Thursday, September 22, 2011

Miss Universe 2011: Nothing and Everything for Deborah Henry

Deborah with Brazil, Netherlands, who made top 16, and Aruba



Everytime I spoke to someone when I was in Sao Paulo, Brazil for Miss Universe, it was pretty much the same thing.

Before Miss Universe 2011 final night:

"Oh my GOD I LOVE your girl! Malaysia is VERY impressive this year!"
"Look at my list! Look look LOOK I made a list! LOOK your girl is # 1/2/3/4/5!!"
"WOW your MALAYSIA IS STUNNING! STUN. NING!"
"SHE'S MY FAVOURITE!"


(You kinda get the picture..)

After Miss Universe 2011 final night:

"WHAT HAPPENED?? WHY DID SHE NOT PLACE??"
"I am so sorry. Something must've gone wrong. SOMETHING SOMEWHERE"
"Darling. I just want you to know, I thought she should've at least placed. She was beautiful in the prelims!"
"Its not your fault, its not her fault, its the JUDGES! HOW could they overlook HER!?"


(again, you get the picture..)

I had the same response to both types of comments. I just smiled, and said thanks.

It hurt, and I felt sad. For Deborah, she put in so much work into preparing herself.. For her family, who travelled more than halfway around the world to see their daughter (who many predicted would WIN), go unplaced. Of course, I was sad for Malaysia, our people and country, whose hopes were riding so high on Debs. And why not? People from ALL around the world predicted her to be the one to beat!

An unprecedented level of support flew out to Debs and I before and even after the pageant. We are both touched with the love that our country had in their hearts for us.

But it's still sad.

Now the 1 million dollar question is: If Deborah couldn't place, how will any other Malaysian do well at Miss Universe?

The answer is simple: There are different judges every year. Different political situations, different dramas, different countries hosting. I firmly believe that Deborah could've won, if situations would have been different. She would be just a deserving winner as Miss Angola, the reigning Miss Universe, is right now. But the thing is:

SO WOULD MANY OTHER GIRLS THAT NIGHT. (Be deserving winners, that is)

We must remember that all 89 girls had a certain level of beauty. A lot of them did not place, who were on the same 'level'. Arguably, some even were better than Debs! (My prediction was it'd have come down between Greece, Malaysia and Ukraine, and whoever answered the question best would win..)









The videos above are of the Preliminary competition, of which the girls were judged BEFORE the final night, in order to select the TOP 16 finalists. These videos do not do the girls justice, as they really did have much more stage presence than what you see on the vids.

Anyway. Bottom line is this: Such is the nature of competitions. The ones you think are best may not necessarily win. Point is, Deborah made us SO proud. I have not come across a Malaysian who did not firmly believe that she should've at least place. Furthermore, she played a role of actually bringing Malaysia TOGETHER in support of her. How great was that? Twitter was flooded with well wishes, the media covered her journey manically, and did you know that "Miss Universe" and "Miss Malaysia Deborah Henry" was the 3rd fastest rising search quotes on the net in Malaysia last week?!

Sometimes to win you just need Lady Luck on your side. Instead, Debs had all of Malaysia. She's come home with her head high, with 'Nothing' to show for the 'Everything' that she should be proud of!

Malaysia Boleh, Miss Universe! And one day, some day, you will recognize that too!





Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Deborah Henry, 26, Malaysia: The Perfect Miss Universe!

Now I've alreay explained, in detail, in my post below why Debs is such an amazing young woman. Here's a 1 minute clip which captures everything I've written and more.

Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 finalists, take your notepads out. This is how it's done!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2011 Miss Universe - Malaysia?

Deborah Henry. 26. Malaysia.

Since her crowning on the 27th of January as Miss Universe Malaysia 2011, there has been lots of hype around Deborah being a potential winner at the Miss Universe pageant at Sao Paolo this year. Now I'm a firm believer in 'jinxing' things by talking about that, so I wont. (Sorry guys!).

What I will share with you this:

Debs is an amazing young woman whom I truly respect. And here's 5 reasons why:

1. She walks the talk.
 "World Peace" and "Eradicating Poverty" are in the top 5 answers for most cliche Beauty Queens. Deborah runs her very own school for children of refugees in Malaysia. Click here to see more.

