Sat | Jun 23, 2018

Miss Universe Jamaica East goes public

Published:Sunday | June 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
Lamise Hamilton melanin glows in this midday sun.
Shannon Palmer serves up some edge.
Chantelle Gray rocking Sydne Barnes-Wright designs.
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The days when we used to rave about beauty pageants in Jamaica is slowly on the decline, but Miss Universe Jamaica East (MUJE), hopes to reignite the flame with the public eliminations at Eden Gardens Wellness and Spa on June 23.

Pageant director MUJE, Sharon Beckford, mentioned that it was due to cost that the public eliminations tended to fizzle a few decades ago. However, this also affected the public because they then did not get to see how the girls were chosen for the competition and the transparency.

"You just see girls show up for the finals and you have no idea where they are from and then there is a stigma that develops that it is only girls from a particular area that is selected. So we want to get the public back involved in the process," she told Outlook.

Trying to revamp the competition has been a lot of work, but Beckford admits that she has got nothing but support.

Speaking on support, Eden Gardens coming on board to host the event and sponsor one of the girls, has become a beautiful partnership. It was a no-brainer agreed CEO of R and D Commercials Holding Limited, for which Eden Gardens is a part and senior marketing officer, Toni-Ann Lindo.

"Eden Gardens is working towards being involved in more philanthropic endeavours and as such, when they were approached by MUJE, it was an undeniable 'yes'... . Eden Gardens has gone above and beyond their call of duty."

The eliminations itself is helping the girls in ways that they do not usually get until they are finallists of the MUJ competition. But being that FitFarm is the franchise holder and with Audrey Allwood as regional director, the girls get free access to the gym to get in tip-top shape for the eliminations.

Beckford also noted that they also get a bit of experience and exposure that will help to benefit them in the final competition. While it is only the winner of the MUJE Grand Coronation that is guaranteed a spot in the MUJ competition there are instances that they do have more than one girl that make their way to MUJ and thus doing this further helps their girls,

"Usually, they do not get this until they reach the actual Miss Universe Jamaica Competition. So everybody gets a piece of the piece as it pertains to experience," she tells Outlook.

The girls also did a photo shoot in Coronation Market with designs made from scandal and rice bags by designer Sydne Barnes, for an edgy Jamaican feel.

Reigning MUJE, Addairre Esmie, complemented the current MUJE team on this new or rather revamped initiative, as she believes that the Miss Universe Jamaica competition helped to mould her into a more outgoing person. It developed her interpersonal skills, so having these contestants whether or not they make it to the MUJE competition, it will change their lives.

The MUJE grand elimination, will be held on June 23, while the grand coronation of the MUJE will be on July 8. Both events will be held at the Eden Garden Wellness and Spa.