By Staff Writer
AUCKLAND – The allure of beauty pageants is on the rise again. The number of beauty pageants – for both young and old – that have spawned in New Zealand and overseas recently is mind-boggling.
Pageants that are growing in popularity over here include Miss Russia NZ, Miss National NZ, Mrs India New Zealand, Mrs Elite New Zealand, Miss Plus Size NZ … What’s more, competitive event organisers are even cloning existing pageant titles. For example, we found two Mrs New Zealand pageants listed on Facebook.
Last year FMN featured the sole Filipina contestant in the ‘original’ Mrs New Zealand Pageant – Shirley Maiquez Bath, 38, from Hamilton. She won the ‘Mrs People’s Choice Ambassador 2016’ award.
This year 12 contestants have joined this contest, including two Filipinas – Howick resident Wella Rangel Bernardo and Anna Marie Boado Parrant from Henderson.
It seems that age is no longer a barrier to following your dream of becoming a beauty queen. The Mrs New Zealand pageant, for example, is open to women aged between 21-56. “We also give opportunities to single mothers, engaged, separated and divorced women and widows to join our pageant,” says Anita Prasad, CEO of Mrs New Zealand.
Even the biggest Filipino pageant – in terms of the number of contestants it attracts – Maginoo at Binibining Cultural Pageant, has relaxed the age criteria. This year a mum and her 16-year-old son took part in the show alongside a few other middle-aged mums. This pageant (www.maginooatbinibini.nz) is going strong and is into its 6th year. It will next be held together with the Philippine Week Celebrations in April 2108 in Auckland.
The last word is from Shirley Bath: “For me age is just a number and there is so much more to beauty pageants. It’s about the whole experience and what you learn and become after the pageant.”