Beauty Pageant for Local Men
Published: April 24, 2013 (Issue # 1756)
The contestants at the Mr. St. Petersburg pageant vie for a chance to move on to the national round of the competition.
One of the city’s more unusual pageants is set to take place on Monday, when local men will take to the stage at Chaplin Hall in a bid to win the title of Mr. St. Petersburg. A regional qualifying round of the wider Mr. Russia competition, Mr. St. Petersburg aims to discover “active, educated, motivated, spiritually evolved, beautiful personalities; men who are focused on seeking success in their lives, studies and professional careers,” according to pageant organizers.
“The main difference in the competition from similar contests for women is that women are evaluated more on their appearance,” explained Yulia Ionina, Mrs. St. Petersburg 2012 and the organizer of the project. “On the contrary, men’s beauty is a combination of [an attractive] exterior with intelligence and confident behavior. To win, the man must have charisma.”
Competitions judging female beauty, poise and talent are a common sight, from local pageants to televised Miss World and Miss Universe contests that attract millions of viewers each year. Contests of male beauty, however, are a rare phenomenon — at least in St. Petersburg.
Any Russian man between the ages of 18 and 33 is eligible to participate in the competition. Applications for this year’s pageant were accepted through the modeling agencies that are partnered with the pageant and through the contest’s Vkontakte page. Allowing aspiring amateurs as well as professional models to take part is one of the aims of the contest.
“One of the most important criteria for winning is actually the creative turn, which each of the participants prepares in advance. This is often the part that can have the greatest impact on the jury’s decision,” said Ionina speaking to The St. Petersburg Times.
Casting took place April 13 and 14, with 15 of the most impressive hopefuls being chosen to participate in the final competition. The organizers say that athletes, singers, dancers and choreographers, stylists and businessmen as well as professional models are among the finalists.
Three events will make up the final show, which will take place on April 29 at Chaplin Hall. Starting with a presentation of the participants’ life stories and their plans for the future, the event will continue with the talent portion of the competition and end with a fashion show. The event is open to the public.
The jury will be composed of representatives of the city’s sport, beauty and business leaders and will include Ionina, fashion designer Tatyana Gordyenko and actress and TV presenter Natalya Dvoretskaya.
The winner of Mr. St. Petersburg will move on to the national round of the contest, which will take place from May 14 to 18 in Kursk. The lucky winner will then be given the chance to compete in the worldwide competition, Mister Universe Model 2013, which has been held annually in the Dominican Republic since 2008. It is the world’s fourth largest pageant for men.