Saturday, June 30, 2018

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Jody Marie Scimone, Elite Miss Nevada Earth United States 2018



Jody Marie Scimone, Elite Miss Nevada Earth United States 2018


One fun fact about you:

I eat a tremendous amount of fruits. About 80% of what I consume comes from fruits. Eating fruit has helped me heal my body and it is the original fast food. Living in Las Vegas, fruits are a necessity because they keep you hydrated and energized. Eating in season is always the best!

Tell us about your platform. 

My platform is a combination of three components. Inspiring others to "Reduce Waste, Go Vegan and Support Locals." I know that if everyone implemented one aspect of these three topics, we would see a drastic shift in our world:

Example 1. If 1 million people stopped using plastic straws, that would save over 5 million plastic straws from polluting our environment.

Example 2. Every day a vegan saves 1,100 gallons of water, 20lbs co2 equivalent, 300 sqft of forested land, 45 lbs of grain, and the life of one animal.

Example 3. If everyone shopped local, their community would shift to a destination and save resources.

What are you looking forward to at Elite Miss Earth United States? 

There are so many things I am looking forward to at Miss Earth United States but I am most excited about meeting my sister queens and directors/staff. Being able to talk with them over the phone and social media has been so exciting. Being surrounded by empowered women empowers me.

I love that everyone in the Miss Earth Organization is about saving our Mother Earth because that is something I am so passionate about.

Pageantry is a true sisterhood and I am thankful to be a part of it.

What is something you can't live without and why? 

One thing I cannot live without is Love. Without love, our world is nothing. Love and compassion are the fundamental elements of human nature yet it is something people tend to forget. When you love what you do and you do what you love, life is amazing!

Social Media 

Elite Miss Nevada Earth United States

@jodymarie_official


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PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Caitlin McDonald, Teen Miss Nebraska United States 2018



Caitlin McDonald, Teen Miss Nebraska United States 2018


One fun fact about you:

Sorry to my vegetarian friends but I once ate frog legs thinking I was eating crab legs, I was mortified!

Tell us about your platform.

"Conservation Social Work" is my platform.

I am advocating for environmental responsibility, sustainable agriculture, humanitarian aid, and animal preservation through the use of social media, public appearances, volunteering, and mission work to educate and bring awareness to these causes.

What are you looking forward to at Teen Miss Earth United States?

The whole experience of representing my state of Nebraska and the Miss Earth Organization, finally meeting everyone in person, taking part in a community clean-up, seeing all the sights, and of course, dancing and being on stage!

What is something you can’t live without and why?

I definitely could not live without my family. I love my parents and my siblings immensely, they are my biggest fans and my main support system!  I am really close to my brother Zach, who is a United States Marine and one of my best friends.

Social Media

Teen Miss Earth United States


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PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Merrick Randy Alexander, Miss Nebraska Earth United States 2018



Merrick Randy Alexander, Miss Nebraska Earth United States 2018


One fun fact about you:

I started singing when I was 3-years-old and fell in love with the world of music.

Tell us about your platform.

First of all, my advocacy is to preserve and protect Earth by reducing and removing plastic waste.

Earth is truly a gift and has been taken advantage of for hundreds of years. It is up to us now to work on changing our behavior and working to cleanse the Earth of garbage and damage. These changes will not happen overnight, but the more awareness we spread about recycling, picking up trash, reusable straws, bags, and cups, plant diversity, and etc... we can begin to cause multiple ripples and then hopefully a wave of change. Let’s be the difference our Earth needs and the people of Earth need.

My personal platform is “You Define You.” I came up with this movement to teach men and women all over the world that their circumstances do not have to define them.

This is a movement to become extraordinary. We need to dare to dream bigger than we have ever dreamt before, and have the courage to pursue those dreams. We can break out of whatever box we are placed into, either by ourselves or by others, and become the incredible person we are meant to be. It begins with believing in yourself, and recognizing that you are capable of achieving whatever it is that your heart desires. Make the changes necessary and chase after your dreams and goals. Believe in yourself: I believe in you.

What are you looking forward to at Miss Earth United States? 

I am honestly most excited about the experience itself. It's not every day you get to compete on a National stage and meet extraordinary women from all over the country! I am also extremely honored and excited to sing as a part of the production at MEUS!

What is something you can’t live without and why?

