Miss Cayman Islands critique

| 07/03/2016 | 61 Comments

Cayman News ServiceTheresa Cole, a contestant in the 2016 Miss Cayman Islands pageant, writes: The contestants of 2016 Miss Cayman Islands pageant were placed at a disadvantage by the Miss Cayman Islands Committee. We were placed at a disadvantage because we weren’t given the scoring or judging criteria when we first signed up and we were never given any of our personal results.

It’s been weeks since the pageant concluded and some contestants have little to no idea of where they placed or even what they can do to improve if they choose to re-enter. Most times the audience only gets to see the glitz and glamour of the final night of the pageant, but I would like to share my experience in the Miss Cayman pageant to reveal some of the flaws and offer up recommendations on how to improve the system in hopes that it will be revamped for future contestants.

I have been studying pageants for over 10 years now. I have experience in competing in pageants, as I was in Miss Teen, I was crowned Miss University of Tampa Caribbean 2014, I competed in Miss Caribbean United States and I also co-founded a local pageant-coaching non-profit organisation. Pageantry is one of my greatest passions; it has helped me and countless other women across the world develop both personally and professionally. I want to see the pageant industry grow here in the Cayman Islands but in order for that to happen the system needs to change. I believe that change has to start with the highest caliber of our pageantry, the Miss Cayman Islands pageant.

The Miss Cayman Islands pageant has been around for some 65 years. It has done many positive things, like give scholarships to the top three and instilling greater confidence in its contestants. However, there are real issues that need to be discussed and addressed if the pageant is really going to become an opportunity that women in the Cayman Islands cannot pass up. While I had an enjoyable experience with my pageant sisters, I feel that the way the pageant is being run is not in the best interest of the contestants.

I believe it is vital for contestants in any pageant to know how the pageant is scored and what the judging criteria are. The Miss Cayman Islands committee was asked more than one time by different contestants about the scoring and judging criteria of the pageant. The only portion of the scoring we were told about, from the very beginning, was 10% for punctuality and attendance. In fact, we were constantly reminded of this 10% throughout the pageant. Then on 11 January  2016, a contestant asked the committee, in our chat group, if we would receive a “breakdown of the scoring for the pageant”. A committee member responded with, “You will be advised on scoring by the judges when you meet with them. This has always been the tradition. Judges are not looking for a pageant patty. Be yourself and you should be fine.”

Their reluctance to produce a definitive answer left me wondering why. Why were we, as contestants, not entitled to know before the pageant how it is scored or even the criteria the judges would use to determine the results?

With this in mind I decided to test the waters again and on 18 January, two weeks before the pageant, in front of various committee members and the contestants, I said to them, “I would like to make my case for knowing the scoring of the pageant.” Once again the question was met with resistance. A committee member asked me, “Would it make a difference? If you knew that one segment only accounted for 20%, would you only give 20% of your effort?” From this response I knew they weren’t seeing it from my perspective.

Competing in a pageant is much like sitting an exam. Take the SATs for example. When you sit the SATs they tell you the highest amount of points you can score in each section of the exam. When you do the essay section of the SATs they explain the criteria that you are expected to meet in order to gain maximum points.

The committee seemed to recognise that this was not something I was going to let go and they finally gave in. We were told that the scoring for the pageant was 60% for Interview and 40% for the Onstage portion, which they confirmed was the scoring system they used in the past as well. Although I was pleased to finally have the scoring revealed, at two weeks before the pageant, it was five months and two weeks too late.

In the days after this meeting, something was starting to eat away at me. If 60% was for interview and 40% for onstage, then where was this 10% for punctuality and attendance coming from? Things just didn’t add up. During this six months journey we were warned numerous times about a 10% reduction for lack of punctuality and attendance. At the time the committee took this 10% very seriously, in fact one committee member yelled at a contestant over the phone for not being on time to an event.

On the day of the pageant we were each taken into a room with the 5 judges (four locals and one international judge), one committee member and two talliers, where we were asked a series of questions. I was asked a mix of questions ranging from personal/general, issues facing Cayman and international news. But most of the questions were personal/general, like “Who am I?” and “What was your favorite day in the pageant?” and “What makes a woman?” This was a little surprising because I was expecting more difficult questions, like those we received in Toastmasters and our various media interviews.

