Pageant celebrates indigenous beauty


POSTED: Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hawaii Polynesia Models & Talent founder Ralph Malani always wondered why, in Hawaii, there is no pageant that celebrates Hawaiian or Polynesian beauty and culture in the way that the Cherry Blossom, Narcissus and Miss Filipina contests celebrate the respective Japanese, Chinese and Filipino cultures.

“;The funny thing is I'm a hairstylist, and I've worked back stage at those pageants, and wondered why there's no pageant celebrating a pretty Hawaiian girl.”;

The Miss Hawaii/Miss Hawaii USA pageants don't count, he contends, because they tend to reward a particular local melting-pot look and “;modelly”; ideal.

“;Since starting my agency, I've gotten a lot of young Polynesians work in movies here, but I noticed a lot of girls would compare themselves to girls brought in from the mainland, and say, 'I wish I was taller,' 'I wish I was thinner.' “;






        » Where: Pacific Beach Hotel


» When: Sunday, dinner at 5:30 p.m., pageant at 6:45


» Tickets: $75; $40 cocktail only


» Call: 398-4944


Having founded his agency to promote the indigenous beauty of Polynesian men and women, Malani is taking the next step to help them see themselves in a new light with his inaugural Mr. & Miss Polynesia Hawaii pageant Sunday at the Pacific Beach Hotel Grand Ballroom. The event will start with dinner at 5:30 p.m. followed by the 6:45 pageant.

Thirteen contestants — seven wahine and six kane — will vie for the respective titles during the event, judged in categories of natural couture, pareo, black-tie Polynesian, talent and fantasy Polynesian.

Contestants will have an opportunity to show their creativity via the various costume portions of the program including the flashy fantasy segment; a pareo challenge in which Hinano Tahiti provided two pareo each for the contestants to transform into any style of garment; and another competition that has the women creating an evening gown from five yards of Samoan tattoo-printed satin provided by designer Tali Goeas of Tali's Polynesia.

“;A lot of them work in the visitor industry, they dance, so it'll be a celebration of Polynesian culture, the songs, the dance, all of that,”; Malani said.