I could not possibly survive without my family. I could be the richest, most famous, and successful person on earth, but without my family, it would be like I had nothing. They support me, encourage me, and most importantly love me unconditionally. I know the question is what thing I couldn't live without, so I guess I would say "love." Family is true love.

Social Media

Miss Nebraska Earth United States


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Friday, June 29, 2018

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Isabella Bennett, Miss New England Earth United States 2018



Isabella Bennett, Miss New England Earth United States 2018


One fun fact about you:

I was personally trained by Vice President Al Gore as a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

Tell us about your platform.

My platform is called “Educate to Advocate” and focuses on creating meaningful conversations on the impact we are having on our planet, in order to inspire people to action.

I believe that the best way to advocate for our environment is by enabling others, to become informed citizens, as a result of expanding their understanding of the threats and challenges that earth’s delicate ecosystems are facing, and why these issues matter.

What are you looking forward to at Miss Earth United States? 

I am looking forward to the public speaking portion of the pageant. This is my favorite aspect of the competition and I am excited to share what I have been working on with everyone!

What is something you can’t live without and why?

Downtime. In today’s society, it is easy to become consumed by our work or the things we want to accomplish; I think it’s important to find a work-life balance and to make time to relax or decompress each day.

Social Media

Miss New England Earth United States


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PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Alexa Arzillo, Teen Miss Virginia Earth United States 2018



Alexa Arzillo, Teen Miss Virginia Earth United States 2018


One fun fact about you:

I am super involved in school between color guard/winter guard and environmental clubs.

Tell us about your platform.

My platform is saving our oceans from waste and pollution.

Living so close to the beach and Chesapeake Bay I have been fortunate to work with such active environmental organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation, Better Beach Project and Lynnhaven River Now.

I have even been able to create a bunch of my own cleanups. Other than cleanups, I have been visiting Environmental Centers, such as the Brock Environmental Center, where I was able to educate others on the importance of keeping our waterways clean. At their showing of the Straws Documentary, I was able to bond with others who share my passion on stopping the use of plastic straws.

Right now, as humans, we are the number one predators towards our planet, and education whether at Environmental Centers, beach cleanups, school gatherings or just being out in public is the key to keeping our waterways clean and improving our environment.

What are you looking forward to at Teen Miss Earth United States?

Definitely just getting to know everyone at a better level for a whole week, as well as watching my sister queens compete!

What is something you can’t live without and why?

Definitely my friends, family, and mission work. These are people that have had such a great impact on my life. We have been able to support each other and appreciate what we want to accomplish in life.

With mission work, I have been able to see how people that are not in the best living conditions and still live life the best way they can. I have honestly come to see that they enjoy and appreciate so much more than we do.

Social Media

Teen Miss Virginia Earth United States


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Thursday, June 28, 2018

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Laura Barlow, Elite Miss Rhode Island Earth United States 2018


Laura Barlow, Elite Miss Rhode Island Earth United States 2018


One fun fact about you: 

One fun fact about me is that I am a certified Professional Pet Assisted Therapist. My first beagle Elvis and I volunteered at nursing homes, schools, group homes, hospitals and more.

Tell us about your platform.

My platform is “We Are All Connected.” I want to help people awaken from the illusion of separation and to understand that we are all connected: nature, animals, and humanity. We are all Earthlings. Every action we take has an impact on others. It feels great to know that we can live a lifestyle that shows compassion, love and respect for humanity, animals and our planet.

What are you looking forward to at Elite Miss Earth United States? 

I am looking forward to meeting many amazing women who share my values of love and respect for Mother Earth. I am also excited to visit the amazing sites of Washington, D.C. including the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

What is something you can't live without and why? 

I can't live without my family and dogs because love is essential to the existence and they provide me with love.


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PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Alexi Gropper, Miss Florida Earth United States 2018


Alexi Gropper, Miss Florida Earth United States 2018


One fact about you:

I am adopted from Siberia Russia.

Tell us about your platform. 

My platform is to bring awareness to plastics and our ocean. Plastic pollution not only affects us but also affects our marine life.

What are you looking forward to at Miss Earth United States? 

I am looking forward to meeting all the contestants and making lifelong friendships.

What is something you can’t live without and why? 

Something I cannot live without would be my fur babies, I have seven dogs and two cats. They are all adopted.


PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight is a special feature of Ask The Crown. We are proud to be the pioneer of publishing titleholders exclusive interviews nationally and internationally.
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PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Hajera Naeem Malik, Elite Miss Southwest Earth United States 2018


Hajera Naeem Malik, Elite Miss Southwest Earth United States 2018


One fun fact about you:

Fun fact about me is that I love painting.

Tell us about your platform. 

My platform is "Greener Cleaner Houston" and recycling clothes.

What are you looking forward to at Elite Miss Earth United States? 

Meeting all my pageant sisters and being a part of the Miss Earth Experience.

What is something you can’t live without and why? 

I cant live without the support of my friends and family. That's what inspires me and keeps me going.


PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight is a special feature of Ask The Crown. We are proud to be the pioneer of publishing titleholders exclusive interviews nationally and internationally.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Elizabeth Upshur, Miss Tennessee Earth United States 2018



Elizabeth Upshur, Miss Tennessee Earth United States 2018


One fun fact about you:

A fun fact about me is my birthmark on my chest is shaped like one of my favorite aquatic animals, a seahorse!

Tell us about your platform. 

My platform is "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle," and I've used this platform to bring awareness and educate my community on ways to go green that are easy and fun, demonstrating both short and long-term green goals, as well as highlighting ways that lower-income communities can get involved for little to zero cost, because protecting our environment shouldn't be cost prohibitive.

It is everyone's planet and everyone deserves the opportunity to help save it.

What are you looking forward to at Miss Earth United States? 

I'm looking forward to performing, sightseeing D.C for the first time, and getting to interact with kids as a state representative!

What is something you can’t live without and why? 

Something I can't live without is dancing. I LOVE a good 3-hour workout downtown with my girls, getting my sweat on and getting in touch with my body through music. It's super cathartic too!


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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Sydney Bitar, Teen Miss Great Lakes Earth United States 2018



Sydney Bitar, Teen Miss Great Lakes Earth United States 2018


One fun fact about you:

My middle name is Amira, which means Princess in Arabic.

Tell us about your platform. 

My platform is “Sydney’s SOS” – Sydney’s Stance on Sustainability. This means that I advocate for sustainable travel and the reduction of single-use plastics, particularly straws. 

What are you looking forward to at Teen Miss Earth United States? 

I am looking forward to meeting the other like-minded titleholders, making lifelong friendships and hopefully taking home the title of Teen Miss Earth United States. 

What is something you can’t live without and why? 

I feel that the one thing I or anyone could or should not live without is the love of friends and/or family. My friends and family's support system have helped me become the person I am today. 

Where can we follow you on social media?


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Monday, June 25, 2018

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Bre Lee L'Estrange, Miss Colorado Earth United States 2018



Bre Lee L'Estrange, Miss Colorado Earth United States 2018


One fun fact about you:

I have two sides of me. I love pageants, modeling, fashion, and glam. The other side I love adventures, camping, Netflix binge days and wearing no makeup at all.

Tell us about your platform or yourself, choose one or both.

I am a 21- year old vanilla milk tea enthusiast and I was born and raised in a small town called Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Growing up I loved being on stage and writing so as I have gotten older I have found my two passions within pageantry and blogging. 

My platform is "Small actions, Huge Impact." I want to use my platform to promote environmental awareness through our community and how taking small actions to help improve our environment can create a huge lasting effect in our world.

What are you looking forward to at Miss Earth United States?

The experience. I have worked so hard to get to this point and being at Miss Earth United States is a celebration of beauties for a cause and all the change we have made within environmental awareness.

What is something you can’t live without and why?

My camera. Memories are so precious to me and I love being able to capture moments through my lens that I can save forever.

Where can we follow you on social media?

Instagram: @breleee & @misscoloradoearth

PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight is a special feature of Ask The Crown. We are proud to be the pioneer of interviewing titleholders national and international.


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PageantLIVE Red Carpet Highlight: Michelle Laino, Teen Miss New Jersey Earth United States 2018



Michelle Laino, Teen Miss New Jersey Earth United States 2018


One fun fact about you:

I can cook Minute rice in 58 seconds. (This is a bit of a joke, but I used to meal prep and had to get really good at cooking faster to save time!)

Tell us about your platform or yourself, choose one or both. 

