Your 10-Step Official Guide To Becoming The Next Miss Lebanon

 

It was so unfortunate that I couldn’t watch the much awaited coronation of this year’s Miss Lebanon yesterday, but I’ve since caught up and I believe I’ve reached the perfect formula for you to win next year.

Why apply to Miss Lebanon? Well frankly, because you basically strut around for a few minutes then end up winning prizes worth around $500,000, and once your reign is done you become an actress or a model or a singer or all three together and you’re set for life. So why the hell not?

Step 1: Be Christian

This cannot be stressed enough. Well, every few decades or so this step doesn’t end up helping, but for the most part it’s a fool-proof method for you to make headway. As such, make sure your name is as westernized as possible. I mean, can you even imagine at some point in time several years ago we had a Miss Lebanon named Rahaf? Who does that?

Step 2: Leave Your Common Sense At Home

You want the president to send out Beirut’s garbage to hospitals? You just say it. You want people to, like, get, like, maps, because, like, Lebanon, you tell them! There are no wrong answers here. You will be applauded. You are being graded on a generous curve whereby you will get at least a 9.7/10 regardless of what you say. You will be celebrated anyway, so just express your deepest and most profound id for anyone and everyone to hear.

Step 3: Collect Eclectic Hobbies:

Miss Lebanon cannot be miss-girl-next-door-who-likes-to-binge-drink-in-MM-every-weekend-or-go-to-roadster-with-her-besties-every-other-day. No. You have to be a beacon of hope for every Lebanese out there, male or female, for them to look up to you and want to make something out of themselves. It doesn’t matter if you don’t hike, hiking is now your hobby. It doesn’t matter if the only time you’ve floated was at the Dead Sea, you are now the next Katie Ledecky. It doesn’t matter if the only book you’ve read is “The Secret,” your favorite author is now Nietzsche (or some other person lots of people pretend to read to sound sophisticated).

Step 4: Lebanon Is The Most Beautiful Thing To Ever Exist:

This cannot be stressed enough. It doesn’t matter that it takes you seven hours in traffic to get to your audition, or that you almost vomited on the way from the stench of garbage or that you got there and had to wait for them to kick start their generators because no electricity or that on the way while snapping with that beauty face, goat face, flower crown face somehow Alfa took away 1.5GB of your 3G and you have no idea how. No. The moment you’re on that stage, your answer to any question asked HAS to culminate in how YOU will propagate to the world how Lebanon is the best thing that Allah ever created. Period.

Step 5: Do Not Be Yourself:

You may like civil marriage in the privacy of your own home, or support LGBT rights with your friends, or support a woman’s right to be sexually liberated and to have a choice when it comes to her own body around your besties, but this is not the place to show them. You are to be as conservative as you can, in the confines of not turning into ISIS. To make it passable, bring out the best smile you can. If you can’t smile (refer to our new Miss), pretend to.

Step 6: Leave your personal opinion about everything at the door:

Listen, it’s nice to have character. But please, make it as generic as possible. No one wants a feisty woman with opinions ~shivers~ to represent the country. No. You want world peace. You want to make Lebanon greater again (because it’s already great). You want to support women. You want to help the refugees. You want to decrease sectarianism. The key is broad headlines to get you applause while essentially being worthless.

Step 7: Be a Brunette:

No Lebanese wants a blonde to represent them. That is just not us. If you have blonde hair thinking that’ll make you stand out, make sure you change the color asap. Brunette is the way to go. Look at the past few years. It’s a recurrent trend. And if not brunette, darker colors will work too to a lesser extent.

Step 8: Get your height up to par:

176cm. At least. Get there. How, I don’t know. Deal with it yourself.

Step 9: Learn French to sound more sophisticated:

You may use English in your daily life, but the Miss Lebanon stage is the place to dig up those rustic French skills you last used in your high school bacc exam. Unless you’re a USJ student. It makes you sound more sophisticated, refined. It makes them want to elect you so you’d give the world that doesn’t care about us in the first place a more polished look about us. It’s equitation, not horseback riding. Je jure!