2. She is humble and sincere.
 If you go back to the Fugee School website, how much of Deborah do you see on it, taking credit? So many people begin foundatons named after themelves, they can't stop talking about how much good they're doing.. What does Debs do? She tweets when she needs volunteering at her school. She humbly asks for help when the school needs it. It's really refreshing to see a celebrity in this day and age not wanting to be all about the limelight.

3. She's determined and disciplined.
 The two hardest qualities to find in young girls these days. Most girls want the fast-track to fame and aren't aware (or willing) to put in the blood and sweat that comes along with the job. Reality Check. You'd think Deborah can just sit back and sail through to Miss Universe just because she's done a pageant before? Oh hell no. Samba training twice a week, till she gets blisters on her toes. Gym 4 times a week (minimum), total diet planning, vitamins for hair nails and skin, Portuguese lessons -- and that's all done on her OWN. The Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation is overseeing other things such as: QnA training, wardrobe planning, fitness advice, skin consultation, .. basically the bigger picture items, of which Deb takes it into her own initiative to get there. A National Director really appreciates this bit especially because seriously -- there is nothing more tiring than having to drag a horse to water and trying to force it to drink..!

4. She's professional and sticks by her principles.
 "Deb, I think we ned to whiten your teeth, tone up your abs, lower body. You need to increase your muscle mass. And your hair. You need to take multivites. And your skin -- why are you breaking out? Please darling do a million sit-ups before the photoshoot tomorrow to make you abs really pop. Why are your nails brittle? Are you not taking enough Calcium and Vitamin D? Why aren't you comfortable talking about yourself hunny, that's what interviews are about! And hmmm. Perhaps we should get you some facials, eh?"

I'm not the most tactful person in the world -- I get to the point and I get there fast. What I love about Debs is that she takes everything you say into consideration, and uses her own head on (1) whether or not my advice/request is reasonable and (2) if she should follow it. For example: Many girls at Miss Universe have had breast augmenation. It's a fact, I'm laying it out there. I have nothing against it, in fact, for many girls it can make or break winning or whether or not they even make it to the semi finals.

Does Deborah need breast augmentation? No. Would it be a disadvantage against all the other cosmetically enhanced women at Miss Universe? Of course. Did Deborah think about it? Yes. Her answer to getting cosmetic surgery? No. Was I happy about it? Oh yes.

She has her principles and she sticks to them. And whilst she listened to what I had to say, she took no offence whatsoever. She knew everything I said and advised her on was borne out of a sincere want for her to look and be her best.

5. She would make a great Miss Universe.
Coming from Malaysia, growing up in a multicultural home and country, Deborah has proved on her own that she has the guns to stay in the industry. Combined with all her traits above, she is guaranteed to make one of the hardest working, real Miss Universes ever.

Her look trancends all commercially driven racial boundaries, her passion for children ignites hope where she can bring it, and her ability to speak well and forcefully about her thoughts and beliefs would pierce through every stigma that a Beauty Queen may still have in today's day and age.

She would make a great Miss Universe. She really would.

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Now I'm sure there are alot of other candidates this year who would make equally impressive winners. I can only speak of Deborah as I've grown to know her personally and professionally. I'd be elated if she won, because she deserves it. But even if she didnt, I'd still be glad that the world got to meet this gorgeous gem of a young woman, who hails from Malaysia.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My thoughts on Osama's death.

The killing of a man should never be celebrated.

Don't get me wrong - I do believe that he had what was coming to him. Planning and organising terror will get you hunted down and killed.

However seeing footage of Americans celebrating in the streets at the announcement of his assasination has left a bad taste in my mouth. Not towards them specifically - but to the world and how we handle things these days.

What has happened to us that we think it's okay to kill completely innocent strangers - in the name of Religion that is supposed to teach us to love, respect and take care of one another? Why is Religion polarizing us?

Why is it okay for one government to think it's okay to murder another country's leader? What is fair in war these days? Is terrorism the only resort left to the much poorer party in this war, and does that make it okay?

And what has happened to us that we now think it's okay to dance and sing at the news of a man's death? Who's fault is this?

There are two sides of answers for every question above. Who knows which one would hold more water... But one thing's for sure though.

Innocent lives - American and Muslim - have been lost in this raging war. The blood of these people are on the hands of everyone that thinks this is a war worth fighting.

Because it's not.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Beauty 101: I got it from my Momma.

First of all, apologies for not updating as often as I should've. It's been crazy times, and .. well, I just got a bit lazy. Facebook is killing my urge to blog, I have to say, because I update EVERYTHING there! But then again there's nothing like a good article, for long term reference, eh? :)

Anyway on to the topic - Beauty 101. I got it from my Momma. Seriously.

When I was little I used to admire beautiful women (yes I started young), and I remember how I kept asking her, "Ma, is she beautiful?". Mommy knows best, right? Mother used to surprise me sometimes, because she'd say, "No, not really" to someone whom I thought was absolutely gorgeous. When I asked her why, she'd go on to explain to me:

There's a difference between being 'pretty', being 'attractive' and being 'beautiful'. To see if someone's really beautiful (judging purely on outer beauty of course), you have to look first at the eyes, then the nose, then the mouth, then bone structure, and overall face shape. Last but not least, the facial balance is important - that is how all the features complement each other! A Beautiful woman will be beautiful yesterday, today and tomorrow. Add 10 years, 10 pounds, it wouldnt matter. That lady you pointed out was 'pretty', not 'beautiful'. That 'Pretty' lady won't age as well as a 'Beautiful' lady.

Like with many other things explained to me as a child, I didn't understand what she was talking about, up until now. I totally get it now though, based on my own experience, and based on learning from how my mother critically evaluated Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys and Pamela Anderson -- when I asked her to. (Of course plastic surgery has helped two of the three ladies stay 'attractive' to many, but only Alicia Keys was judged to be 'Beautiful' by Mommy - and that was, "only just"! )

Example:
VENUS RAJ, MISS UNIVERSE PHILIPPINES 2010

Me: Mommy, is she beautiful?

Well, her face is very symmetrical - that's very important. Her eyes are quite nice, but they are slightly too close to each other. Her nose is a good shape, with a high enough bridge to complement her face. She has very nice, full and balanced lips, and they are of good shape. Her forehead-face proportion is perfect - her forehead is of one-third of her face, with her nose being one third, and  from the top of her nose to her chin, one-third. Her best features are her cheekbones - very strong. Her jaw is slightly square, but it suits her! Overall very attractive. She will age gracefully, if she takes care of her skin and weight.




LUPITA JONES, MISS UNIVERSE 1991

She's very very beautiful.
Her eyes are beautifully balanced, of good size with high brow-bone. Her nose has a high bridge, perfectly balancing her very very high cheekbones. With such beautiful eyes, it is good that her lips are well shaped, even if they are not too thick. She has a very slender jaw, complementing her overall beauty. Only thing if I were to criticize - her forehead is a touch too big. But that's okay - it doesn't stand out, because her face is so balanced! She will age very gracefully, and will retain her beauty well.

Really? I ask.

Lupita, 10 years on. *Jaw drops, homigawd.*


 But Mommy, what about all these people whom everyone is crazy about??


Britney, younger, fresher

Britney is not beautiful, she's very pretty and attractive.
Her eyes - if you look closely - slope downwards at the outer corners. It is not so noticable with make-up but as she ages, that will be a problem for her. Her brow-bones are not very strong, her cheekbones not pronounced. She has a good nose, and pretty lips though! Her face is also very evenly balanced - forehead, nose, chin. Good face shape. But will not age well. She's pretty, and attractive.

Well, mum was right about this one - we all remember how Britbrit looked when she got a little chubby, and had hair issues. ;)


GISELE BUNDCHEN

She's very attractive, and quite beautiful. Good eyes, though they are not spectacular. Nice lips. Her nose is too long, her tip too low. That's the biggest technical flaw on her face, but it goes well with her face shape so it's okay. She looks a little gaunt, and her features can be of a very pretty man. But that's what makes her such a good canvas to be a model! She will age well, provided she stays slim. If she puts on weight, her nose will be the center of attention (as it is the case in most people!), so she must be careful. Her face shape and bone structure (cheekbones and brow-bones) are her best features.



ME: Mommy, what about my Miss Malaysia, Nadine?