Well, my platform and my interests go hand in hand. I am a personal trainer and my platform revolves around food. I advocate for eating locally at sustainably sourced places and supporting your local sustainable farms. I believe in taking care of your body and the Earth and the way you eat is reflective of both.

What are you looking forward to at Teen Miss Earth United States? 

Getting to spend the week with the other girls! We’ve all been talking to each other and following each other for so long now, I want to meet everyone in person!

What is something you can’t live without and why? 

My reusable cup and straw. I take it everywhere or leave it in my car because with the amount of iced tea I drink I never know when I will need it. The places I go for my tea give me a discount for bringing my own cup!

Where can we follow you on social media? 

Facebook: Michelle Laino
Instagram: @michellelaino

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Five Inspiring Facts We Love About Thom Brodeur-Kazanjian, Queen Beauty USA President


Queen Beauty USA is looking to bring the "beauty" back to pageantry and to unapologetically celebrate that women can be beautiful inside and out, and compete to advance their career goals and aspirations in the modeling, acting and entertainment industries without needing a story.
Thom Brodeur-Kazanjian - President, Queen Beauty USA 

Queen Beauty USA is the official country preliminary to the Queen Beauty Universe or La Reina Belleza Universo in Spanish, an international pageant system of King & Queen Beauty Spain or Rey & Reina Belleza EspaƱa in Spanish.

The system is nearly five years in running and aims to bring a fresh perspective to pageantry. Thom Brodeur-Kazanjian, President of Queen Beauty USA, was selected out of the dozens of submissions for the license. Thom brought Queen Beauty USA to the United States during the evolution and changeover period, the time when Miss America and Miss Universe Organization(s) have signaled changes of their brands, in hopes to accommodate on what they believe their audience would love to see. He quoted, "That was the time of a very tough pageant market.” Needless to say, Thom is shaking things up and is determined to bring glamorous elements back in the center stage. Queen Beauty USA 2019 pageant will be held in Arizona in the summer of 2019, where Thom planned to produce the pageant using television and digital platforms.

Here are Five Inspiring Facts We Love About Thom Brodeur-Kazanjian

1. His pageant journey is inspirational. Thom discovered pageantry before graduating high school and has been in the pageant business for more than 30 years. Yes, we can testify he is a living legend, “In 1991, as a junior in college, I won the one and only "guy pageant" I'd ever competed in, Mr. Male America. Thank God for that. I was out of money for school, and if not for the cash prize, I would have never finished college. It was then that pageantry became less of a hobby and more of a life-changing platform in my mind. Right out of college, I was a multi-state director for GuyRex Productions; back then it was a franchise holder of the Miss World America pageant. I left the pageant and television industries to work for the next 24 years in the technology field where I served in executive leadership roles in marketing, strategy, operations and corporate development for companies like GoDaddy, Marketwired, EmpowHER, and MariaShireen. Most recently, before starting my own company again at the age of 48, I was the CEO of Yandy.com - the swimwear and activewear sponsors for the 2017 Miss USA & Teen USA competitions.”

2. He is family-oriented. Thom is an only child! He was born in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, raised outside of Youngstown Ohio, graduated 7th in his High School class, and he was the class Vice President, Prom King and co-editor of the High School newspaper. How impressive! Thom and his husband Tavit are the proud fathers of their awesome 13-year old son, Dante, and four vertically challenged dachshund puppies namely Google, Giggle, Atlas and Apollo.


3. He unapologetically celebrates beauty. We love Thom's reference of "beauty inside the beauty," he says, “Anyone who knows me knows what I've been saying for a long time that we should stop apologizing for celebrating beauty. We spend decades building our daughters, granddaughters, sisters, nieces and other young women in our lives by telling them how special they are, how remarkable they are, how capable they are, how smart they are, and yes... how beautiful they are. But over the years and even more pronounced recently with the #metoo and #neveragain movements, there has been a heightened fervor for what feels to many pageant fans and supporters, like a veiled if not deliberate denouncing of beauty in this business or at least an exchange of it for something else.”

“As a gay man who has never objectified a woman, harmed a woman, disrespected nor disregarded a woman, who was raised by a single Mom who was a Sargeant in the Air Force during the Vietnam war. I can comfortably say that my mother always represented to me this perfect blend of grit, determination, inner strength and yes, outer beauty. Absolutely feminine, comfortable in her own skin, classy, elegant, chic and also... tough as nails. But she never apologized for being a beautiful woman. Not at all. And I think many of us in pageantry miss the days where a good ole beauty pageant for the sake of showcasing the pomp, circumstance, glitz, and glamour of beauty for beauty's sake, is something we want back.”