Step 10: Get your wasta in order:

 

This makes all the previous 10 steps worthless. It doesn’t matter if you need to sleep with all members of the jury, male and female, or any politician who knows anyone who might be influential in the process. Some things are worth it, even if that politician was the current PM.

And then haters gonna hate anyway when there’s someone who was just SO much prettier who didn’t win because she did not have this secret recipe. 

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5 Issues More Important Than Miss Lebanon’s Selfie With Miss Israel

Ladies and gentlemen, as another week rolls by, we have another scandal about which you will probably be talking for the next seven days.

Sally Jreij, our lovely Miss Lebanon, is in one hell of a problem. A few days ago, a picture surfaced on Instagram that featured our pride and joy (especially true for Northerners) with a few other contestants.

In that same picture, on the far left corner was a face that would have been pretty meaningless if it weren’t for the ribbon she had around her torso. ISRA- oh my god, our internal security is in ruins.

From left to right:  Miss Israel, Miss Lebanon, Miss Slovenia and Miss Japan.

From left to right:
Miss Israel, Miss Lebanon, Miss Slovenia and Miss Japan.

Can you believe it? Our very own pride and joy managed to disgrace the country in a selfie with the enemy? What will befall us? What future can we promise our children when our very own representative to the beauties managed to ruin our country’s flawless reputation that way?

Except Sally Jreij did not purposefully take the selfie and was actually photobombed, not that this will deter the scandal from taking place because – as I said – we certainly have a shortage of those around here.

The following is her statement on the matter:

“To all my supporters and Lebanese citizens, I would like to thank you indeed for your continuous support of Miss Lebanon at the Miss Universe contest …The truth behind the photo: Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel (that tried several times to have a photo with me).

I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia and myself; suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media. This is what happened and I hope to have your full support in the Miss Universe contest”

Sally Jreij knows not to be seen with the enemy at places were it’s almost certain to be around them. She knows that when it comes to Lebanon and Israel, we are the ones supposed to forfeit, run away from pictures and be resistant at every corner, because we do not believe their existence is justified.

In fact, Sally Jreij did that not so long ago at yet another international pageant with Miss Israel Mor Maman:

From the 124 contestants, Maman’s best friend is Miss Kirgizstan and she has not been treated with hostility so far, expect for an incident concerning Miss Lebanon: “On one of the trips they took us on some of us girls wanted to take a selfie. Miss Lebanon wanted to join but asked me where I was from. When I told her I was from Israel, she declined the photo.”

Leave it to Lebanon to make a big deal out of nothing when we’re drowning up to our chins in problems.

So as a reminder, for when you are sharing that selfie, calling her a traitor and pointing her towards the public guillotine, here are 5 issues that are taking place as we speak and which most of you aren’t giving a second glance:

1 – Our Kidnapped Soldiers in Arsal:

How many months has it been since those soldiers were taken hostage by Islamists? How many days have their parents set up camps, blocked roads and did the impossible to bring attention to their sons? How many of those soldiers have been beheaded already to exert pressure on the country? How many questions of those can you answer without reverting to google?

Just today, two of our soldiers were injured by Israelis in the South. But obviously, that is less important than a selfie.

2 – Tripoli Had Two Explosions Last Week:

Between Charlie, Ahmed and every single Frenchman last week, we have failed to notice that the country lost 9 people in a double suicide attack in Tripoli last week. We didn’t have vigils in Beirut about them. No one protested. I bet few even cared. The news that one of the victims of those attacks was a bonafide hero didn’t even make a dent in our news. We couldn’t even agree on a hashtag to support Tripoli in the explosions. If you’re wondering, the hashtag to support sally is #StandForSally.

3 – No President:

I’m listing this as the #3 issue because it has become so passé. Our parliament failed yet again to elect a president last week. How many times have those been? I personally don’t know so you’re forgiven if you don’t know either. I suppose a country without a president is surely allowed to be panicky about a selfie with the enemy, right?

4 – A Recycled Parliament:

Never since the Civil War has a Lebanese parliament been a space occupying lesion as this one. They’ve been around for more than 5 years now. They will be around for 2 more. They are not passing any laws. They are not serving the country in anything, and if you look at point number 3, they have failed again and again to elect a president. Who cares when Miss Lebanon took a selfie with Miss Israel goddamit!

