Wednesday, November 27, 2013

LeTecia Cunningham
Ms United America Woman

Wendy Lindberg -- America's SUPER Queen

They are chilling statistics:
according to
  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during 
  • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
  • Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
  • Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused.
So LeTecia Cunningham, has decided her mission in platform pageantry should be to share her experience with a violent relationship, and as a domestic violence survivor, to help change these statistics.

"At one point in my life it seemed like I got every loser, bad-boy." LeTecia said. "I got with a guy who was fine and had great money. At first he treated me like I have always wanted to be treated.. (but) as we got more into the relationship, it started off with the insults and put downs, and then it went into the pushing and shaking," she continues. "We had been together for about five years and I had been slapped and punched and beaten and bruised enough that I started to actually get that I wanted to get out of this. That it wasn't what I wanted in life. So I made my decision to get out."

When LeTecia was leaving, she met her partner at the stair well. The confrontation ended with him shooting her and beating her to near death. 

Working the Platform

Now LeTecia works with her platform of domestic violence awareness and working with survivors. LeTecia has actually been brought to many undisclosed areas where shelters are located to talk to women who have left their mates to survive. "I tell them my story and I let them know (not to) give up. Keep going. Even if you leave everything behind, you still have your life. And as long as you have your life, you an get all that materialistic stuff back."

"(Domestic Violence) is a thing that goes through every community. It's in the roughest of neighborhoods out into the neighborhoods with the best and prettiest houses. This is something that knows no color, no creed, no financial background. If a woman is getting hurt, you have to get help." LeTecia shared. "You Have got to tell somebody (if you are being abused)."

I checked out this TED talk that shared another woman's story and her thoughts on why women don't leave these situations. You can see this video HERE

Author and Work

LeTecia is also in talks with a publishing company to get her book out on the shelves in the 2014 spring. The title is Love Can Break a Thug. "I can't tell you (too much of what happens) because you won't get the book." LeTecia Joke.

In addition to the book, LeTecia is an ordained minister. "Everything is grounded with God... I knew him, then I went through that phase where I went out into the streets. I had to get shot and get my head busted a couple times. But then you come home... You always want to come back. I am thankful that I serve a God that when I was ready to come home, he was there with  open arms to welcome me back." She says. Working at 247 Praise Radio also gives her the chance to share her love for God. 

LeTecia also talked a bit about working for Tyler Perry as the project development coordinator for Perry Studios. Stephanie asked LeTecia to tell the audience a bit about that. "(When we are together) it is a lot of work related things. But I can truthfully say that he is humble. He is very down-to-earth," she said. "(He) does so many things for people in his film studios (and the community). He has programs where he actually trains individuals at the film studios and gives them skills so they can get out of the streets and get a career. ... I wish more people who had big businesses would see we all make mistakes in life, but if no one is willing to give you a second chance, we're just going to have communities of people filled with mistakes."

Ms United America Woman

LeTecia also talked about her title with the United America System and being a plus sized individual. "I really believe as a plus sized woman, we shine too. We just got more to do it with. I enjoy it, and I love our pageant system, United America. I love our sisters in the system. ... The beauty pageant system was something I was scared of. It's really starting to open their arms and embrace plus sized women." 

To see the interview, please check out the video below along with additional links to information about domestic violence. 

Some links about domestic violence:

National Domestic Violence Hotline


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Interview with Cherie Wimberly
- Author of the Ultimate Pageant Notebook

 --Wendy Linderg, America's SUPER Queen

Many girls dream of being a model or pageant queen. On November 9th, Cherie Wimberly took some time to meet with Stephanie McGrane and PageantLIVE's Ask the Crown to talk a bit about her career in modeling, her work with The LA Examiner, her experience with Pageantry, and her book, The Ultimate Pageant Notebook. 

Being Discovered

Cherie told Stephanie that she started out her modeling career as a teenager modeling in a department store that is now Macy's. She was discovered there by Scott Teitler. "I really didn't start working professionally until I was in my early twenties  in South Beach. My very first job was a photoshoot for Elle Magazine... I was very lucky to start off the bat with such a great job." Cherie Said.