“As a marketing executive and strategist for the better part of two decades of my career, I've often coached my teams; spoken truth to leadership and laid out the simple premise of math and science in Boardrooms about the brand. When you quit delivering the quality, consistency and relevant experience your audience such as customers, stakeholders, partners, expect from you - they will tune you out, and tune into something or someone else who is listening.”

“The mission of Queen Beauty USA is to bring the "beauty" back to pageantry and to unapologetically celebrate that women can be beautiful inside and out, and compete to advance their career goals and aspirations in the modeling, acting and entertainment industries without needing a story, without needing a platform, without needing to defend beauty by convincing the rest of the world how empowered and strong and "more than" just beautiful faces and bodies. We know that. We believe that. And we think it's high time to celebrate beauty again without "qualifying" it in some other way, first."


4. He is bringing the universal pageant back. Queen Beauty USA is about bringing beauty back! In relation to this, we asked Thom of his own definition of beauty, “Facial and physical beauty are clearly elements of our point of view for Queen Beauty USA - after all, these young women are competing in what's been called the "pageant for models", and so they must possess certain attributes that make them competitive in that field. That said, one of the key characteristics of Queen Beauty USA is that inner beauty, "beauty of personality," is actually judged and measured throughout the entire competition.”

“Ours is not a pageant where congeniality is only a "special award" for a non-finalist. Friendliness, kindness, and decorum are judged by the judges' panel from breakfasts with the contestants through rehearsals, through photo and video shoots, through dinners, through casual environments where contestants and judges interact. In our pageant, a girl can't just put her "game face" on for a 5-minute panel interview, or a 90-second stroll across a stage in swimwear or evening gown, or in a 60-second rehearsed onstage answer to a pre-screened and reviewed question. She has to be authentically herself 100% of the time from the moment she steps foot into the pageant, until the moment she leaves it.”

“With Queen Beauty USA, you can't be a "performance" or "stage" queen and not a beautiful person inside as well. You're being watched, observed, judged and critiqued every minute of every day of the time you're participating - not just in a closed interview room or in front of the crowd. If you're not good, kind and #beautifulinsideandout, you won't be a match for us. This is why we love our 2018 Queen Beauty USA Alexia Rae Castillo so much. She is truly one of the most kind-hearted young women we've met in the business. Her own living rule of engagement is... "it's nice to be nice." And she lives it. Alexia embodies what Queen Beauty USA is looking for, from a titleholder. Breathtakingly beautiful on the outside. Unmistakably and unfailingly beautiful on the inside. To us, that's what it's all about.”

5. He empowers women and people around him.  Every one of us has different roles in the society but how we empower each other especially for women who have been fighting for equality for years, gives us a great role to fill in. Thom's definition of women empowerment is, in fact, empowering. He states, “We see empowerment as a celebration of all that makes women remarkable and amazing. A powerful woman is a woman with a clear command of her intellect, her will, her dreams, and aspirations. She celebrates the rise of others even if she isn't rising as she'd hoped. She lives without regrets because she knows who she is, what she is made of, where she's been, and where she's going. And, for us, she is powerful because she is beautiful - inside and out - and she makes no excuses for it and suffers no foolishness from those who would judge her.”

Lastly, we want to know how Thom perceives Queen Beauty USA in the next five years, he enthusiastically answers, “We would like to think that it will propel many modeling, acting and entertainment careers. We hope you'll see future winners of America's Next Top Model; cover models for Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Allure, Elle, Self, and others; beauty campaign models for L'Oreal, CoverGirl, Maybelline, MAC; runway powerhouses on the runways of Fashion Week shows around the world, and possibly even future Victoria's Secret Angels come out of Queen Beauty USA alumni. We hope you'll see future Miss USA, Universe, United States, International and Supranational winners come from us, and vice versa. We see a lot of room for this sorority to grow and to embrace what is unique and special about each 'house' if you will. There is plenty of audience for all of us. Our goal is to deliver pure unfiltered beauty to the audience who wants that from us while we and our titleholders celebrate what others bring to the audiences who rely on them for what they bring to the table.”

Thom’s passion to empower is incredible. Remember, be unapologetically YOU.

