love us.....So it's great news that the "Miss Universe Pageant" is returning to Las Vegas to air live on NBC from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, December 19th.

The titleholders of over 75 countries have competed for the "Miss Universe" title since 1952. As times have changed pageants have too. What hasn't changed is that the "Miss Universe Organization" consists of the most beautiful and stylish women worldwide. Confidently Beautiful is their motto.....because a confident woman glows, inside and out.

Many have asked me when they find out I sometimes work with this group, if I know how to become a contestant.  They realize that competing with the Miss Universe/Miss USA/Miss Teen USA Organization is a plus, but just don't know where to start.

On that note, I was recently introduced to a former Miss USA who is bringing her own sense of passion, style, and "grace under pressure" to the Miss Universe/Miss USA/Miss Teen USA Organization.

Shanna Moakler
Shanna Moakler recently announced her position as the  State Director for Nevada Miss USA and Miss Teen USA program. Her experience in the pageant and entertainment industry and her ability to handle life's ups and downs with style, and a kind heart, adds a great deal to the program. 

"Many don't compete because they are too intimidated or think they are not pretty enough, not perfect enough. This is the very reason you should compete! Pageants help you discover your best self." -Shanna Moakler

Shanna Moakler, Miss USA 1995
I asked Shanna a few questions for those of you who would like to know how to get involved as a contestant at the state level. After all, you've got to start even Shanna did.

What are the Miss Nevada USA and state level pageant eligibility rules? -AW

"Anyone from the ages 14 to 26 can enter, they must be a resident of Nevada (or their state) for at least 6 months, never have been married or had a child and be recognized by their government as a female"

"I want Nevada teens and young ladies to know that they are welcome to enter to compete in the Miss Nevada pageant in January. There is no preliminary pageant required. (However some other states do require locals first. Check with your state director).  Our Nevada pageant is Jan 26th and 27th, in Las Vegas. -SM

What is the entry fee at the state level?

"The entry fee is $899 for Nevada (other states vary), and yes friends, family and sponsors are encouraged to help out!"

How are the contestants judged at the state level? 

"The competition is scored on Interview, Swimsuit and Evening gown. We are looking for poise, personality and confidence as well as beauty of the face and figure, Miss America is a "Talent" competition, we are a " Beauty" pageant. Most people get the Miss America and the Miss USA systems confused as they are the biggest two."   

Only one can win as we know. What, in your opinion are the main benefits of being a part of the Miss USA/Miss Teen USA program even for those who don't take home the title?
"There is a lot to be gained in this system. Contestants learn confidence, poise, public speaking and interview skills. You are put in front of a live audience. You learn how to work under pressure. Contestants will be surprised how much they learn about themselves. We have events that help the girls learn beauty tips and tricks, make up, walking, fashion, job interviewing skills... Also, you work within your community with different charities. We also have many coaches who have "dream teams" that throughout the year take the girls on fun trips like Disneyland as well as working with anti bullying campaigns. The girls even if they don't win walk away with something and I hope make great friends along the way..."

Can those who don't win enter again?...

"Yes. I myself did this! I was a former Miss Teen Rhode Island before becoming Miss New York and competing the Miss USA Pageant."

Where do I go from here if I want to compete in Nevada?

Miss Universe 2012-2013 Pageant

More about Miss Shanna.....Shanna Moakler is an American born Actress, her love of entertainment started at a young age when she competed at Miss Teen USA placing 7th on NBC with host Dick Clark, this propelled her into a modeling career starting in Boston, Miami and finally New York.  After appearing in numerous magazines, she eventually went on to win the title of Miss New York USA 1995 and then took the title of Miss USA. This then moved to her to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career, She has appeared in many films, such as "The Wedding Singer, and "Big Mama's House ". She then transitioned over to her favorite media that of television, she was a regular on USA's "Pacific Blue" and appeared on shows like NCIS, CSI, Joey and many more, she gained much notoriety form her reality shows, MTV's "Meet The Barkers", "Crowned the Mother of All Pageants" as well as "Dancing with the Stars" , Shanna has hosted on many networks from E! to VH1 and most recently was the host of "Bridaplasty" on E!. Shanna has also launched her own cosmetic line called SMOAK cosmetic a all mineral line and is also the Executive Producer of the Miss Nevada USA pageant! She resides in California with her three children.

Look for my upcoming article featuring personal stories of former contestants. Anna Wendt

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