Miss World Americas 2014 and the newly appointed director of America’s Miss World, Elizabeth Safrit shares some exciting news with LadyCode. We are so excited to share Elizabeth’s story because LadyCode is all about women empowerment, and Elizabeth, along with her mother, Lynne Safrit, have made it their goal to do just that with this year’s America’s Miss World pageant. The pageant will be held in Orlando, Florida August 8-13, 2017. To learn more about becoming a national finalist at America’s Miss World 2017, visit: http://www.americasworld.org.
LadyCode: Elizabeth, thank you so much for taking the time to share your exciting news with us. What brought you into the world of pageantry?
Elizabeth: I fell into pageantry by accident. A family friend asked me to compete in a pageant because he needed one more girl in order to hold the pageant. I was 19 at the time and I fell in love with it because it encouraged me to stay focused on my health, current events, and philanthropy.
LC: Here at LadyCode we are so excited to find that this is an all female-led organization, and I’m sure that being a former contestant and international finalist will help you plan an amazing experience for your national finalists this year! What are some important things you learned as a contestant that influenced the format of the new America’s Miss World?
ES: It certainly helps to have gone through the process myself! What I love about Miss World is that every activity, every day is part of the competition. You always have judges around, whether you know it or not. We want someone who is Miss World all the time, not just onstage. I love that about Miss World and the women who compete with our organization really enjoy it as well because it helps them to know that the best woman truly prevails.
Our pageant this year is much more like the international competition than ever before. The only true difference is with the addition of activewear, in which we give the opportunity to the finalists to showcase their dedication to a healthy lifestyle onstage. The Miss World sports competition is usually not open to the public, but we really wanted the United States audience to learn more about that competition. We want young girls and women to know that they don’t have to be a certain size to be considered beautiful and healthy, we just want them to strive to be confident and meet their own personal goals of fitness.
LC: With the change in directorship, what is the new direction you are taking with America’s Miss World?
ES: We are incredibly thrilled to have the opportunity to create a fresh start for Miss World in the United States. When we were discussing the changes with the Miss World Organization, we found it imperative to have female leaders in an organization that strives to champion and empower women. Lynne was an executive for a national company for 30+ years and has vast expertise in economic development and philanthropy. I have the experience with the Miss World Organization, pageantry, and marketing. We hope our involvement proves how much we love this organization and believe in it. We want to move forward as an organization that offers new and exciting opportunities for women to showcase their talents on the largest international level.
LC: As a member of the pageant community, I know that Miss World has a massive fan base internationally. With this fresh start for America’s Miss World in the United States, how do you plan to promote the organization to build a fan base in the US?
ES: The first step is to work on getting our national pageant televised, which we are actively pursuing. Miss World is a breath of fresh air, as it continues to modernize to reflect the women of our generation. We want to give the fans a new kind of pageant to be excited about – Miss World isn’t just gown and swimsuit, there are so many different factors that can determine the outcome. The more people realize the calibre of women who have started at Miss World- Lynda Carter, Halle Berry, Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai- the stronger our fan base becomes. Miss World has produced more Hollywood royalty than any other pageant!
LC:The Miss World Organization heavily emphasizes the importance of philanthropy with its Beauty With a Purpose portion of the competition. How will you motivate your national finalists to use this platform to give back?
ES: Beauty with a Purpose is the core of the Miss World Organization. We’ve established an entire day dedicated to promoting Beauty with a Purpose during the national final. America’s Miss World partnered with Best Buddies to pair each finalist with a buddy for the day and the pairs will focus on activities to learn “Miss World values”- leadership, confidence, social media skill, and more. We’ve also created an incentive for the finalists to fundraise for Best Buddies. Best Buddies has created a website specifically for our finalists- the highest fundraiser will receive a spot in the finals. It all goes to a great cause and it’s a fun competition- Best Buddies will be actively updating the leaderboard with the top 5 or 10 fundraisers so we can see who is really pushing hard for the organization!
LC: As the oldest running international beauty pageant, Miss World has consistently evolved throughout the years to represent the woman and her place in society. How are you tailoring this competition to reflect the role of today’s woman?
ES: Like Miss World, we do not have a swimsuit competition. However, health and fitness is a key part of our competition, as it is for women everywhere. We’ve included an onstage fitness-wear portion of competition in addition to the fitness competition (gym exercises). It’s a fun way to let the contestants showcase their hard work in the gym and dedication to a healthy lifestyle. We’ve partnered with Sthenos Activewear (https://sthenos.com), which is an LA-based brand made in the United States, for the onstage fitness competition. Every contestant will model pieces of their choosing from the Sthenos line.
Miss World highlights the value of women beyond external beauty. We interview our finalists in different interview settings, encourage them to make a difference with their Beauty with a Purpose projects, promote a healthy lifestyle, and embrace their unique qualities that make them so amazing.
LC: What can the winner of America’s Miss World 2017 expect to experience during her reign?
ES: With Miss World being held earlier this year, Miss World America can expect to hit the ground running with preparation for the international competition. She will immediately go to Chicago for wardrobe design with Mac Duggal, begin her appearance schedule, and start filming her videos for Miss World. She’ll have a group of incredibly talented people to guide her and she will go to Miss World with every intention of coming back to the United States as the new Miss World.
LC: As a former finalist, do you have any advice for the women competing this year?
ES: I would encourage the finalists to let their beauty shine from within. They should be kind and compassionate, yet confident in who they are. We are looking for an ambassador for our organization…and our country.
Tickets are available now on https://www.universe.com/events/miss-world-america-and-miss-teen-world-america-pageant-tickets-1M8VXG. We hope to see you there!