The Electric New Paper :
Singapore must not give up its 59 seconds of fame
MISS Singapore Universe.
By Sylvia Toh Paik Choo
24 June 2008

MISS Singapore Universe.

What an old-fashioned title, such a dated-sounding ring to the name. (The world is no more universe, it's gone planet and global.)

Are you, could you, be interested?


Is it still relevant?

Was it ever?

Should it be scrapped altogether?


Miss Singapore Universe may have fallen by the wayside - from national televised event to private function - but don't let it gasp to an ignominious death here.

We have to defibrillate the contest for what it's worth - the Olympics spirit. Taking part.

Oh hurl what you will at it, meat parade, flesh fantasy, bimbo central, the whole noble idea behind the swimsuit and the sash is to send one of our very own pretties over there to take part.

The American international beauty pageant (its organisers the only people left on earth to use the phrase 'beauty pageant') is 55 years old.

Its first winner - Miss Finland.

South America has produced the most beauties - nine since.

I just about can recall the early bevy we sent from these shores - Marion Woodford, Kristl D'Cruz, Julie Koh, Nancy Liew, Margaret Van Meel - every last one a head turner.

Kristl had the height to make it into the finalists list.

They were our Hollywood stars, I suppose, because there was nothing else, in those 1960s days of black and white TV when it became bedtime after the news.

More recently, one name stands out - Teo Ser Lee (why her brother never joined Manhunt eludes me) because she is visible, and always well-groomed. The rest escape me, but that's not the point.

And our girls must continue, to link Gillette Venus-shaved arms with some 30 other nations for a shot at the title, or one of its subsidiary crowns, Miss Toothsome And Then Some sexcetera.

Together with Miss World and Miss Earth, Miss Universe remains one of the top three international beauty competitions, its finals televised worldwide from wherever its held.

Singapore must not give up its 59seconds of fame, Hi, I'm so-and-so and I'm from Singapore. Nor must we deny our girls a crack at forging overseas pen pals (sorry e-mail pals) and landing a foreign husband (as our local men are chasing Miss Huahin and Miss Tsentsin). So let's carry on, and make that beau geste (beautiful gesture) to take part.

Until the franchise owner, Donald Trump, makes that call, you're fired!

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