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 España 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 - 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

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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