Get set for another beauty queen

Appearances have certainly taken a forefront in today's world and just as models, modeling agencies and beauty salons are mushrooming all over, so are beauty pageants. Come October and India will be the venue for another worldwide supermodel hunt.

QCGIRL International Model search is an international model search conducted worldwide -- drawing entrants from about 40 countries -- through national contests. The rationale behind the contest, according to Managing Director Of Procon Leisure Asia Ltd -- an international event management company -- Mr. Robin Oxland, ``is to identify the 21st Century woman who is independent, talented and fashion conscious with a character that is both friendly and vivacious''.

``Winning the QCGirl contest gave me a platform to meet people who helped me further my career. The first prize included a trip around the world that brought me in touch with people from different walks of life,'' remarked international model, Shelley Pearce, ex-winner of the international model hunt. She was speaking at a workshop here today for aspiring models by beauty expert, Blossom Kochchar.

The objective of the workshop was ``to expose aspiring models to the international modeling scene and give them basic beauty and skin care tips,''said Ms Kochchar. ``Shelley is the right person for the job since she has travelled extensively,'' she added.

Shelley is currently in India on a promotional tour for QCGirl International. ``In most beauty pageants, how you end up on stage is what the organisers want you to look like. But in this contest, we promote individuality -- the girls have to put together their own outfits and also have to perform a 60 second routine on stage with their own music. To win in our contest, what is important is character, not just beauty,'' remarked Mr. Oxland.

So far, Indians have participated only twice. Both times, however, the girls were nominated, not selected. ``Sometimes we allow countries to send their representatives, though this is not the norm. Most countries, for instance Australia, hold local contests and send the winner for the final contest,'' explained Mr. Oxland.

The grand finale will be held sometime in October and the major events will be held in Delhi, Bombay, Jaipur, Goa and Agra. The finals would most likely be held in Jaipur though the venue might be shifted to Delhi.``I have really liked Delhi and we might decide to hold the final rounds here'', Mr. Oxland explains.

``The contest is also beneficial for the host country,'' he added. ``Since it will be televised across the globe in all participant countries, it provides footage to the host country and thus boosts tourism.''