I later found out from one of the judges I interviewed that they were asked to prepare the questions for the judges’ interview. According to this judge, the judges met on the morning of the pageant to share the questions they each came up with. In the interest of fairness they came up with certain benchmark questions, which consisted of personal questions like the aforementioned “who am I” question that every contestant would be asked.

At no time before, during or after the interview was I advised by the judges or the committee member present of the final scoring and judging criteria, like we were told was “tradition”; furthermore, the judges were never formally introduced to the contestants.

That night excitement and anticipation began to grow as this was the night we all had been waiting for. Just before we rocked the stage in our swimwear it was announced that the scoring of the pageant was 25% Swimwear, 25%Evening Gown, 25%Question & Answer and 25% for our Judges’ Interview. These were different scores than we were given previously, which means that some time between January 18 and January 30 the scoring had been changed. Even more apparent was that the committee had failed to advise the contestants of this change. From the committee’s actions, it is clear that they had never intended to give the contestants the true scoring of the pageant or judging criteria.

In the weeks after the pageant I contacted 4 out of 5 judges but I was only able to get an interview with 2 of them. One of the judges confirmed that in the judge’s meeting with the committee they were told it was 25% for all categories. When asked if they were told to advise contestants of the scoring, this particular judge stated, “That was never discussed. I’m assuming that’s the committee’s responsibility to let you know.”

You maybe thinking it’s just a pageant, so what is the big deal? But it is the principle that matters and the principle here is that the committee had a duty to inform the contestants of the scoring and judging criteria from the beginning and to advise of any changes. By not doing this they effectively put the contestants at a disadvantage. As a result, contestants were ill prepared to truly compete for the crown.

I understand that not everybody will agree with me. In fact, the second judge I interviewed does not think that contestants should know the scoring because they think that contestants should be well rounded. This judge feels that when you enter a competition like Miss Cayman, “your challenge is to prepare yourself on as many different levels as humanly possible”. The judge also made the comparison of a football player violently kicking another player, stating, “The referee has to make a judgment as to whether the player intentionally did it or not.”

But guess what? If the player doesn’t know the rules, then they can claim, as common sense as this may seem, that they didn’t know they weren’t allowed to kick the other player. The bottom line is, that if you don’t know the rules of the game, then you cannot play the game effectively and so you will not win.

We may wear heels and a gown but make no mistake, pageantry is a sport. It is a sport just like any other: you train hard, you dedicate your time, and it takes discipline and commitment. If you wouldn’t send your players to compete without advising them of the rules, why would you expect it to be any other way for us as contestants?

Similarly there are those who will argue that other pageants, like Miss Universe, don’t give you the scoring or the judging criteria of the pageant, so why should we? It’s for the benefit of the contestants as well as the committee because it ensures transparency. And maybe it is time that we ask Miss Universe to provide this information so that we can have a better understanding of what they are looking for. We may be a small country but if we partner with other countries we can petition the Miss Universe Organization for the scoring and judging criteria. If enough countries voice their concerns then the Miss Universe organization will have to listen.

One of my favorite things about being Caymanian is that it comes with a certain sense of humility instilled in us. But far too often we allow our humility to prevent us from standing up against the small injustices we witness in our daily lives. If we cannot hold people accountable for their actions in the small cases, how will we hold them accountable in the big cases?

If all contestants were given the scoring and judging criteria of the pageant from the beginning it would ensure a level playing field. Each contestant would know the categories that they are being judged on, how much for each category and what the judges are looking for in those categories. This would allow for all contestants to be adequately prepared for the pageant, which would foster greater competition and would result in a better pageant.

My recommendations are, that the committee provide the scoring and judging criteria, from the beginning, to the contestants. The contestants should be advised on any and all changes to the scoring system prior to the pageant and contestants should receive their results and feedback from the judges upon completion of the pageant.

Contestants should be given more age appropriate interview questions. After all, being an ambassador at this level isn’t just about knowing yourself but it’s about knowing your country, people, and the issues we face.

The Interview should carry the most points, followed by the Final Question, then the Swimwear segment and then the Evening Gown segment. I believe the Interview and Final Question segments should carry the most points because this is where the judges get to know how intelligent you are, and if you are able to effectively communicate your intelligence to others. When it comes to the Swimwear and Evening Gown segments it shouldn’t just be about your walk, but it should be about how confident it makes you feel and look. I think that it shouldn’t matter as much how physically attractive someone deems you to be, because at the end of the day, beauty means different things to different people. However, your intelligence and your ability to communicate effectively is what truly make you a good ambassador.

