15-20 years ago, the five ladies above would have joined beauty contests and won by the sheer amount of intelligence they individually possess. Not that they are less gorgeous than our perennial idea of how a beauty queen looks like, but they know how to fully utilize their smarts to get what they want.
Take for example Marissa Mayer, Yahoo President/CEO and only 37. She could easily pass off as Miss Wisconsin-USA 1997 and a Miss USA winner or finalist. And then there’s 42 year-old Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO. Back in 1992, she would’ve participated in Miss Florida and placed well. Being a great fitness buff then, her swimsuit presentation won’t get lost on the judges’ scorecards. Hispanic Gisel Ruiz, Wal-Mart US COO, is also another could-have-been for the Golden State in the 90s. And how about Transaero Airlines’ Olga Pleshakova? She may be 45, but I won’t be surprised if she secretly took part in Miss Russia 1991 and almost became a contender the year Lupita Jones took home the Miss Universe crown. I’m not even adding Ariston Investments’ Efrat Peled yet. She may not have been an Israeli beauty titleholder back in the mid-90s, although not an impossibility had she gamely took the route. She’s only 38 at the moment.
At any rate, these women upped the ante even more. They are part of Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business, and the youngest may I add. In the US ranking, Sheryl Sandberg (#8), Marissa Mayer (#14) and Gisel Ruiz (#21) are forces to reckon with, just as Olga Pleshakova (#49) and Efrat Peled (#50) are in the international listing.
It cannot be denied that they still have the beauty and relative youthfulness to give our young titleholders a run for their money. What’s more, they have achieved the kind of power most of us can only dream of having. What more can they ask for? More power, of course! They’re not getting any younger, but in terms of clout and control, the years ahead are still sprawlingly rich. 😉
video courtesy of YouTube/fylmmatchmaking
Jimena Navarrete is living the celebrity life in New York right now. After winning the Miss Universe 2010 crown last month, she was whisked to the Big Apple to start her one year stay in one of Donald Trump’s upscale apartment towers.
She recently guested on The Late Show with David Letterman. Although I have qualms about how her segment was made to look like a comic list of “Ways Miss Universe Plans To Make The World A Better Place” that is not entirely befitting of a beauty titleholder, I reckon it is acceptable in this day and age when the pageant needs all the promo and publicity to up its popularity.
Interestingly, Jimena spoke in straight English albeit accented. She must have practiced her lines well before coming out on TV.
Two Miss Universes cheek-to-cheek: Miss Universe 1991 Lupita Jones and her protege Miss Universe 2010 Jimena Navarrete - rare gems of Mexico!
Miss Universe-Mexico 2009/10 Ximena Navarrete
1991 was a glorious year for Mexico in the biggest of beauty pageants. Lupita Jones won her country’s first Miss Universe title and has been the only Mexican representative to do so ever since. A number of ladies almost made it to the top, with the most recent being Elisa Najera placing 5th in the 2008 edition. This year, the North American nation is fielding a hot Latina who, literally, has the X-factor spelled in her name – Ximena Navarrete.
Ximena Navarrete is more than ready to vie for the Miss Universe 2010 title.
The 5’8.5″ Ximena’s initial challenge is how to stand out among the gorgeous Latinas in the pageant itself. She needs to survive the entries from Venezuela, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Brazil first before she can strategize against the onslaught of Asian and European contenders. I personally think she has a good fighting chance for the crown. If her fate aligns with the lucky stars on August 23, then Lupita Jones – Mexico’s Country Director – will be one muy alegre person. 😉
Come August 22, Miss Universe 2010 will be crowned in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bright lights city has taken the chores of hosting the biggest global beauty pageant. It will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The different country representatives can now heave a sigh of relief that a venue has already been chosen.
Las Vegas has already hosted the Miss Universe Pageant in 1986 (when Venezuela’s Alicia Machado won) and 1991 (when Lupita Jones of Mexico was crowned.) Third time could be a charm for this “sin city” when gorgeous ladies from around the world start pouring in by the first week of August to vie for the most prestigious crown in beauty contests. Miss Universe 2009, Stefanía Fernández from Venezuela, will crown her successor at the end of this event. More than 80 countries and territories will compete for the title and the pageant will broadcast live on NBC and Telemundo.
Here are some early tidbits: For the first time, Azerbaijan will be represented. Haiti will also be returning. Bulgaria, on the other hand, won’t be fielding a candidate this year, just as Cayman Islands will be missed. Great Britain’s sash will be worn for the first time by a Latina – Tara Hoyos-Martinez – who is of Colombian descent. Nicaragua will have a black woman as its bet – another first for this Central American nation. We all know by now that the USA will have Rima Fakih – the first Arab-American to win the title, while the Philippines – barring any further complications – will be bannered by half-Indian Maria Venus Raj.
Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela will be crowning her successor in Las Vegas come August 22.
I’m sure the Filipino community in Las Vegas will be in full support for our own delegate, just as their counterparts in California and other US states will be in attendance.
Let’s all look forward to Miss Universe 2010! 😉