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    Miss Universe: A Perennial Win for Diversity

    HuffingtonPost.com -After the uproar over the lack of diversity in this year’s Academy Awards nominations, it’s good to know there is one upcoming television special that will showcase diverse faces: the Miss Universe pageant.

    I’m honored to serve (for the third time!) as a preliminary judge for Miss Universe – with competition happening this week in Doral/Miami. Always, my favorite part of the judging experience is seeing representatives from almost 90 different countries. Because it is by definition a global competition, the pageant provides an annual showcase for diversity on television.

    Miss Universe 2013

    My fascination with beauty pageants began as a kid. Beauty pageants are very popular in Asian countries. After my family emigrated from Vietnam to the United States in the 1970s, it was little surprise that my mother and sisters watched pageants on American television. As a young boy, I sat alongside and watched too – with the Asian nerd in me rooting for contestants who exhibited both beauty and brains.

    Of all the pageants, Miss Universe was far and away my favorite. It was international and showcased faces from many countries, races, and cultures. That diversity spoke to me. As an immigrant Asian kid growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, I did not see many racial minorities (and especially Asian Pacific Islander faces) on television. But once a year, the Miss Universe telecast would blow through like a breath of fresh air; low and behold, I would actually see faces of color on screen! That leaves quite the impression when you’re a kid not accustomed to seeing faces like yours in media.

    Not everyone is a fan of pageants, and of course a beauty competition does not solve all the world’s problems. But we all want to feel that we are worthy. To that end, there is something powerful about an event that celebrates women from all races and cultures – beamed to television screens across the globe. In the United States (and in many other Western countries), the ideals of beauty presented in media and advertising are rather limited. While physical appearance should never be the driver of self-worth, we cannot deny that it affects people’s confidence. That is especially true for young girls (and boys) who feel like they do not fit the mold – undermining their self-esteem during crucial formative years.

    That is how the Miss Universe pageant stands out. The delegates proudly represent different countries, span the spectrum of races, embody many cultures, speak multiple languages, share varied life backgrounds, and don some insanely creative national costumes. I hope young girls watching at home see this diversity of beauty, and realize that they too can feel “confidently beautiful” – no matter where they come from and irrespective of their racial background.

    For me, that’s always the magic of Miss Universe. Almost 90 contestants. A globe’s worth of different races, nationalities, languages, life backgrounds, educations, and ambitions. Each one diverse. Each one beautiful. I hope that each young woman on this year’s Miss Universe stage – and everyone watching at home – can find her own unique way to stand out and WIN.

    You can read more from the author of this post, Jimmy Nguyen. Click here.

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    Filipina Beauty Ariella Arida to Host Behind-the-Scenes Coverage of the MISS UNIVERSE Pageant

    The Miss Universe Organization is giving fans an inside look into the glamour of the MISS UNIVERSE® Pageant and proud to announce that Miss Universe Philippines 2013 Ariella Arida will serve as the correspondent for On The Scene, a web series on the Miss Universe YouTube channel. Arida will head to Doral-Miami to take fans behind-the-scenes as the 88 contestants prepare for exclusive events leading up to the big night including:

    · Preliminary Competition
    · National Costume Show
    · Contestant Rehearsals

    Miss Universe 2013

    The former Miss Philippines is no stranger to the fast paced life of the pageant world. In 2013, Arida placed in the Top 5 at the MISS UNIVERSE® Competition in Moscow, Russia. However, her beauty is more than skin deep. Supsup graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in chemistry.

    You can find Arida hosting the exclusive behind-the-scenes web series on the official Miss Universe channel at: youtube.com/missuniverse. The worldwide telecast will be broadcast live from FIU Arena in Doral-Miami on Sunday, January 25 at 8/7c on NBC.

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    Watch the Miss Universe Preliminary Competition on January 21st at 7pm ET

    Mark your calendars for the #MissUniverse Preliminary Competition streaming LIVE on http://www.missuniverse.com at 7pm ET on Wednesday, January 21st. See all 88 contestants compete in swimwear and evening gown to place in the #Top15 for the 63rd Annual Miss Universe Pageant LIVE on January 25th on NBC. Don’t miss it!

    Miss Universe Prelim Promo_3

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    Miss Teen USA Dates Announced!

    We are thrilled to announce that the 2015 Miss Teen USA® Pageant will once again take place at the famous Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

    Although it will not be televised, the pageant will be webcast and will be a very exciting fun-filled 5-day event at one of the most luxurious tropical resorts in the world! Additionally, Atlantis will provide pageant attendees with special discounted Friends & Family hotel rates. Click here to book special Friends & Family rates.

    The 2015 Miss Teen USA Finals Competition will be held at Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas on Saturday, August 22, 2015.

    The Presentation Show will be on the evening of Friday, August 21, 2015.

    Teen USA Friends & Family_Social

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    Miss Universe Preliminary Judges

    Meet the 63rd Annual Miss Universe Preliminary Judges.

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