Brooklyn might be the county of Kings — but it’s also a destination for queens.
Strong showings by Brooklyn gals in state and national beauty pageants have transformed the city’s fairest borough into a beauty beacon, according to pageant professionals.
“There’s something about Brooklyn that attracts girls who go on to have great success in pageants,” said Kim Thomas, who revived the Miss Brooklyn pageant last year after a 16-year absence. “Brooklyn is definitely taking over the reigns in the Miss New York pageant, and as Brooklyn girls continue to succeed you’ll see a bigger presence in pageants in the area.”
Last year, brunette beaut Leigh-Taylor Smith took home the Miss Brooklyn tiara before going on to win the Miss New York tiara and rank third in the illustrious Miss America pageant.
Smith’s strong showing — coupled with Bay Ridge resident Bethlene Pancoast’s 2006 Miss New York victory — have earned the borough’s pageant scene a winning reputation, according to LaToya Evans, a spokeswoman from the Miss New York pageant.
“Brooklyn produces a lot of strong pageant winners who perform well at our state pageants,” she said.
The borough’s latest crop of pageant gals will test their beauty, brains, and Brooklyn bravado on Sunday, Feb. 22 in the fight for this year’s Miss Brooklyn sash.
With Vaseline on their teeth, spray tan on their skin, and double-sided tape in strategic spots beneath their evening gowns, nine contestants will compete for this year’s title — and the right to emblemize the borough.
“I’ve always wanted to represent Brooklyn because I’ve lived here all of my life,” said Bay Ridge resident Diana Greene, 20, a student at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. “I didn’t even want to go away to college because I’m so comfortable here.”
This year’s contestants — all Brooklyn residents, Brooklyn students, or full-time employees at Brooklyn businesses, unlike last year, when Smith, the Manhattanite, won — will discuss a community or social issue that they consider important.
They’ll also go through an interview, and take part in an onstage question and answer before they can showcase their talents — which include tap dancing, Bollywood dancing, and a variety of other forms of dancing.
But before the judges award the winner a $1,000 scholarship, the contenders — who hail from neighborhoods including Park Slope, Greenpoint, and Bensonhurst — will also take part in a swimsuit and eveningwear contest.
And the pageant gals say they know what it will take to win: heart.
“I think the real Miss Brooklyn is someone that absolutely loves the borough — someone whose heart is in the borough,” said Alabama-bred contestant Carlon Alexander, 23, who moved to Brooklyn Heights two years ago.
The 2009 Miss Brooklyn Scholarship Pageant and Outstanding Teen Scholarship Pageant, Sunday, Feb. 22, Long Island University’s Kumble Theater [1 University Plaza at Willoughby Street in Downtown, (718) 488-1624], 4 pm. Tickets, $25–$40. For info, visit www.brooklynqueens.org.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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