5 – Rule of Guns:

Yves Nawfal passed away last week because he was shot by people who thought above the law and whose entire lives revolve around guns. A couple of days after Yves’ death, another girl named Eliane Safatly was shot dead by a man who protested with his gun to not being allowed into a night club. Americans have their gun rights protected in their constitution. We can’t even begin to talk about an issue that’s killing our youth one by one. But, again, just look at that traitorous selfie for fuck’s sake!

Leave Sally Jreij alone:

The selfie that has you all upset has been around for 6 days. The only way this is causing our national security to go up in flames is through our insecurity that Miss Lebanon doesn’t know her limits as Lebanese abroad.

This is an ‘fyi’ to all those who are up in a fit: there are many, many Lebanese abroad who go to colleges and conferences and who also find themselves in attendance with Israelis. And they all know how to behave in order not to have people calling for their heads back home.

In a world of globalization, when someone is not a traitor, don’t make them one just because you feel like it, especially when real-life traitors are getting free out-of-jail cards because of their connection.

A few days from now, when the Miss Universe pageant is in full swing, Miss Lebanon will most certainly find herself in the same frame as Miss Israel. Are we going to panic then?

And you know what, our very own Sally Jreij is so much prettier than Miss Israel. So let our enemy of the south take that!

What Would Miss Lebanon Rina Chibany Do If The World Ended Tomorrow?

Miss Lebanon Rina Chibani Miss Universe 2012

Well, she’s not that ambitious. It seems our Miss Lebanon Rina Chibany enjoys the simple things in life. And they’re way too simple if you ask me. But hey, at least this is not as disastrous as the previous ones we got. Who could forget Rahaf Abdallah?

However, it seems her chances at Miss Universe are decent. She may not win but she is definitely turning heads. She’s been getting a lot of votes (you can vote here) and critics seem to love her. I really hope she accomplishes something at that pageant – the country needs something like this to keep it busy.

Vote for Miss Lebanon Rina Chibany for Miss Universe

Help Miss Lebanon Rina Chibany secure a spot in the semi-finals of the Miss Universe pageant by voting for her. Just click (here) and input your name and email and click vote. It’s that easy.

Now I know this is silly compared to what’s happening in the world right now and whatnot. But we need some fun sometimes. You can vote multiple times.

And for the activists among you who need to turn this into a cause… you’ll be voting against the Israeli contestant! See? Isn’t that fun?

Now please don’t share this with BDS people who’ll end up asking Chibany to boycott the pageant.

Vote everyone 😀

Miss Lebanon 2012 is Rina Chibany – 1st Runner Up Is Her Twin Sister

I’m sure we can somehow twist this into a Guinness record. If not, then let’s get triplets next year.

Miss Lebanon (Rina) and the 1st runner up (Romy) are twin sisters. While I haven’t watched the show in its entirety and cannot judge content (i.e. how they answered those nonsense questions), I can judge based on appearances. And let me tell you, that Rina Chibany is more than a good choice as far as looks go.

Not sure which one is which but you get the drift

I had made some assumptions about how the pageant would turn out (click here). I’m not sure how correct they are but according to what I’ve read, the pageant was not drama free.

One of the girls, Marianne Bechara, withdrew halfway through the competition due to rumors that she had bought her way to the title. Apparently her father dragged her out of there.

Observations:

  • Ziad Baroud was a member of the jury. I guess that will be one of the highlights he will use in a few months to sell his MP candidacy.
  • Maxime Chaaya climbed Mount Everest. And should therefore be present everywhere.
  • Wael Kfoury’s songs have become overly redundant and depressing.
  • The contestants were better than previous years.
  • The presenter was very, very pregnant. Nothing against pregnant women but couldn’t they find someone who wasn’t ready to deliver?
  • #MissLebanon trended worldwide on Twitter. But I’m actually more excited about the trend just below it. TVD in 12 days. Hell yeah – sorry Rina for having Nina Dobrev steal a second of your moment.

