Dear Pageant Girl,
Today is a special day.
Today we are officially global.
Yes I know we are affiliated with the fabulous team at Critical Beauty (the most reputable, classiest and intelligent pageant portal in the world) but today we have appointed operatives in the USA.
Big fans of Australian beauties, the fabulous team at F&G Photography will be our official Dear Pageant Girl representatives in the USA.
You know when you meet someone and within seconds you realize that you’re cut from the same cloth? Well, that describes the moment I fell in love with these guys.
I originally made contact with these two talented fellas when they asked me to judge their gorgeous Barbie doll pageant, Miss Unibarse. Quite impressed by their pull, I was on the panel with an esteemed group of judges which included past Miss Universes, Miss USAs, reality TV stars and other celebrities. So cute was the competition they created that it caught the attention of CNN Passport International.
Not only are these two divos pageant aficionados who have close affiliations with both past and present beauty queens but they are two of the most talented and inspirational photographers I have ever had the pleasure to know. They have captured gorgeous images of past and present beauty queens and have made them an even more beautiful version of themselves.
They have photographed many interesting people including beauties like Helene Trasaavik (Miss Norway Universe and World 2005), Andrea Ramos (Miss Philippines Universe 2006), Daphne Joy (Miss US-Philippines 2008), Krista Kleiner (Miss International Philippines 2010) and Nana Meriwether (Miss Maryland USA 2012).
Dear Pageant Girl is so excited, blessed and humbled to have such talent be a part of our coterie. This alliance expands our resources and reach and will be our expert commentator from “the other side”.
Below is a short interview and backgrounder on them as well as samples of their work. Francis will be fronting the team.
They will officially be signing off as ‘DPG USA’ when posting on Facebook and Twitter and I’m sure you will love them as much as I do. These fellas are not backwards when being forward so strap your seatbelts and be prepared to be slapped by some serious fabulosity from up North.
Introducing – Dear Pageant Girl USA.
Tell me about yourselves.
We are F&G, aka Francis and Glen and we are from Los Angeles. We are two smart, passionate, creative, down-to-earth blokes who are just trying to live the lives we have imagined for ourselves as creative individuals. During the day we are licensed professionals and on the weekends we are freelance fashion photographers, retouch artists, stylists and interior designers. We are also the creators of Miss Unibarse doll pageant, the global phenomenon that has been featured in numerous blogs, Globalbeauties and CNN Passport International.
How did you get into the world of pageants?
Growing up I was a closeted-pageant freak. I grew up poor so we only had one black and white television to share between three sets of families so I was always outnumbered and was forced to watch those damn Jacky Chan Kung Fu movies whenever a pageant was on.
I have always been attracted to shiny, sparkly things I was never the one who wanted to play with marbles, bottle caps, rubber bands and rusty cans and rubber slippers. You will find me organizing the kids in my neighborhood playing dress-ups, parading in the streets in our mock ‘Santacruzans’ and twisting wire hangers, wrapped in shiny candy wrappers, into beautiful head pieces and rhinestone-less tiaras.
What is it that you love about the whole beauty pageant industry?
The one thing I love about the pageant industry is discovering that one rare gem of an individual each year with the beauty, charm, intelligence, humor and great understanding of oneself and providing them with the ability to make a positive difference in our world.
What makes you a qualified DPG staffer?
I am qualified to be a DPG staff because I have the overflowing charisma to charm the nastiest of bitches, I am unique, I have the nerve to eloquently and respectfully share my opinions and I have boundless talent…duh! (Note from DPG: GRRRRRRL!!!!!)
Tell me about your role models.
My role models are society’s outcasts, single mothers and fathers raising their families, people who are constantly stumbling yet never gives up on their hopes and dreams, people who get picked on, bullied but always stands up for themselves. They are my role models because they know more about themselves and are far stronger than we will ever be and that to me is a true role model.
Who is your favorite beauty queen?
My favorite beauty queen is Charlotte Lopez, from the state of Vermont who competed and won Miss Teen USA back in 1993. She is a foster child who has been ‘tossed’ around various homes while growing up. During the competition, she had ratty red hair and wore a very simple fuschia gown. You would never pick her as a the winner just based on the simplicity of her presentation compared to the other more polished delegates but when she spoke she spoke with such eloquence and sincerity that you just can’t help but love her and listen to what she has to say. She is the perfect example of that rare gem I spoke about earlier that the pageant system finds each year.
Do you think beauty pageants have relevance in today’s society?
I think the question should be more on ‘which’ pageant is relevant to society today because I like the idea and concept of pageants allowing, whether you win or lose, exposure/opportunities for the women that compete and creative outlets for the, not to sound sexist but c’mon, ‘men’ behind the scenes. I like pageants who change with the times who aren’t afraid to shake things up and to give the audience something innovative and out of the box, pageants such as Miss Unibarse.
What is your philosophy in life?
It has changed so much, but the main core has always been to stay true to who you are, embrace the challenges because it is an opportunity for growth, accept and respect people for who they are, including their bad taste in clothes (!) and to live life with a ‘child-like’, not immaturity, optimism.
What is the best piece of advice you can give a budding beauty queen?
Allow people you meet to feel your heart and hear your mind and to zone in on what makes you weird and bank on it! Our imperfections and our quirkiness are what sets us apart from everyone else and ultimately what draws humanity to want to get to know you more.
What special skills do you bring to Dear Pageant Girl?
What can’t I not bring…lol. I am an honest, passionate, respectful, humorous and genuine individual, what you see and read is what you get. I may not have won any crowns in my lifetime, but I have purchased quite a few to stare at I have helped many achieve their goals of winning one (mostly because they can’t afford it…lol) I consider myself a ‘Jackie’ O-f all trades…I can sew, design, drape, take amazing photos, insert an IV, a foley, do CPR…give you an enema?! I can make you feel good when you lose, cheer for you when you win, support you no mater what. I can be a housewife, I can cook, clean, do laundry, mow the lawn bargain shop in Chinatown…just not breastfeed. As you can see I can do many things, but the most important of all is that I am an honest sharp-shooter I am reliable, dependable and a sincere individual who just wants to be part of a team that can and will make a difference by showcasing the natural, ‘untouched’ and ‘un-retouched’ beauties of Australia!
(All images courtesy of F&G Photography)