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A beauty queen with a difference
Ann-Marie Briggs is 23 and beautiful by any standard but she is determined to change our definition of beauty. Briggs said she always dreamed of participating in a beauty pageant but could not enter the Miss Universe and Miss World contests because she cosidered herself overweight and because she had given birth.
She sought out other beauty contests which had less strict entry requirements. She found the Face of the Globe International Beauty Pageant hosted in the UK and Disneyland Paris, and after an online screening process was chosen as T&T’s representative for the April competition.
The pageant, which has different categories, is open to entrants from as young as five and has no upper age limit. Adult women can include mothers and married women. Delegates are judged on their personalities alsoand are required to help raise funds for a children’s charity, Rainbow Children’s Foundation.
“This is not only about beauty but what’s inside a woman,” she says.
Briggs, mother of a two-year old son Aiden, is also the local director of the Regency International Pageant, which has similar entry criteria.
“The aim is the make all women feel beautiful and experience what it means to take part in a beauty contest. You can be a little chubby.
“I tell my girls they must be comfortable,” she said.
The pageant is clear about one thing though. Entrants must be naturally born females. This contest also involves helping several charities. It comes off in August in La Vegas.
Briggs said a lot of young women in T&T felt insecure about their looks because the world’s definition of beauty had been drilled into their heads. She added: “I was the only girl in a family of males and was a tomboy. I was 16 when Wendy Fitzwilliam won the Miss Universe pageant in 1998 and from then on I always wanted to be like her.
“I met her a few times and I was blown away.
“People always told me I looked just like Wendy and I promised my mommy that, one day, I will bring home a pretty crown for her.
“I may not be able to bring home the Miss Universe or Miss World crown but I will bring one home for her.”
Briggs said she did not have a sponsor for Miss Face of the Globe and was financing her own trip. She said the birth of her son helped put things in the right perspective.
“After Aiden was born, I decided to enter the Miss Universe and Miss World contests but one of their rules is that you must never have given birth.
“I could not see how giving birth and being a mom should debar me from a beauty contest. If they were thinking about your physical appearance, then I looked better than I did before.
“I worked out harder to lose that baby fat.
“All women are beautiful. Mothers should stop burning into their children’s minds what beauty is,” she added.
Briggs said she was a professional model and did work for private photography. She also owns a clothing store in Arima. She is confident of taking the Miss Face of the Globe crown.
“I am absolutely confident I have what it takes to give it my best shot. I will make T&T proud,” she said.