Along with being in Elle, Italian Vogue and Cosmo, her acting took off and she was placed in films like "Bad Boys" and television opportunities like "General Hospital" and "Frasier".

"I have had a lot of good luck and being in the right place at the right time.. Sometimes I have to pinch my self and say, 'did this really happen?' But I have been very, very lucky.

You can find a lot of information on Cherie's Career in modeling, acting and writing at .

Writing Career

Cherie has also had a lot of opportunities to share her knowledge and experiences in acting, modeling and pageantry in books, and through her job as an article writer for the website.  She gets the opportunity to write abut casting calls, pageants, celebrity news, modeling contests and, recently, the Miss Universe Pageant. 

According to her website, she also has authored a few children's books: Bumble Learns to Fly and Two Babies Called Twins

One the articles she wrote for the Examiner was about safety tips for models. "You always hear stories on the news about models getting into trouble, getting taken. It really is a reality, and it's something that everybody should be aware of in the business. And I really felt compelled, as one of my first articles, to do an article about safety tips." Cherie told Stephanie, "The more aware you are of your surroundings and what's going on , the better for you. You can be an easy target." 

 So see her article with her tips, you can see it HERE

Along with her experience modeling, Cherie has tried her hand at competing and judging pageants and during that time, she developed the Ultimate Pageant Notebook, available on Amazon. "I wrote the (Ultimate) Pageant Notebook while I was preparing for a pageant myself. What is does it help you to get organized. It helps you to prepare everything from start to finish. From the rules of your pageant, to getting sponsors, writing your platform, writing a speech if you have to do an introductory speech. It's also really good for beginners. It has a lot of tips in there, things that you may not know about pageants." Cherie said, "It basically gives you an outline of everything you have to do for your pageant."  Ther are also many different versions of the book for various types of pageant contestants from kids to Mrs. contestants. 

Called It!

Cherie also talked a bit about her prediction as to who would win Miss Universe... and for the record... she called it! :)

To see the full interview, check it out below!

Here are a few other photos to share of Cherie throughout her years of modeling!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Interview with Miss Alabama Teen USA

Lorin Holcombe

-- Wendy Lindberg, America's SUPER Queen 

Stephanie McGrane met with Lorin Holcombe this past week to discuss her year as Miss Alabama Teen USA.


When asked what she thought the secret was to capturing the crown, Lorin told her that she thought it was "pure determination".

"I had no pageant experience. I just wanted it so much that I was willing to work hard and give up a lot of time to get into shape. I actually lost 20 pounds." Lorin shared, "So, I think determination is the secret. And a lot of prayers and a lot of focus."

A Whirl-wind 

Lorin went on to talk a bit about her title. As she prepares to give up her crown on November 16th, she is reflecting on some of the things that have happened over the past year.  "It was a whirl-wind. At first there was so much to learn," she noted. "I didn't know how to do photo shoots, and social media... learning how to handle all of that was difficult, but once I got the hang of it, it turned out to be one of the most amazing years of my life."

Lorin also highlighted some of her favorite parts of her reign. "There has been so many great things (about my year). Probably the best thing is that my platform was about self-esteem. So I got to go to speak to girls in a lot of low income areas. ... The impact you get to make on those little ones and getting to experience being a role model is certainly a highlight of (my year)." She continued, "I think when you are crowned you are put into a certain position of power. You have the ability to influence others. I think that it is every titleholders' responsibility to use that in a positive way."

At Miss Teen USA

"It is so much fun. Meeting all the girls is great." Lorin shared her experience on the national stage, "It really brought me to tears almost every night just because it was such an amazing, humbling experience." 

The pageant week was filled, and Lorin said to expect a lack of sleep if you are fortunate enough to be a part of the national experience. "You can definitely expect not to get much sleep... It is morning to night and you are constantly going."

The Next Miss Alabama Teen USA and Beyond

Lorin will be giving the crown to the next Miss Alabama Teen USA this coming weekend. When Stephanie asked her for her advice to those thinking about competing, Lorin said, "You should go for it.... You walk away with confidence, you walk away with great friends. You should do it, no matter what." 

