Anna Marie Dalmatin hugged last year’s champion, cradled twelve red roses, modified her rhinestone tiara, and began the traditional winner’s walk. There she proceeded to go, the new Miss Northridge, down the long, small runway at the Odyssey Restaurant in Granada Hills. It had been the first formal responsibility of the one-year reign that will include ribbon cuttings, charity functions, and civic gatherings. “I don’t know when I’ll climb down from my cloud,” said Dalmatin, 18, shortly after winning the pageant Sunday afternoon.
The judges did. They liked her speech, her poise, her swimsuit. “My eyesight goes right to her,” said Marjorie Goodson Cutt, the hostess on “Classic Concentration,” a TV game show. “She didn’t try to be the seductress. Dalmatin, pageant veterans say, is typical of today’s beauty contestant: attractive, ambitious, articulate.
She studies history at College of the Canyons in Valencia and dreams of working to improve the environment. Indeed, many pageants have developed from mere demonstrations of natural physical beauty to comprehensive evaluations of the woman’s poise, maturity, and intellect. Floyd Beck, who has worked on many San Fernando Valley pageants, including Miss Northridge, for a number of decades, says women use the competition today as a vehicle for a better job, in such professions as business and regulation even.
“We’re finding a more intellectual girl, a girl more thinking about a college education, in the foreseeable future,” said Beck. After Miss Northridge was crowned Soon, the contestants and crowds departed. Someone required down the decorations and special lamps. Another beauty pageant got started its fade into memory. No matter. You will see more pageants in a few days, and the following week, the week after that and.
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The United States, a land enthusiastic about looks and grounded in ritual, has long counted the beauty contest among its favorite pastimes. According to Carl Dunn, publisher of the Louisiana-based Pageantry Magazine, there have been over 12, year 000 contests nationwide last, with about 3 million participants, which figure doesn’t even include independent competitions or Junior Miss and baby events. “Pageants are receiving popular all the right time,” Dunn said. “And that’s because of television. Television is the name of the overall game.
There’s a lot money involved these days. 90,000 in scholarships and prizes. 450,000 during her yearlong reign. 15 million in scholarships is honored to beauty pageant winners each year. A true amount of Valley chambers of commerce sponsor contests–Granada Hills, Tarzana, Sylmar, Tujunga, and Northridge included in this. Local businesses, such as florists, jewelry stores, and cosmetic supply outlets, donate merchandise to the winners.
While the sponsors stress just how pageants help promote a woman’s future career and build her self-esteem, they acknowledge that contests promote their businesses. Over her swimwear, evening gown and business outfit, each Miss Northridge contestant used her sponsor’s name and gave a speech urging the audience to look further into the company.
195 to be always a sponsor, and many consider the charge to be really worth the publicity. And Premier Bank–like all the sponsors–wants an articulate, poised spokeswoman. Michael Welsh, an article writer for Faces International Magazine who has judged numerous pageants, said beauty enough is no longer. “I usually make it a spot to ask girls what they think the girl of the ’80s has meant, and what the woman of the ’90s means,” Welsh said.
“An excellent answer to that question is worth a lot of factors. And I don’t turn to see whether a girl has a great figure. Some Valley pageants have eliminated the swimsuit competition. “We hardly see any occasions where we would need the winners representing us in a bathing suit,” said Jo Ann Ainsworth, supervisor of the Sylmar Chamber of Commerce.
In San Fernando, contestants are required to take on a grouped community service task and write an article about the experience. In Chatsworth, Chamber of Commerce members have been adamantly against pageants for a long time. “We have had a pageant never, and we never will,” said Debra Sakacs, the chamber manager. In Sylmar, the chamber sponsors a Mr. Ambassador competition and a Miss Sylmar contest, although officials expect no more than five contestants.