All contestants should be asked the same questions and the same amount of questions during the interview process. This would make it easier for the judges to compare answers and therefore they would be able to see who gave the better answer to each question, just like they do for the Final Question segment. There should also be more emphasis on questions about issues facing the Cayman Islands, our people and international news. When you are an ambassador, it isn’t about you, it’s about representing your country and it’s people, and in order to do that, you need to know what’s happening in your country. As always it starts at home.

The Miss Cayman Committee should set the criteria for the judges to ensure that age appropriate questions are included. For example: questions that are about issues our country faces, prominent people in society, like National Heroes, and international issues.

The Miss Cayman Committee should change the age requirements back to 18-27 instead of 18-24. I understand they changed it in order to have a titleholder who is eligible to enter Miss World, which only accepts women 17-24 years of age. But why do we have to change our requirements to suit one pageant which isn’t even televised, especially since Miss Universe allows for women between the ages of 18-27 to compete? By changing the age requirements the committee limits the amount of women they can potentially have in the pageant. Also, in our culture women between the ages of 18-24 are usually in the process of completing their education and don’t enter the pageant until after they have acquired some level of tertiary education.

I think that the committee should try to find out why Miss World only allows women between the ages of 17-24 to compete in their pageant. I also think that the Committee should reach out to other countries that only have one national pageant and together they should approach the Miss World organization to discuss the possibility of allowing the one national winner to compete in their pageant regardless of their age.

I understand that being on a committee for a prestigious pageant like Miss Cayman Islands is not an easy job but I also believe that if you’re going to do something, you should do it professionally and transparently. For all the years that we’ve been sending women away to compete in Miss Universe, I think it’s high time we have at least a top 15 position. But it starts at home by improving our quality of pageantry.

When I entered the Miss Cayman Islands pageant I knew that my mission was to revolutionise pageantry in the Cayman Islands. At the time I felt that I had to win the title of Miss Cayman in order to do that, but now I see that you don’t need to be a public figure to effect change. You just have to have the courage to speak up when you see something wrong. My recommendations don’t just stand for the Miss Cayman Islands pageant but all pageant systems across the country. Give your contestants a level playing field and watch the quality of your pageants grow.

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Comments (61)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What was The Final Question? “If you were a colour what colour would you be and why?” That was one of the questions on the Youtube videos this year for Miss Cayman 2016. You could not make that stuff up.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Competing in a pageant is much like sitting an exam.” Except it isn’t because exams have a point and pageantry doesn’t.

  3. MM says:

    Okay everyone, back to figuring out how to reduce the crime and unemployment in this country and ensuring that all currently sitting MLA’s are not returned to their seats of pride and comfort next May… lunch break over…

  4. Pageants says:

    Hey, nice piece Theresa. However, I think they need to add a few more categories to make it more attractive.

    Here are my suggestions:

    – Miss Prima Donna
    – Miss Wannabe Diva
    – Miss Paper-Caymanian
    – Miss Best Fake Eyelashes
    – Miss Best Chest Implants
    – Miss Best Bonkey
    – Miss Best High-Heel Walker
    – Miss Too-Short (shorties have no chance of winning)
    – Miss Sexy Tattoo
    – Miss Most Scandalous Reputation
    – Miss Radio Talk Show Subject of the Day

    All jokes aside, these women need to understand that they are not there to be a pretty face. It’s an ambassadorship, not a beauty pageant. To represent this country fully, the winner needs to truly have the best interests of this country at heart, and she should not be compromised by dual-citizenship (which impacts loyalty, partiality, breeds resentment amongst purists), a scandalous reputation, poor attitude, immaturity, etc.

    Also, there should be a casting call for new contestants within the first month following each pageant to groom new ladies for the following year. It would also help to have a talent scout on the Miss Cayman Islands committee whose job is to find the best candidates prior to the casting call. That way we always have a database of potential contestants which will eliminate the issue of indequate quorum to produce the pageant as with previous years.

    Start by compiling a database of Miss Teen contestants (starting with the top 3 winners) each year. They will already have the modelling experience, so all you will need to do is work on their character.

    On the application form it should read “This pageant is for native born Caymanians only. Non-natives should respect the need for Caymanians to be represented by their own by not applying. Unfortunately, your presence in this contest will cause controversy and public outrage via radio call-ins which has historically soiled the reputation of this pageant.”

    Enuff said.

