The Slovenia Times

Mirror, mirror, on the wall...



We often hear that Slovenians are shy and reserved, however, judging by the number of beauty contests that take place here, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was a misconception. Publicly presenting one's physical attributes is no longer taboo and you can now catch sight of people strutting their stuff in contests as diverse as Miss Bikini to the superbly named Beauty of the Slovenian Farms aka Miss Pleasant Peasant. In April, we were introduced to Dalila Dragojevic, who was selected as our representative for the 2005 Miss Universe pageant held in Bangkok, Thailand. Apparently Asia was a magnet for fair maidens last year, as the most prestigious beauty contest, the Miss World pageant, was held in the Chinese city of Sanya in December. While sharing the same name as the host city may have earned her a few brownie points with the judges in the end it wasn't nearly enough to get Miss Slovenia, Sanja Grohar, past the preliminary rounds. However, she can take heart from knowing that she probably could not have found a better launching pad for her singing career; and who knows, we've already seen that former beauty queens with a bit of daring-do and a sense of adventure can make a success of it outside of the world of glamour. Speaking of daring-do and adventure, you certainly need to be enterprising to survive in the business world and in that regard the best of the best last year was Ales Strancar from BIA Separations, who became the 2005 Businessman of the Year. If you've discovered that your neighbour has shed that girl-next-door look and developed into something previously unimaginable, maybe you could urge her to enter next year's Beautiful Neighbour contest. Last year's lucky neighbours lived next door to 20-year-old Neza Marolt. And what good is a 90-60-90 figure really? Well don't bother asking the organisers of the Beauty of the Slovenian Farms, one of the newer and earthier beauty pageants on the circuit. They want to show the public how wonderful things are in the countryside by emphasising the importance of rural values and by breaking down the stereotype of farm girls. Being natural and wholesome is far more important than having the previously mentioned figure they say. Last year's Miss Pleasant Peasant was Mateja Sesel, who is, at least officially, less fatal than Ziva Vadnov, the former Miss Slovenia (2004), who was crowned Miss Femme Fatale 2005 by the readers of Eva magazine. Seductively attractive? Who knows? Perhaps the judging should be left to the men as they did a reasonable job when they selected TV personality, Anja Tomazin, as the sexiest female in Slovenia. While female beauty contests were numerically superior, the men were by no means overlooked. The viewers of one TV programme decided that the former president of Slovenia, Milan Kucan, was "the most likeable" man in the country. However, representatives of the press felt differently and bestowed that honour upon one of our most successful sportsmen, Vasilij Zbogar. Would he be as efficient on the land as he is on the sea? Maybe Uros Rozman, Mr Slovenian Countryside, could give him some useful tips. Uros is especially fond of working in his vineyard and since Slovenia is a land with a strong wine-making tradition, one of the best ways to promote these wines and the beauty of the vineyards is to choose a Wine Queen. In 2005, the sovereign of Slovenia's wines was 19-year-old Maja Cigoj. The Miss Sports 2005 title was awarded to Karmen Hribar, good looks, however, were of secondary importance when it came to choosing the year's best sportsman- although grace and elegance were key elements of his success - world champion gymnast, Mitja Petkovsek, had a superb year and it was crowned when he was presented with the Sportsman of the Year award. According to some, especially those who work in the fashion industry, "clothes maketh the man" and fashion magazines weren't about to get left behind when it came to nominating their preferences for the nattiest Slovenians. The most stylish female personality of 2005 was designer Lara Bohinc, while Franci Planinsek took out the men's category, Laibach the most stylish musicians and Violeta Tomic and Zoran Garevski were declared the most stylish television personalities. While most of these contests add little to the quality of life, they do serve to prove that the line between being splendid and bizarre gets thinner every year, that beauty is very definitely in the eye of the beholder and that Slovenes no longer lurk in the shadows.


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