  • The pageant organizers were very active on Twitter, tweeting the scores and details of the contestants.
  • A Facebook page for the winner surfaced moments after the results, continuing with the social media trend.
  • Nancy Ajram and Dominique Hourani Ragheb Alemeh’s wife were also part of the jury.

I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist seeing as many people seem to believe that the winner, Rina, deserves to win. But it feels to me as if the whole “twin” thing was a marketing ploy to get in people to talk. And we obviously are. They probably didn’t tell the jury they wanted the twins to win but by repeating over and over again (more than once in the thirty minutes or so that I saw) that those contestants were twin sister, the jury members were primed into choosing them over others.

The novelty of it is just too tempting.

Either way, here are some pictures of the current Miss Lebanon – not sure about the rest of the points, but I was right about the bikini 😉

What To Expect Tonight on Miss Lebanon

I found out a few minutes ago that the Miss Lebanon pageant is taking place tonight, in less than an hour actually. I remember watching it last summer and having more fun reading all the tweets that made fun of the pageant.

So here’s what we can expect from Miss Lebanon this year:

  • No bikinis.

Because the Arabs might be watching and God forbid they see the skin on the torsos of the Lebanese women. Some über conservative Lebanese might be appalled too. The sacrilege, I tell you!

  • Plastic. 

The noses, the boobs, the cheeks… even the hair. The girls that were chosen will, similarly to every year, have absolutely nothing to do with how Lebanese girls actually look like on the streets. Of course, their answer to questions regarding plastic surgery will be: “Of course I’m against! Beauty is on the inside.” Aww? No.

  • 9.9999!

The jury will be literally paraded all evening. This certain current nobody was a previous somebody who has nothing to do with judging a beauty pageant. That person who shares my last name will also be there because the ministry of tourism needs to be represented. And the stratosphere grades will start rolling by. All of the girls are top class super models.

  • Peace & social media.

Be sure that all of the questions the girls will be asked will revolve around these two themes. How would you use social media to promote peace? How would peace benefit Lebanon’s tourism? How would you use social media to promote the peaceful Lebanese tourism? Every combination that you can come up with regarding these two themes will be asked. Of course, the answers will vary from the “Uhh – brain freeze – uhh, mom!” to the 23 minute debate about the importance of vitamins in meals. Irrelevant? You bet. Also don’t forget the importance of world peace wel mou7afaza 3al arze.

  • The winner. 

The winner will be so obvious from the get-go that you wouldn’t even bother being emotionally invested in any of the participants. Not that you should – unless you’re her mother of course. She will get the most applause. She will get the most points even though you are more than sure she doesn’t deserve them. You will ask around and eventually find out that her father or mother or great great cousin two degrees removed was some hotshot person in society. And it will make sense.

  • The feminists.

You should never forget these. They will be on the prowl the moment the jingle starts. They will bring down the girls for promoting the materialistic image to women (while they nibble on popcorn, criticizing the makeup of this and the dress of that). They will inundate you with sermons about the need to have women get past this rudimentary male-enforced view. Bla bla bla.

  • The lip-synching.

The pageant will have a top notch musical guest who will not sing one note. Don’t even bother wondering if whoever they’re bringing is actually singing or not. They’re not. They won’t even bother doing a good job at it. As they say, temmo/a bi meil wel ghanniyeh bi meil. 

  • The jingle.

They remix it every year and it has been around since 2003. “Kell shi ma32oul ysir 3enna l layli” – not quite. But the contestants will dance to it as if their life depended on it.

Have fun watching 😛

 

Jessica Kahawaty: A Lebanese Wins Miss Australia 2012

This is not the first time this happens and the resemblance between both girls’ cases is interesting.

Jessica Kahawaty has been crowned Miss Australia 2012, the second Lebanese after Nicole Ghazal. Both of them had participated in Miss Lebanon before attempting their luck at Miss Australia and both of them were deemed good enough to be runner ups only.

I guess this speaks more about the insurmountable amount of “wasta” present in the Miss Lebanon competition, regardless of what they try to portray, and where the best candidate doesn’t always win, let alone letting proper girls participate in the first place.

But hey, world peace is super important!

Jessica was a candidate at the 2012 Miss Lebanon pageant which saw Rahaf Abdallah win: