September 17, 2011 by Gwendell Mercelina
By now, most people have lost hope that a Miss Curaçao will one day be crowned Miss Universe. We blame many things, global politics, racism, lack of accompanying delegation, etc. etc. In order to win the Miss Universe contest, the first thing we have to do is to be honest with ourselves.
In order to win Miss Universe we have to begin by selecting a WORLD CLASS BEAUTY as Miss Curaçao. Curaçao has made the Top-5 on two occasions. To this day Anne-marie Braafheid and Verna Vasquez are considered two of the most beautiful women to have ever graced the Miss Universe stage in its sixty year history.
Anne-marie and Verna are not the only world class beauties we have selected. Other memorable beauties were Elizabeth Sanchez (1966), Ingeborg Zielinski (1973), Anneke Dijkhuizen (1977), Suzanne Verbrugge (1984), Christine Sibilo (1986), Ana Mosteiro (1989), Jacqueline Krijger (1991), Jourraine Ricardo (1999) and Ayanette Statia (2002). Of these only two, Anneke en Jacqueline, did make it to the semi-final rounds (interestingly enough both had been trained by Anne-marie Braafheid), yet each managed to leave a lasting impression.
In Nena Sanchez’s own words, she assessed her chances upon arrival in Miami Beach and opted to work for the one title she believed she had a chance to win. And she did win the title of Miss Amity.
Ingeborg Zielinski is prominently featured in most Youtube videos of the 1973 Miss Universe pageant, a feat only the winner of that year can also claim. Almost 40 years after competing she is still remembered as one of the great contestant of 1973, most recently mentioned by GlobalBeauties.com.
Suzanne Verbrugge gave it her all, daring to take a ride on an orca whale. This caused her to the prominently featured in the Offiicial Program Book of 1984, in the 1984 telecast and once again in the 1985 telecast. She is probably the only non-winning candidate to have been featured in two subsequent telecasts.
Christine Sibilo had the attention of the Venezuelan delegation that year and Osmel Sousa made sure to let the Curaçao Director know that he believed she would be one of the semi-finalists. She was often featured in the local Panamanian media which, in contrast to the media in the majority of host countries, dedicated most of their pages to the pageant eventually won by Miss Venezuela.
Ana, Jourraine and Ayanette were all considered favorites in their respective, very competitive years.
One begs to question therefore why we have we only been within crowning distance on two occassions? The answer: LACK OF PROPER PREPARATION!
The Miss Universe contest can be divided in two eras, based on the influence of one man. There are the years Pre-Osmel Sousa and the Osmel Sousa era, which I believe we are nearing the end of.
Prior to 1981, contestants in the Miss Universe pageant were not given much preparation at all. Some like Bella la Rosa (Venezuela 1970) were selected the evening before they had to travel to the pageant. Most preparation was for the local pageant. After, besides selecting a pageant gown and national costume, not much further effort was put forth for the delegate.
The Osmel era unofficially began in 1979 when the candidate he prepared, the first to openly admit to having plastic surgery, became Venezuela’s first Miss Universe. In 1981 Osmel became the president of the Miss Venezuela pageant. The rest is indeed history. Venezuelan delegates with innovative catwalks, glamorous wardrobes and perfect features began placing and winning crowns left and right. Other countries noticed and have tried to emulate Osmel’s techniques and methods. Yet to this date no one has been able to achieve results similar to his. In the new millenium, once it became clear that the fomula’s effectiveness was waning, Osmel changed course and once again made history by winning back-to-back Miss Universe titles.
In the last two, Osmel has inexplicably gone back to his old methods and now it is very clear that the first Osmel era is indeed over. Will there be a second one?
Being so close to Venezuela and witness to all happenings in the Miss Venezuela system, it is understandable that we use them as the standard we wish to emulate. Are we correct in doing so?
Off course not. We do not have the same resources at our disposal. The Miss Venezuela Organization is a sister-company of VeneVision, official channel of the pageant. VeneVision gets all the sponsors and in turn covers the very high costs of the pageant. Plastic surgeons, dentists, hairstylists, photographer, fashion designers all basically work for free, for the honor of being associated with the Miss Venezuela pageant.
We do not have any of that. As a matter of fact, with each year the Miss Curaçao pageant sinks further down the toilet (the last great Miss Curaçao pageant was the one where Jozaine Wall, subject of our first note, was selected), it becomes increasingly difficult to find sponsors willing to invest in the competition and the subsequent winner.
Not only sponsors, but also the world class beauties of Curaçao have lost faith in the pageant. Young women have to be almost coerced to participate in the local leg of the Miss Universe pageant.
And herein lies the first reason why we do not have better results at Miss Universe. A young woman has to be convinced that she wants to win the title and all the responsibilities that go with it. Otherwise, she wil never give the competition her all!
[COMING UP IN PART TWO: THE LACK OF PROPER PREPARATION]
The Miss Curaçao Chronicles are written by Mr. Richard John Isa
Mr. Richard John Isa, is the national fashion and beauty mogul ofCuraçao. Known for being the machine behind many successful national female and male beauty ambassadors.
Mr. Richard, conducted the management of his family business the bakery Panaderia Isa NV, the largest bread bakery in Curacao with “Erisa Beheer & Management NV” and who recently sold his share.
He owns a fashion store “Matematica”.
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