CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 20, 2003 |
Miss Afghanistan knew she was taking a risk when she strutted across a Manila catwalk in a bright red bikini. "I did understand," said Vida Samadzai, a 25-year-old Cal State Fullerton student, "that it would probably not be acceptable in my society." But she did not know she would be denounced by the government of her native land, criticized by fellow Afghans -- even in the U.S. -- and at the same time hailed by others as a role model for girls and women in the "new Afghanistan."
November 24, 1996 |
Clashes between rock-throwing protesters and police firing tear gas and rubber bullets failed to stop the Miss World pageant from going forward Saturday, when Irene Skliva of Greece won the crown. Before the pageant finals began, about 1,000 demonstrators denouncing beauty contests as demeaning to women tried to block roads leading to the site of the pageant, a cricket stadium. Many chanted, "Go Home, Miss World."
December 1, 2003 |
Her detractors dismiss her as a country bumpkin with rough features only Westerners could appreciate. Her admirers praise her as the essence of ancient Chinese beauty, with a touch of modern spunk. Meet Lu Yan, a small-town ugly duckling turned 5-foot-10 trailblazer -- and, possibly, the new face of China. "Some people say I'm changing the way Chinese people see beauty. I don't know," Lu, a fashion model now based in Paris, said on one of her Beijing stops.
January 2, 1994 |
There's Miss Galaxy, Ms. Fitness USA, Fitness America Pageant and most recently the Professional Women's National Physical Fitness championship. What's the difference? To women's rights groups, there is none. Tammy Bruce, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women, is against any competition in which a woman's appearance is judged subjectively. "Pageants in any form that focus on scoring women like cattle are abusive and to be looked at as archaic," Bruce said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 27, 1999 |
Classmates jokingly call 17-year-old Sophia Bush the "drama queen" because she loves the stage so much. But on Tuesday, her stage became much bigger than any school auditorium: The Westridge School senior from Pasadena was named the 2000 Rose Queen. Bush's hazel eyes popped wide open Tuesday when the Pasadena Tournament of Roses president called her name from among seven finalists for the honor. "I wasn't expecting it.
September 29, 2000 |
Minnie Driver easily lives up to the title of the new film "Beautiful," in which she stars so impressively under Sally Field's aptly nuanced direction. Yet Driver's angular features are just distinctive enough to make it credible that her small-town Illinois beauty contestant might find it a struggle to come out a winner. Written perceptively by Jon Bernstein, "Beautiful" is not yet another easy satire on a target that is by now overly familiar.
May 7, 1989 |
The 3-year-old beauty queen was on the living room floor, her eyes fixed on the television screen as a videotape of her victories rolled. When it ended, Brandi Nichele Alvarez rose with a smile and walked across the room. Because she is shy and young, she did not talk about the two beauty contests she has won, nor did she mention the six- and seven-foot trophies, the $75, the rabbit fur coat, the six-inch television set, several decorative crowns and the "Talking Mother Goose." She has also won the right to compete for the Miss American Beauty Pageants' national title this summer in Las Vegas.
January 13, 1997 |
As a winner of countless little girls' beauty pageants, including Little Miss Colorado, 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey had what pageant insiders knowingly call "the look." A cascade of blond hair. Bee-stung lips. Prominent cheekbones. Wide eyes, not unlike every female lead character in every recent Disney animated movie. (Belle, Jasmine, Ariel, Esmeralda--the list goes on and on.) But more than just looks, JonBenet had that indefinable "it"--a preternatural poise and grace.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2012 |
Los Angeles Times Frank Godden, who played a significant role in the development of Val Verde, a secluded and long-closed local resort community known as "the black Palm Springs," has died. He was 101. Godden, who had cancer, died Aug. 3 at his Los Angeles home, his family announced. Val Verde was founded in 1924 in the Santa Clarita Valley at a time when the region's black citizens were barred from beaches, parks and other attractions because of the color of their skin. There they could escape racism, if only for a weekend.
November 25, 1994 |
If China boasts the world's fleetest female swimmers, France the most select of vintages and Ukraine the greatest pole vaulter, where do the world's most comely women come from? From India, of course. It's as official as these kinds of things ever get. This year, anyway. Last Saturday, Aishwarya Rai, 21, an architecture student with gray-green eyes from Bombay, bested contestants from 86 other countries to become Miss World 1994.