    • Diogenes says:

      I always think a good test for bigotry is , if you insert the word black, or Jew , or gay, instead of the group being referred to, would it be generally offensive? Lets see:

      “This pageant is for white Caymanians only. Non-whites should respect the need for Caymanians to be represented by their own by not applying”

      “This pageant is for Christian Caymanians only. Jews should respect the need for Caymanians to be represented by their own by not applying”

      “This pageant is for straight Caymanians only. Gays should respect the need for Caymanians to be represented by their own by not applying”

      Bit of a problem with your straight form discrimination between “born” and “non born”, I think. Perhaps the problem is the prejudice displayed by those who “cause controversy and public outrage via radio call-ins which has historically soiled the reputation of this pageant” rather than where the Caymanian contestant happened to be born. Your solution of avoiding the outrage by pandering to the sensibilities of those “outraged” is pathetic, and certainly not conducive to the integration of first generation Caymanians into society. Then again, maybe you don’t find any of the above 3 examples that offensive, in which case my comment is no doubt entirely lost on you.

      • Anonymous says:

        @ Pageants, firstly there is no such thing as native Caymanian. And quiet frankly some “paper Caymanians” represent the country better. Most times “native Caymanians don’t know the first thing about their country. KMT, enough of the paper or paperless caymanian business!!!!

        • kibby says:

          What is the benefit of being born in Cayman if you have to wait your whole life just to compete with someone who has only been here 8 years and is always favoured by society? Its not fair to us.

          • Anonymous says:

            So you are saying that paper Caymanians are sexier than true borns?

          • Fight the Power says:

            I agree. [Native born ] Caymanians are always treated as step-children and it shouldn’t be so. Everyone rolls out the red carpet for non-natives, and we get called bigots and xenophobes just for trying to stick up for ourselves. If we have no superior rights over others in OUR OWN COUNTRY, what is the point?

            It’s like inviting a friend come live with your family and the friend becomes the focus of the family and the true relatives lose their value within the family just because there’s someone else in the house.

            If I invite someone into my house, they may be welcome to use my stuff, but that doesn’t mean they automatically ‘own’ what I own. That’s the kind of mentality we’ve been breeding for years and it’s really starting to irk a lot of people.

      • hog wash says:

        It is not discrimination to reserve certain roles of our community for Native Caymanians. For example, in the USA, Arnold was allowed to be Governor but he can never be President.

      • hoji poji says:

        Stop using the word bigot as a sword against those who stand up for their belief in a more conservative Cayman where the locals are the focus for a change.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well said Theresa. I applaud you for pointing out the flaws in this system. Hopefully, the committee will take it as it is meant to be taken and improve the process for the future. To the persons who mock pageantry…..I have never entered nor been interested…but lets take for example extreme bodybuilding (a sport I don’t get) you have to live and let live…everyone has been given a different gift, likes and dislikes….we are different. Once again I thank Theresa for not taking the easy way out and staying silent. Lets hope the future will be better for future contestants in the Miss Cayman Islands Pageant.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tragic to see people care so much about something so utterly pointless and demeaning to women.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The best part of the pageant for me was the princess that’s now evolved into a flower…let’s hope she renters next year again…my money says she’ll be some type of fish. She embodies what this pageant really is 😐

  8. Anonymous says:

    If none of the contestants know the weighting of the pageant then it is a level playing field. You are all in the same boat. Nobody knows. Cayman doesn’t do transparency or accountability in any way shape or form, so you’re screwed if you think they will do it for a pageant.
    I personally hate pageants because even though it’s supposed to be about intellegence and growth, you would never get a fat, ugly, scarred or disabled person being able to enter, and for me, that says it all. Sometimes I wish we were all blind so that we were not able to judge a person on their looks.
    I admire your guts to write this though, but if I were you I would use your brains and guts to do something worth while. You are obviously a capable young lady who will go far once you’ve put this episode behind you. Good luck.

    • Caymanian says:

      While fundamentally from a level playing field between contestants I agree with you it’s still not the ideal situation.

      Would you not prefer to go into a test knowing where your energy should be more focused on? There is very little in difference between the two. Yes!! Emphatically YES you should put time in each segment of the competition to increase your overall chance of winning BUT ANYONE would be a fool, an utter IDIOT if they did not invest just a bit more time in what gave the highest points to give yourself the best chance at winning AND after all that is why they entered the competition.

      And to those out there who berate Pageantry or Beauty Contests it is it’s own thing. Just because you are the ugly duckling or the least lit bulb on the proverbial tree don’t mean you need beat down someone else’s dreams.

      Personally I have never been one for even watching these contest simply because I got this sneaky feeling a lot of them are rigged to one extent or another.

      I have in the past watch Miss Universe and what amazes me is how often the host country places and also how Miss USA almost always makes it to the top 5.

      I have always been suspect of anything Donald Trump is involved with.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree, I would prefer to know the weighting of a test, but a test or exam is different to this. If I do well on a test and get an A, that does not mean that my friend cannot also get an A. Knowing the weighting in an exam is crucial to do your best on the exam to prove that you know your stuff and are capable of doing whatever it is you have been learning about. The weighting is there to make sure we learn the most important part, to do our best for ourselves, not to beat other people.
        In the pageant, if everybody knew the weighting then everybody would up their gain in that area and all their effort would just be cancelled out. Everyone would try extra hard on that particular thing to the point where it wouldn’t make any difference if everyone knew the weighting or everyone didn’t.
        That’s my thoughts anyway. It’s hardly the flipping Olympics is it?

  9. Judean peoples front. says:

    That’s four minutes of my life I am not getting back!

  10. Rick says:

    it is hard to accept that in the 21st Century women are strutting around on a stage showing off their (you know what) and claiming to be doing it for personal development and world peace. I expect to see that at a cattle pen or an old B movie. Women can get no respect if they insist on orienting their world for men with money. Beauty contests are about as ignorant as one can get. However, I am no perfectionist, so I watch. And it is not for the intelligent or the intellectual, I can assure you of that.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Theresa well said! Ignore all this negativity. Everyone has our own passion and interest in life so not everyone will share your passion but continue to speak out on your beliefs and work on self improvement. You will be the better person.

  12. Miss Realistic says:

    Although I could write a marathon response because I have so much to say, I will limit it to a few short points.

    1) Considering that Teresa has “studied” pageantry for 10 years, I’m surprised that she missed last year’s Miss Cayman pageant. The reason I am assuming she missed the 2015 pageant is because the 25, 25, 25, 25 scoring system was introduced last year and announced at the pageant. I was right there, I heard it. Had she attended last year, that would have been a good baseline for her to go off of.

    2) Pageantry is for “Amazons”. If you’re under 5’7 you’re not saying diddly squat (there’s an idea for a recommendation – no one under 5’7). That’s just the way it is. Take it or leave it! To tie this back into Teresa’s sports analogy, I wouldn’t expect Teresa, who is 5’2, to play center for the Lakers.

    3) The interview at Miss Universe is approximately 3 minutes long and they basically ask you light and fluffy questions. As such, we don’t need to send a presidential candidate.

    4) Venezula, the holder of more Miss Universe titles than any other country, doesn’t send short, unattractive women to the pageant…..they do this on purpose with astonishing success!

    5) Miss Universe is driven by money and politics. No matter how well prepared you think you are, if your country didn’t cut a cheque, you’re out of the running. Research the structure of the franchise fees alone and you’ll see the glaring disparities.

    In conclusion, you are fighting a loosing battle.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great points. I was wondering how last years scoring wasn’t mentioned.

    • Anonymous says:

      So the points system now is 25 points for the face, 25 for the top half, 25 for the legs and 25 for the posterior? Darn it, I need to work on my butt for next year.

    • Loosely Losing says:

      *losing — Why can’t anyone spell LOSE?

      • Miss Realistic says:

        I did notice that after and really wanted to kick my usually articulate, accurate and precise self in the butt! But, unlike Facebook, there is no edit button on CNS! I will be more careful in the future so as to appease the “o” counters among us! Damn that extra O!

      • Miss Realistic says:

        Oh and I struggle to spell lose (did I get it right????) because I am so used to WINNING! Did I spell that word correctly? Bet I did! WIN, WIN, WIN!

  13. Anonymous says:

    If my daughter did not have anything but disgust for these sorts of pathetic, backwards, outdated events then I have failed as a parent.

