updated 4 Mar 2009, 05:36
    Powered by
user id password
Wed, Jan 28, 2009
The New Paper
EmailPrintDecrease text sizeIncrease text size
Miss America or Miss Six-pack?

MISS Jackie Geist is the Californian representative in this year's Miss America's pageant.

The 22-year-old loves going to Disneyland, listening to Keith Urban's music and lists cheesecake as among her favourite food.

Cheesecake? Really?

You'll forgive the scepticism once you've checked out Miss Geist's impeccably toned physique - complete with six-pack.

Where did all the cheesecake go?

The business student with a talent for ballet has clearly been spending every waking moment since she decided to enter the competition working on her body.

And looking at the equally sculpted figures of her rivals, she's not alone.

Miss Delaware, Miss New York, Miss Mississippi, Miss North Carolina, Miss Michigan, Miss Minnesota, Miss Oregon - they are just a handful of the beautiful queens strutting their muscles on the Miss America stage this year.

The finals took place in Las Vegas last night but the results were not in at press time.

Amazonian bodies

But this year's pageant is set to be one of the fiercest fought in history, contested almost exclusively by Amazonian gym buddies, reported The Daily Mail.

The swimsuit segment of the show in the heats at the Planet Hollywood resort in Las Vegas confirmed that a new breed of female contestants are vying for glory in the nation's most prestigious beauty pageant.

This is a far cry from the very natural-looking girls-next-door who have competed down the 80 years of the competition's history.

Indeed, Miss Barbara Jo Walker, who won the crown for Tennessee in 1947, was the very epitome of the average-looking American.

Even Ugly Betty star Vanessa Williams looked fleshy when she took the crown back in 1984.

As well as their sports bodies, contestants were expected to have other talents - they sang, danced, performed gymnastics, played the piano and violin with varying degrees of success.

Last night's winner walked away with a US$50,000 scholarship along with a year of travel and public appearances.

The mania over muscles seems to confirm a growing trend in fitness, where bodybuilding meets beauty pageant.

Even pageant websites are filled with advice on how to get pectorals in time for a pageant.

Take 28-year-old teacher Rachel Ibbison, who recently took part in a bikini fitness pageant in the US.

She first bounded onto the stage, contorting her sculpted body into different positions, showing off her perfected physique from every angle.

Then she used her upper body strength to lift herself off the ground, legs flung in the air, never once breaking the peppy smile that matches her bright white sneaks.

Following her to the stage was a line-up of stunningly fit beauties who do their fitness routines in clever costumes - a pirate, a nerd, even an American Idol.

Miss Ibbison was inspired to compete after going to a fitness show with her husband, reported Connecticut Public Radio WNPR.

She had been training for almost a year, more intensely in the past three months preparing for this competition. In that time, her body had been transformed.

'It's kind of strange looking in the mirror,' said Miss Ibbison. 'I don't feel like it's me.'

'I have to pack my food everywhere I go, I can't drink. It's a lot different. I lost some friends. Some friends don't understand, don't want to be around you and feel guilty.'

Every Sunday, she drives to Massachusetts to train with a group of girls, all trained by fitness guru Cathy Savage.

Miss Savage runs one of the only training programs for fitness competitors.

She's done this for more than 15 years and says there are close to a thousand women now competing in the country, including executives, teachers, nurses and lawyers.

Miss Savage said fitness athletes in pageants are about power, and using food as fuel.

She can whip a woman into shape in two to six months, using an all-natural method.

A strict nutrition plan is paired with 30 to 40 minutes of cardio, along with stretching and free weights, four to five days a week.

She often helps women craft their routines and choose costumes in preparation for competition.

This article was first published in The New Paper on Jan 25, 2009.

readers' comments
Wow... so cool... How to train like her to have slim, tone and well-shape figure for asian as well?

Apparently, the more the asian gal tone with weight and regular gym, either we get more flabby areas or muscles shape. Once you stop for a period, the nice tone shape become flabby fresh.
Posted by mlzoeblue on Wed, 28 Jan 2009 at 15:22 PM

Copyright © 2009 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.