You can follow Thom on his personal Facebook or Instagram and at the Official Queen Beauty USA Facebook or Instahandle.


By: Joyce Cortez

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Beauty is Back! A Glimpse of Perfection with Alexia Rae Castillo, Queen Beauty USA 2018


About two weeks ago, Alexia Rae Castillo was announced as Queen Beauty USA 2018 and set to compete in Spain at Queen Beauty Universe this coming November. With this new fabulous role, Alexia described it as an exciting whirlwind experience. Photo shoots after photo shoots and modeling opportunities just present themselves right in. On her part, the most exciting moment was the first glimpse of the crown, "Oh my gosh, it's by far the most beautiful crown I've ever seen! I'm really looking forward to preparing for the international competition in Spain, making appearances, and continuing philanthropic work." 

Yes, she's right. The crown isn't just about being a beauty queen but it also represents the impactful contribution in the society.

Beauty is back!

Alexia Rae Castillo is known for her appearance in numerous music videos and TV shows. You might not know but this beauty has made her feature film debut in the theatrical release of Warner Bros., Entourage, and most recently appeared in Disney's Wrinkle in Time starring Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon.


As we get to know Alexia, we’ve learned how her beauty also reflects from the inside, she is the 5th oldest of 12 children and was born on the coast in Mississippi where pageants are held all of the time and for all ages. She jokes, "Can you imagine being our parents? 12 kids! I don't know how they did it. All I can say is God Bless you, Mom and Dad!" She further recalls, "My very first pageant was when I was 11 days old and out of 12 babies, I won Best Hair and 2nd runner-up." 

Perhaps we can all agree with the old adage that goes "born with glitter," isn't she?

Alexia admits she is not the typical pageant girl. She assertively says, "I honor my pageant sisters and women around the world who have "platforms" - I just have a mantra that I live by that centers around kindness. Anyone who knows me knows that I mean it when I say, "it's nice to be nice." I feel strongly that the world could use a lot more kindness between people, and I do my best to do my part to contribute to that every day and with everyone, I come into contact with."

Aside from pageants and acting, Alexia also loves traveling and exploring new places where she outlines, "I find different cultures very interesting." 

She attracts the spotlight but the way she described her adorable pup was precious when we asked if there's one thing she could live without? She fondly answers, "This is an easy one. I have the cutest, little chihuahua/Shih Tzu/poodle mixed dog named Selena. This little girl is my world and she goes everywhere with me. I named her after the singer Selena Quintanilla. This little pup has such a sweet, loving, fun, and playful personality and just having her around makes me happy."


Defining Beauty and Women Empowerment

Alexia defines beauty and empowerment as graciousness and kindness saying, "I feel like whenever you leave a room of people, if you have the ability to make those people feel good, then that is "beauty." Being kind, respectful, and appreciative of the differences that all people can bring to your life, that's how I define beauty!"

"For me, the empowerment of women comes in so many shapes and forms. The collection of our life experiences, whether similar or entirely different from one another, makes us powerful. The way we care for ourselves - mind, body, spirit, makes us powerful. Our concern and will to lift each other up makes us powerful. You see, I don't think women's empowerment is a hashtag; I think it's a way of living, of being, of moving through life, every day. I feel empowered when I'm in a zone where I'm feeling healthy, happy and loved. I feel empowered when I'm able to embrace all that makes me who I am from how I feel on the inside to how I look on the outside. I feel empowered when I see women embracing all that they are and when they challenge themselves, the status quo and the 'movement of the moment' to retain their individuality and their unique point of view. Being you, all the time, without fail, defines empowerment for me - regardless of gender."


Pageant Advice

"Compete. Take a chance. Don't let anyone or anything discourage you from experiencing any and every part of your journey in this life. It's your life after all. Oh, and two super important things... Be kind. And, BE YOU through the process. There's only one of you, don't waste your time trying to change that to fit a mold."

With all of her success in life and career, we daringly asked if she have one wish or two in 2018, she graciously responded with, "To win Queen Beauty Universe in November and then land a gig in a major modeling campaign with either Guess/Marciano or take a walk with the Angels in the Victoria's Secret fashion show."

Alexia truly characterizes beauty in a beauty. Perfection, indeed.

You can follow Alexia's journey on her personal Instagram account and at the Official Queen Beauty USA  Instahandle and on Facebook.



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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Miss America In Identity Crisis, An Iconic Era Over?

The current Miss America 2018 Cara Mund may be in favor of eliminating the swimsuit and evening gown competition, but not all former Miss Americas are on board with the controversial decision.

In December 2017, thousands of contestants and titleholders rallied together to sign a petition in wake of the Sam Haskell email scandal that ousted him from his leadership position as CEO. Newly elected chairwoman of the Miss America Organization Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989, had championed to save the program and beloved pageant on January 1st. On June 5th, Ms Carlson announced Miss America 2.0 on ET.


And then it became a love-hate relationship overnight.

In the blink of an eye, the pageant was completely turned upside down and stripped of its identity and origins as a bathing suit beauty contest with the announcement of the swimsuit and evening gown elimination. Meaning precisely that the Miss America as we all know and love will cease to exist.


Miss America's decision would take away from one of the hallmarks of the iconic pageant with its emphasis on health and fitness. Miss America 2016, Betty Cantrell, who has been working to advocate for healthy lifestyle initiatives and address pertinent issues such as obesity in Georgia post her reign, views the change as a step backwards and that it shames women in celebrating positive body image.  

Accordingly, in an article from NBC News featuring Ms Cantrell, she stated, "Miss America is about having beauty and brains — it's not about being Miss Businesswoman. It's essentially saying that women shouldn't be proud to be in their own skin. We're telling women to cover up. This is setting women back decades." Furthermore, Cantrell says, "I hope they get the reaction they want but I don’t think that this will help with their ratings. I’m concerned about the future of this organization."


Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields echoed a similar sentiment and felt that she was empowered in all areas of the competition, whether it was the swimsuit or evening gown portion. She shared this message on social media, "It’s my hope that Miss America will continue this legacy of strength. I felt empowered when I was wearing my evening gown, when I was in my swimsuit, when I was in my workout clothes, when I was in business attire and even when I was in sweatpants. Ultimately, empowerment is not what we wear, it’s who we are."


In an Orlando Sentinel interview with Erika Dunlap, Miss America 2004, made a bold statement saying "What does a feminist look like? A feminist is someone who, male or female, wants to position women so that they are powerful and that they have choices. And so, I feel like you can be in a swimsuit and a feminist."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you can do both. Beauty and brains can indeed go hand in hand.

We took a poll on social media to gather some perspectives on this hot-button issue. The answers? A resounding NO!

Not surprisingly, people like tradition and the aesthetic.

Pageant contestants and the public alike are bewildered by the hasty decision to scrap the most iconic part of the competition and what it was founded on, which is bathing suits. The evening gown is also a hallmark of tradition and what the pageant is most known for, that is, showcasing and celebrating beauty and poise.


Many reported on Twitter, as well, that they vow not to watch this year’s upcoming pageant and that seeing swimsuits parade across the stage is one of the many reasons they tune in. Viewers have lamented that they will miss evening gown because it’s what makes Miss America - it is what you think of - in that crowning moment!

Will #byebyebikini start a revolution, or cause a slow demise of the prestigious program?

Will ratings tank from a rash decision? What do you think?



Disclaimer: Quotations and photos are from different resources.
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Friday, June 1, 2018

Let's Get To Know Dr. Sonia Sonia, Vying For Mrs. Earth International 2018


Mrs. Earth South Pacific 2018 and Global Elite High Point 2018, Dr. Sonia Sonia from Australia believes in pushing through adversity; not only surviving but thriving. Dr. Sonia, herself, is a survivor of family violence and says she knows what it feels like to carry the tag "victim" on your shoulders. That's why her mission is to empower and influence survivors across the globe to live better lives, to educate themselves, and to be involved in whatever they want to be. She advocates, "I want survivors to be the Kings or Queens of their own lives and future. I believe I was born to make a difference and people around me everywhere I go are helping me to accomplish this."

World Peace is one more thing that Dr. Sonia's wishing for! Not only around the world but at an individual level as well. "There is so much hatred around the globe. I wish we could all live peacefully in this beautiful world, and enjoy the best of both the natural and man-made world," she says when we asked if there's one thing she could wish for in 2018. And added, "At an individual level, to improve quality of life and relationships amongst each other."

Aside from the fact that she is a science genius and a beauty queen, she is also a recreational pilot trainee! Cool, eh!