  14. Anonymous says:

    beauty pagents with age limits in the 21st century…… the hypocrisy and idiocy of these events is beyond belief…. wow…and women wonder why they are not treated equally….zzzzzzzzzz

  15. Anonymous says:

    at the end of the day these are just beauty contestants….just do the swimwear section and let the judges vote accordingly…..
    cayman’s record at international events speaks for itself……

  16. Anonymous says:

    what do you expect?…mickey mouse wears a cayman islands wrist watch……

  17. Anonymous says:

    The way to win any beaut contest is to explain in a single sentence how you can bring peace to the Middle East and end famine in Sub-Saharan Africa, using nothing more than the smart phone in your Louis Vuitton hand bag, and without getting any dirt on your Prada shoes in the process!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Way too much time on your hands to write this book about pageant issues. It’s not that serious. I didn’t bother to read pass the first paragraph. Move on girl, no need to be a sour puss. Do ppl really care about this stuff? Geez!!

  19. “Can you imagine the difference it would make if the reigning Miss Cayman went out to take a stand on a current issue…it can be anything – crime, homeless people, cost of living, unemployment etc ”

    If beauty pageant winners are not going to be given the time to use their influence to make a real difference on the world stage, then, I don’t see no point in holding future pageants.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Imagine what the world would be like if once, just once, Cayman achieved a top 15 place.

    • Lily says:

      Cayman did make it to top 15 in World; in 1982. Her name is Theresa Lewis-Pitcarin. Or Maureen Lewis (then).

      Smart woman! Look it up.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks. We were having an argument about that at the office and it was getting heated. Now we won’t be having fisticuffs in the car park because you have answered our question.

  21. pmcgaw says:

    Theresa, kudos to you for being brave enough and confident enough to share your insight on this issue about which you are so passionate. And, can I just add how well you represented yourself and your country during the pageant and the months leading up to it.

    I understand that not everyone buys into the idea of pageants, and as evidenced from some of the comments to your post, not everyone accepts that the women who enter undergo real transformation and growth during the process. However, as a pageant coach, who had the privilege of coaching one of the girls this year, I can state unequivocally that the contestants experience significant personal growth through their preparation for the pageant final. The young woman I coached grew right before my eyes into a more confident, more articulate, fitter, healthier advocate for the issues about which she is passionate. In fact, rather than being demeaning to women, pageants help these young women to feel empowered and to find their voices to confidently express their opinions – evidenced by Theresa’s well written opinion piece.

    I agree with her that more transparency in the process should be welcomed. All of the young women enter the pageant with strengths in different areas. Knowing the scoring would help to determine where to focus more effort in their preparation, even though it is a given that the winner should be well rounded.

    The committee should welcome Theresa’s feedback, and appreciate that the young women entering our Miss Cayman Islands pageant are very serious about the significant commitment they make to the competition. These young women want to represent their country well at the highest levels and anything that can be done to make the pageant more effective at preparing them to take on the role should be considered.

    Respectfully, my comments are not intended to criticize but simply to help us get to the point where our Miss Cayman Islands can bring home the Miss Universe or Miss World title or simple be a contender with placing in the top ten , which is the goal of everyone involved.

    Pearlina McGaw Lumsden

    • Anonymous says:

      @Pearlina, you are reaching dear. I’m willing to bet a kazillion dollars that Theresa was an articulate, intelligent and well spoken woman long before her time as a Miss Cayman contestant. PLEASE do not steal what is clearly entirely her and her support system’s success throughout her life and try to pin it on this pageant. If it prepares these women so well for…..well whatever it prepares them for…what happens to them after the competition is over? What does the committee do with these newly transformed albeit unsuccessful candidates when the lights are turned off? Every year we expect women with little modeling/pageant experience compared to the candidates they compete with internationally to just ‘get it’. Most of the women in the other countries are born doing pageants and we put our women up there virtually unprepared and expect a miracle. Please Pearlina, while you are ‘coaching’ please prepare these women to use the opportunity to advance themselves for their own futures and stop selling them this bs dream the committee shoves down their throats about changing the world. Fact is, the world has changed and most people think these pageants are a crock of shite. The women’s movement is supposed to have taken us beyond standing around hoping to be labeled ‘best legs’. Girl bye.

    • oh lord says:

      Omg Perlina isnt it Cooler Fette time ? Or Fashion Week or something you can better spend your time doing? You know very well what the deal is. Its an opportunity for our socialites to spend countless dollars and feel like we are better than everyone else because we have on the best outfit. Parading these girls around the stage showing off their “assetts” like the menu at a brothel is not something you of all people should be promoting. Why not promote education and gender equality?

    • Jotnar says:

      “pageants help these young women to feel empowered and to find their voices to confidently express their opinions” – whilst wearing a swim suit so men can assess the merits of their arguments.