"(Practicing your public speaking and confidence) are very important and the interview skills as well. In a competitive job market ... you have to be able to communicate well with others."

Lorin is starting her path to her future as a dentist or orthodontist. She is beginning her major as a bio-medical student. "I hope to go to UAB for dental school and maybe start my own practice."

"I've (also) been dabbling in some petite modeling recently and I had never been really open to that world before until pageantry. I have been enjoying it." She added, "I am also in a sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, so I would like to become one of the officers in that sorority as well." 

Beauty and Brains

Lorin was asked to share a little bit about what she would like to share with others who think that pageants are just beauty without the brains.  "Of the many girls that I have met, you have talented musicians, you have girls who are interested in the sciences and mathematics like I am. Many that graduated high school two and three years early out of merit." Lorin added, "I graduated high school with a 4.2, and I am making straight A's in my first year of college in a very hard major. So I think if you really paid attention, you'd realize that pageants draw the most determined and driven girls, and typically determined and driven girls do very well in academics."

Whatever her next moves may be, I am sure they will be amazing ones. 

You can see the interview in the video below. 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fashion Hero Website and Registration to Launch!
PageantLIVE Hosts a Special Presentation

--Wendy Lindberg, America's SUPER Queen   @SUPERqueenWendy

"It's practically universal. Girls discover their own beauty at a young age, and many dream of becoming models," says the official YouTube teaser, "but not every girl can be a super model."  

But that is the mission of The Fashion Hero, a new website and television project, launching November 14th, 2013. 

This is where Sheree' Walcher, Chelsea St.Pierre, Susan Hoover, and Ava St.Pierre Cogburn join PageantLIVE to talk about their big project and launch of:

Not the Usual Supermodel

"I think in a nutshell as well, it really opens an avenue to help everyone's dream come true, that may not have thought that they had an opportunity in the fashion industry," said Chelsea. 

"I think some new doors will be opening for people, especially like Susan and myself, who are short." Sheree' added. "I modeled as a child with my mom in fashion shows for JC Penny and large department stores. As I got older, I was told I was too short to model. So this will be a great opportunity for people of every race, color, or size. It doesn't matter. Everyone can participate and register for The Fashion Hero."

The Fashion Hero has an official teaser on YouTube that seems to sum it up pretty well. You can watch it below.

Roll the Cameras 

Some of the filming of the show has already begun, but the finale is preparing for next fall and will be shot at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa in Mexico, who is also a sponsor of the program. "A panel of judges will be picking who will be going on to the finale in Mexico," Ava shared. "There is (also) a panel of judges that will follow the website as well as the companies that will be also sponsoring and are a part of The Fashion Hero TV show and series. They will be following the website. Each and every person, male and female, that goes onto the website will have the opportunity to go ahead and have their own page on the website. Once they do that they will be able to have their bios, career goals, pictures..."

The excitement of The Fashion Hero grew as Chelsea shared that the events and program will be not just national, but international.

The Events and Website

"We will be posting all of our events on The Fashion Hero website," Ava told PageantLIVE interviewer, Stephanie McGrane.

"And we ask that you keep checking," Susan recommended, "because every time we go to an event, we are going to have the opportunity to meet so many fascinating new people and new friends. We will be updating the events. We will have all the events we can possibly have."

"We have a team busy working on the website launch.... so do please check back," Sheree' added.

You can also find The Fashion Hero on other social media sights. "you can find us on Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

You can see the website here as it prepares for its official launch November 14th:

The Fashion Hero Website

With Thanks

As the team begins work for the events and tours, there were a few people and brands (companies) they wanted to thanks for a lot of the initial work and sponsorship being put into the program.

The Founder and CEO, Caroline Bernier "(She) brought this concept to all of us to see and have a vision of what fashion and beauty should really be about." Ava Shared. "I also want to thank everyone (on the team in Canada) for bringing us in on this side to help out."

    Some of the sponsors being added to the program are: 

Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa in Mexico


Planet Beach

Tocara Canada

Style SO Original

Laboratoire Dr Renaud

and Elle Sunglasses

To see the full interview, and celebration of the launch (coming Novemeber 14th), check it out here!

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