On Jan. 14, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles crowned Lauren Zhou Weinberger as the 2012 Miss Los Angeles Chinatown Queen. In the pageant’s 47-year history, Weinberger is the first queen with half-Chinese and half-European ancestry.
Sixty years ago this week, many residents of Los Angeles became aware of the Nazi Holocaust for the first time, thanks to a dramatic pageant staged at the Hollywood Bowl by an alliance of Jewish activists and Hollywood celebrities.
Miss Lebanon is boycotting this year's Miss Universe pageant, saying she will not participate alongside Miss Israel. Yamit Har-Noy, a 20-year-old member of the Israel Defense Force, called Christina Sawaya's decision "very distressing." "It is only a beauty pageant," Miss Israel said of the competition, which took place May 29 in Puerto Rico. "It has nothing to do with politics."
The Purim beauty pageant of 1956 is long forgotten in the shtetl that was Queens Village, N.Y. But for me it is the stuff of personal destiny.