Lusineh Sahakyan becomes Miss Consolation, as she comforts a disappointed runner-up
In Yerevan's Sport and Concert
Complex Tuesday night the lights went down and anticipation went up and nearly
six hours later Miss Lusineh Tovmasyan was crowned Miss Armenia 2003.
applicants, 15 girls were chosen to compete. Eight were from Yerevan, six from
the regions and one from Karabakh.
Karen Arestakesyan president of Miss
Armenia National Agency, explained their qualifying commonalities:
are 17-24 year old girls, who correspond to international standards. It means
they are taller than 170 cm and have 60-90-60 (35-23-35 inches) measurement, charm,
beautiful teeth, etc."
To the sound of jazz music, the measurements
and the charm and the teeth, etc. came out in national dresses. (Though "national"
dresses that had transparent veils, high headdresses and soft colors.)
as the beauties filled the stage, the hall was filled with an audience discussing
virtues and defects.
Some young men liked the girls' smiles. Others complained
about wooden motions and strongly marked Armenian noses of some.
to the national dress, the girls made other appearances in evening wear and in
swimsuits. In video clips, they told about their dreams, their thoughts, their
Production of the contest cost about $15,000, given by sponsors.
(No government allotment was made for this particular cultural event.)
our beauties participate at the contests like this one and worthily present Armenia,"
Arestakesyan said in opening the ceremonies. Earlier he told a press conference
that the pageant's success grows each year, since it started in 1996.
Armenia 2003, already on television.
year we sign new agreements and contracts for our participation in different well-known
contests," he said.
However, before presenting themselves in different
parts of the world the girls were trying to attract attention from a jury which
included Miss Armenia 1998 and Miss CIS Gohar Harutyunyan, Miss Russia 2002 and
Miss Europe 2003 Svetlana Koraliova, experts mainly from CIS countries, Armenian
artists as well as one deputy of the National Assembly.
From what they
said in their videos it seems the evening climaxed a childhood dream for most
of the girls. Many of them vowed to demonstrate the beauty of Armenian women to
Swimsuits become useful for fulfilling that aim.
is a phenomenon which is accepted, especially by fathers, with great difficulty,"
said Gohar Harutyunyan. "Sometimes girls don't participate at contests for
this reason. However, year in and year out everything changes and it seems that
girls' successes on foreign stages break this ice."
Wearing a swimsuit
and walking in it on a public stage seems to still need some ice-breaking in Armenia,
as, sort of sadly, some of the beauties found it difficult to smile during this
portion of the competition.
The blame for any nervousness, though, might
have gone to stage directors or whomever forgot to put identification numbers
on the wrists of the girls. During other parts of the event contestants wore the
badges so that judges and journalists could identify them. For the swimsuit competition,
however, in which they wore identical one-piece turquoise, other means of identification
had to be employed.
Physical attributes aside, Miss Armenia 2003 would
also have to exhibit brain power.
At the pre-event press conference, Arestakesyan
said applicants are often "very beautiful but their intellectual abilities
are very low.
"That's why the agency set a goal to create a school
of elegance and beauty where history of art, rules of conduct and etiquette will
be taught. And in the future it will help to improve that level."
says he cannot say for sure that the level of the Armenian girls' intellect is
very low, however, comparing with other European participants, the difference
Armenia 2003 sitting pretty for the cameras.
was a member of the jury at the Miss Europe contest and I was surprised with their
answers," Arestakesyan said. "They were asked about the image of a woman
in the 21st century and their answers about harmony and mutual love were deeply
philosophical and astonishing."
Which brings us to the question addressed
to Tuesday's winner . . .
After (soon to be fifth place) No. 8, Elina Mamikonyan
was asked: "What is your favorite aphorism?" (To which the she asked
to have the question repeated at the end of the Q and A section) . . .
7 (soon to be winner) Lusineh Tovmasyan (whose sister won two years ago, and who
is represented by the Miss Armenia agency) was asked: "What is the image
of a woman in the 21st century?"
"I think happiness is when everything
is in harmony, when there is a response when you work with love and the most important
is when you feel yourself satisfied." (Sound familiar? Go back four paragraphs.)
answer," exclaimed the hostess.
Anush Grigoryan, 18, of Goris, was
runner-up. Lusineh Sahakyan, 19, of Vanadzor was third.
Miss Armenia 2003
is 178, 88-59-88. She is also 17, and a student at Interlingua Linguistic University.
She studies English and Italian and dreams to travel around the world. She likes
to eat, but doesn't get fat as a result.
She is a veteran of numerous contests.
She was presented by the Miss Armenia agency at the Miss Caucasus contest and
won first prize there as well. She has worked in Japan as a model.
still don't know what I'm going to do. I only know that I'm very happy and I didn't
expect to win," she said.
One thing Miss Armenia 2003 will do is represent
her country at the Miss World competition in October. It is the first time Armenia
will be represented.
For a look at all the contestants and an unofficial
vote, click www.missarmenia.tv