      Its a meat shop with the meat endorsing the view that unless a woman is attractive she has nothing worthwhile to say. The day the pageant is based on opinions and there are no swim suit or ball gown rounds I might start to think of it as being credible.

  22. Anonymous says:

    60% beauty 40% brains.

  23. Anonymous says:

    There is a Best Legs competition. That is all you need to know about how backwards the competition is.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I was following your perspective until you suggested the weighting be more on interview. Ive never done a pageant and honestly I hope they don’t catch on here, its a breeding ground for narcissists and we already have enough trouble with generically pretty females in Cayman feeling entitled because of their looks. But, I digress…you had my sympathy until this point because your suggestion conveniently would have probably changed the outcome in your favour. Now, I wish you had gotten, at the very least, Second Runner up, I believe you deserved it. Unfortunately, you may not find much sympathy amongst readers because frankly – we don’t find it as life altering an experience as you do. I know it took courage to come out this way and I hope you are not subject to too much backlash for it. I don’t think youre complaining because you didn’t win but I can tell the powerhouse you are up against would quicker close ranks and accuse you of being a sore loser than address the content of your commentary. Best of luck.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Hey, it’s the 1970’s calling for the woman walking around in a swimsuit with the big hair and a cheesy smile. They want their misogyny back.

  26. Caymanian says:

    I agree with her comments. With every contest, the contestants should know what they are being judged on and how the scoring is derived.

    The fact that the system is not set in stone only leads to undermine the system and allow in discrepancies or even favoritism and possibly just out and out corruption.

    Scoring should not just be told to the pageant contestants but even the audience so they know what to look for themselves so that they know when someone is selected it was a righteous call not someone’s preference.

    So make this right people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes the audience know just by looking who should win a pageant that is apparently not just about looks. Cough cough.

  27. Anonymous says:

    It’s a beauty pageant, Sweetheart. Not the UN. Get over it!

    • Anonymous says:

      “If you were a representative in the UN what would you do?” “I would work tirelessly for children and world piece and stuff, by the way have you noticed how good I look in a swimsuit?”

  28. MM says:

    It is not uncommon for our locally-created pageants to not have definitive breakdowns of the Judges scoring criteria; but I do not think that it is at all surprising that the highest marks are awarded for interview – it is this way with all pageants.

    Some pageant systems like the Our Little Miss or Miss International Girl explain clearly what portions of the pageant provide what amount of points or percentage towards a contestant’s overall marks – however, it is understandable why Miss Cayman does not.

    After months and months of training and coaching I agree that knowing how the points are split will not necessarily assist a contestant and it would be ridiculous for a contestant to concentrate more on one area because it commands more score.

    For someone who states they are knowledgeable with pageants, then throughout the entire Miss Cayman experience I should expect that you would have already been aware that public speaking and interviewing would bring the most points – it has always been this way for any pageant system (except a glitz pageant, where wardrobe and make-up etc take the most points).

    When selecting a Miss Cayman (which is an ambassador role) – anyone could take a lucky guess that they would expect to choose an individual who can clearly and sensibly communicate and articulate themselves; whether there are 5 points for swimsuit or 10 points for casual, it really does not matter.

    Contestants entering the Miss Cayman should expect to give their best in each category regardless, and to always remember that the reason for the interview is the ultimate short-listing activity – many judges know who the winner is from this very point, nothing much matters after this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait, but, it wasn’t weighted to the interview. (Its was a straight four-way split on the points.) And if you don’t know where the points are weighted why would you know that the interview is most important for a beauty contest (I mean spkesmodel contest or whatever you think it is). The simple solution, if you want equally-rounded contestants is to make the scoring what it was: equal. Then every aspect is equally important and equally prepared for. But if ‘public speaking’ is more important than ‘looks’ then why would you expect a contestant not to weight their preparation towards the part they get the most points for? Do you think they’re not trying to win?

  29. Anonymous says:

    I expect a small amount of replies, I didn’t even read it, too much to read my dear.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Please Lord, tell me this is satire. It sounds like a Will Ferrell movie pitch. “When I entered the Miss Cayman Islands pageant I knew that my mission was to revolutionise pageantry in the Cayman Islands.”

  31. Anonymous says:

    Personally I cannot think of anything worse than the “pageant industry” developing in the Cayman Islands or anywhere in the 21st century.

  32. Anonymous says:


  33. Crimea Rivers says:

    You want some cheese with that?

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