Here are more scoops about Mrs. Earth South Pacific 2018 and Global Elite High Point 2018



When did you start getting involved in pageants?

November 2017. Mrs. Earth is my second pageant, it was a childhood dream come true. I was so impressed by the commitment to community work by pageant delegates. I believe winning a title is a big responsibility. Do you know any other job around the world where it’s mandatory to do community service as a part of your role? It's not just dolled up and rock up, it's so much deeper than that. It’s about doing your part, big or small, in making our community and world a better place. I believe if we all work together, we can achieve this.


Why did you choose the Mrs. Earth system?

I went to New Zealand last year with my kids and family to see glaciers. I was there nine years ago with friends, and it was so beautiful. I was gobsmacked when I saw that it has receded more than 2km in 9 years. I believe we are borrowing Mother Earth from our kids, we need to take care of it so that we can return it to them as beautiful as we received it. Do not treat it like an inheritance from ancestors and ruin it. Mrs/Ms. Earth is the only pageant in the world that is focused on the environment. It does open your eyes and challenges your thought processes. I have stopped carrying plastic water bottles and supporting and have started promoting a more recyclable and environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

Also, Nicole Smith, the Mrs/Ms. Earth pageant director in Australia is amazing. She literally takes care of me like her family. In pageant world we are all big family - we support, cheer and look after each other. I could not think of a better platform than Mrs. Earth. My five-year-old daughter is so inspired and excited that I am Mrs. Earth South Pacific, and I will look after the ocean and trees and butterflies for her. As a titleholder, if I can inspire little kids to look after the Mother Earth, there is nothing better and bigger than this.


Tell us about your platform or yourself, choose one or both. 

Imagine ever being in a situation where you think the best way to get out is to end your life... Suddenly someone gives you a hand and pulls you out of that situation and shows you how beautiful life is. I have been there, I am grateful for people giving me a hand then. Now I want to be that helping hand. I have been helping domestic and family violence and sexual abuse victims for many years.

This year I have started a not-for-profit organization, ReStored: Be A Helping Hand. The premise of ReStored is dentists along with other professionals across Australia and the globe joining hands to restore survivors' smiles, confidence but above all else, their self-esteem. I am a wife, mother of two beautiful kids, dentist, businesswoman, entrepreneur, public speaker, trainee recreational pilot, Mrs. Earth South Pacific 2018 and Ms. Global Elite High Point Community Queen 2018.

What is your passion or interest outside pageantry?

People. I am passionate about people.

I love meeting them, talking to them, knowing about them, helping them. Dentistry allows me to do all that plus help them feel relaxed and free of pain and embarrassment. Anything I do in my life revolves around this philosophy. I am genuinely interested in people. I live by the quote - "If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life."


How do you define beauty?

I believe beauty is a character. It is a combination of many traits in an individual. Everyone is different and perceives beauty differently. Beauty for me is an advocate of kindness. It’s about being authentic, joyous, humble. It's about inspiring people you come across with. It's a lifelong asset and brightens and enlightens the world forever.

I do firmly believe that I AM BEAUTIFUL!

I always spread this message to everyone I meet - that they are beautiful. Do not get me wrong, outer beauty is impressive as well, however, that fades out soon if you do not have substance.


How do you define women empowerment?

Do you know that this term does not exist in many languages? Empowerment for me is empowering yourself and others to believe in yourself and make a change around you or in your community. To know your worth. It’s about helping each other and lifting each other up. Life’s journey can be boring if you walk alone. Imagine a group or a tribe of women who think alike and have the same goal of making this world a better place for all women to live? Nothing is more empowering than that. There is a saying, "When you empower a woman, you empower a whole generation." I believe this is the fastest way to change the world.


What is something you can’t live without and why?

My kids. It's the unconditional love they have shown me. So in brief: Love. I am a human, a social animal. We all have basic needs of belongingness. On a lighter note, research conducted in the UK recently showed that 50% of women can’t live without brushing their teeth. This makes me feel happy as a dentist and as a woman!

Where can we follow you on social media?

ReStored - Be A Helping Hand

Facebook page: Dr. Sonia Sonia

Personal website: Dr. Sonia 



By: Joyce Cortez

PageantLIVE and Ask The Crown Exclusives. PageantLIVE is known for exclusive interviews and we pride to have and maintains on publishing our original contents.
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