The thought of a beauty pageant as a vehicle for promoting environmental awareness would appear rather unusual, especially on our boring little island; one is actually surprised there is enough ‘environment’ left to save with the impending construction of the circular line. But the IMF-inspired sunflowers on orchard road made it all better. Honest.
But truly, one must applaud the concept by C.T Hansen International for bringing the annual Pageant, which is an initiative tying over 120 participating countries in a global ‘save the earth’ campaign, to Singapore. Franchise holder Cheryl Hansen, 42, pioneered the “Green and Glamour” (note that Green comes first) for the Singapore leg of the competition. Says Howard Shaw, Head of the Singapore Environment Council and Co-organizer, “The contestants function as ambassadors, being active in the environmental campaign and this is really effective because younger people tend to idolize beautiful women.”
And beautiful they are indeed- the contestants were all gorgeous especially at the Swimwear segment I attended at the Marina Mandarin poolside on the 28th of September. The 17 finalists have certainly been groomed to stunning perfection bearing all of Mother Nature’s best gifts.
I recalled seeing shy faces and fresh-eyed excitement at the launch on 1st August at Q Bar; 1/3 of the applicants were students and all of them had to be pre-screen to have “50% passion for the environment and 50% beauty” said Cheryl Hansen.
I am truly excited about attending the coronation dinner coming at the Marina Mandarin Ballroom. Only one contestant will be crowned Miss Earth Singapore and will represent the country at the international pageant held in Manila come November. There will be 3 runner up titles: Miss Fire, Water and Air, named for each of the elements that will carry a different portfolio as community based ambassadors to the public and mentor the next cohort of Miss Earth contestants in the following year.
Glamour aside, it is impressive to observe the innumerable activities the Miss Earth contestants have engaged in: Green Transport Day on the 24th of August, The environment seminar on the 3rd of September, Beach cleanup on the 13th of September, Recycling day on the 23rd of September and the tree planting on the 24th of September just to name a few!
When questioned, Howard Shaw made remarks about the Miss Earth winners making an appearance at a 3 day long event held in the Singapore Expo during November, but declined to divulge further details. Word that involvement in the Ministry of Environment’s Clean and Green week for Miss Earth Singapore is also circulating. “We work with Government bodies on a project basis” Clarified Mr. Shaw, “this is a partnership project.”