AFTER forcing himself to speak with these eminent ladies the answer became apparent – the girls were either current or previous pageant winners.
Joe Wallen put down his pen and attempted to (cat) walk into the pageant world to find out more about the wide range of contests:
Miss Teen Gibraltar is an extremely popular teen pageant in Gibraltar due to its international reach – last year’s winner Shyanne McIntosh will be competing at Miss Teen World in exotic Florida.
“I believe pageants are so popular here in Gibraltar because we don’t exactly follow what is known to the society as ‘pageant law’,” Shyanne told the Gibraltar Olive Press.
“Gibraltarian pageants encourage girls of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities to join.”
The competition for 15-19 year olds is run on the premise of ‘beauty with a purpose’ – contestants must show they are using their looks to help their fellow Gibraltarians.
In order to win her title, current Miss Teen Gibraltar, Saray Nuñez, 18 was successful across a number of different rounds.
Points are taken from two preliminary sport and charity rounds and judged alongside a Miss Individuality competition, where the girls dress in their own style and a Miss Creative round, where dresses are made out of anything.
Previous ‘materials’ seen on the catwalk have included pasta, CDs and magazines.
Finally contestants will compete in the Miss Catwalk and Miss Elegance rounds before the lucky (and probably quiet exhausted) winner is crowned.
Miss Gibraltar is the big one – the vogue FA Cup final, the elegant Superbowl – with the winner going on to represent Gibraltar at the Miss World the following year.
The current Miss Gib is the stunning Jodie Garcia, 24, who when she takes off the sash, is currently training to be an accountant!
Brains and beauty.
As we go to press, Jodie is competing at the Miss World contest in China – Good luck Jodie!
The ‘WDC’ as it is known is one of the more zany pageants in Gibraltar, yet its appeal is certainly not in question.
Competition is open to women of any age, the only criteria being that they must have tied the knot.
“Basically, the WDC has become very popular amongst brides who are always eager to wear their wedding dress again,” reflects Bianca.
The blushing brides take to the catwalk for a number of rounds in the very dresses they wore on their wedding days – I do!
Dream Girl Of The Year
The Dream Girl is between the ages of 10 and 14 and has sufficiently impressed the judging panel across vogue, catwalk and elegance rounds.
The 2017 winner was the delightful Gisella Ignacio.
“We like to think that each girl walks away from their
program a little more ready to deal with the world ahead of them,” says
organiser Bianca Zammit.
Contestants are judged on their presence, attitude, poise, confidence and presentation – are the next generation up for it?
While the many pageants in Gibraltar can seem a bit confusing to an outsider, there is one pageant queen in Gibraltar who covets real international gravitas.
In 2009, our very own Kaiane Aldorino achieved global stardom when she was crowned Miss World.
“When Kaiane Aldorino became Miss World she was someone who carried the dreams of Gibraltarians around the world,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.
Not satisfied with one sash, in April 2017 Ms Aldorino also became the youngest Mayor in Gibraltar’s history.
Local media dubbed her the ‘most beautiful Mayor in the world’ – we don’t disagree!
The Miss Glamour competition for dashing young ladies between 15 and 21 is now entering its 15th consecutive year.
Run by the enigmatic Bianca Zammit, the contest is divided into three areas of fierce competition: vogue, where contestants where the outfit of their choice; catwalk which judges poise and stride and elegance which is judged on how the ladies hold their respective dresses.
“I believe that beauty pageants here in Gibraltar are very popular because there is a lot of hidden potential and girls seek to unlock them by joining such pageants. They give you a big confidence boost,” said Daniella Ford Ambrose, 21, Miss Glamour 2017.
The contest has some seriously impressive alumni, with many previous winners going on to achieve pageant success in the mega Miss Gibraltar.
1st Princess in the 2017 Miss Gibraltar, Tessa Britto won Miss Glamour in 2013, as well as Dream Girl of the Year in 2010.
Miss Cover Girl
The glamorously named Miss Cover Girl runs according to the same format as Miss Teen Gibraltar but for girls between 10 and 14 years old.
“You have the incredible chance to represent Gibraltar abroad. That is the amazing opportunity we give,” says Director Kelvin Hewitt.
Hold the page-ant! Men who fancy their chances on the catwalk can also give it a go.
(Watch out Mr Gibraltar 2018!)
Run by the legendary duo of Angel Ressa and Mark Andrades – who also provide their own standup comedy on the night – Mr Gibraltar seeks to crown the fella who best represents Gibraltarian values.
This year’s winner after a number of grueling rounds, including an interview stage whereby contestants had to discuss a pressing social issue in Gibraltar, was the impossibly handsome Antonin Irodia, 26.
“Through these events, we are able to entertain our community but most importantly to help those who are in need,” he told the Gibraltar Olive Press.
“I also want to show the world, how amazing and unique our community is – we have many nationalities and cultures living together in peace in Gibraltar.”
Where’s Mr Gay Gibraltar?
As things stand there does not appear to be a Gibraltarian version of this legendary international pageant.
Come on lads!
The Gibraltar Olive Press is calling on you to get it organized!
While there are so many pageant competitions in Gibraltar – even the government themselves are unsure how many there are in total (!) – It is clear that several themes run through all.
For Gibraltarians the pageant world offers the opportunity to make new friends and gain confidence.
It also offers our inquisitive population the chance to travel abroad and raise Gibraltar’s profile internationally.
Above all, it can change lives.
Kaiane Aldorino was a hospital human resources clerk with a love for netball when she entered Miss World in 2009.
She’s now recognized across the globe and is the Mayor of an international territory. Not bad for a crown and sash!