NADINE ANN THOMAS, MISS UNIVERSE MALAYSIA 2010

Nadine is pretty, very attractive, and beautiful. Her eyes are the most striking thing about her - it is very much like in the case of Lupita. They are beautiful, long, almond shaped. Her nose is slightly large towards the tip, but that is forgiveable and with the right make up you won't even notice it! She has a small mouth, which should be played up more because it is of a cute shape. Good face proportion, and very good cheekbones. But really, her stunning feature is her eyes - it is one of a kind, which is what makes her uniquely beautiful. This girl will also age well. But if she gains weight, her face might overwhelm her eyes, and they will not be the center of attention anymore - so she needs to be careful with that.
Andrea says: !!!!



XIMENA NAVARRETE, MISS UNIVERSE 2010

Perfect. Even more beautiful than Lupita, in my opinion - at least in this picture anyway. Perfect face proportion, good bone structure, cheekbones. What I especially like (besides the perfect eyes, nose and mouth) is the fact that she has a full, healthy face. She doesn't look gaunt, which can be a problem for models, when they get too thin. She looks healthy, wholesome, and a plump face at her age will serve her well as she gets older. She will become even more beautiful in her 30s, trust me.






Next post - perhaps I'll get my Mummy to evaluate MY face. Hmm. Don't know if I'll be able to take it tho. ;)


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vblog entry one!



Done just before I crawled into bed. A little pale - no make up.. ;)

xoxo and Happy New Year!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Love Long Distance

So... Now that you're MARRIED....

"So when are you moving to Australia?"

Uh, I don't know.

"*blur look*"

Well, you see, Paul just got awarded Directorship at his firm, and I'm running the Miss Universe Malaysia Pageant, and neither of us want to sacrifice our careers just yet so...

"*Attempting to hide surprised look* Wow.. Okay.. that must be.. hard...?!"

Yeah, it is, I miss him. We still see each other once a month on average though.. *awkward smile*

"Heh..heh.. yeah. Wow. Yeah. .. WOW."

....Yeah. Oooh look I'm just going to.. uh... yeah go to my friend..over..there....

------------------------------------------------

Okay so maybe that's not how it always goes, but the conversation above is a true story! I know its not conventional, since a "Good Wife" will be with "Her Husband" at all times...

But lets think about it this way.

I'm lucky enough to have found the man of my dreams, who supports me in everything I do, and my happiness is his. I am happy as National Director of Miss Universe Malaysia. I am happy to be able to see my now 72 year old father every morning and night. I am happy with my friends, my social life and my career.

If I have the rest of my life with Paul to look forward to, I don't see why enjoying what makes me happy for a while longer yet is such a bad thing!

The same goes for Paul, who has finally found an area of the Law that he enjoys. His friends and family are in Perth as well. I can't drag him away from that to stay in Malaysia to be my man-bag! (though it was tempting even to him at times LOL!). He would not be able to practice Law here, and would miss out on valuable years at the firm.. it just makes sense for him to be in Perth for now.

Yes, we trust each other. We speak every day, in fact, a few times a day! I travel with our framed photo in my suitcase, I text him on average 10 times a day, and we try to plan two big holidays a year together. When I am not working, I take time to go to Perth, and when he has the time, he flies to KL.

It's expensive, but its worth it.

And if I had a choice between having my soulmate far away, than not at all, I'd much rather pick the former! Wouldn't you?

Rempit-ing in Phuket
Peas in a Pod!
..Distance; a tiny obstacle with a bond this strong!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Love at first sight

Love at first sight

Thanks Kee for the really cute write-up!

Just to note tho - Paul and I didn't met last September, we met May 2008. :)

xox
A.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Nadine's journey begins: its a long distance relationship for now!

Nadine's in Mandalay Bay, Vegas, I'm in downtown Manhattan, New York.

But I'm still in control *muahaha!*

Here's a pic Nadine has sent to me for me to keep up to date with her progress. Due to her allergies and the INSANELY salty foods in Vegas, she's started to retain a little bit of water - have spoken to her about that and we're going to try to change her diet a little.

Keep up to date with Nadine's progress @ Miss Universe here and here.

On to other things -- as mentioned I'm currently in NYC for a week for a little work and alot of play. I really like where I'm at, it was love at first sight really. Am staying with one of my husband's best friends, Mark Pieri, who has been in Manhattan for four years now. Taking pics on my journeys, catch them here.

Tonight I'm making my speciality Spag-Bolognaise for Mark and his sweet flatmate Maureen. :) Fun times, FINALLY a day of relaxation...!