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President of Miss Universe organization recalls a friendship between former Miss Lebanon and Miss Israel contestants

By New You Editorial
Posted On Jan 22, 2015

Says, “they became best friends” in new interview

Amid the Miss Universe controversy centered on a selfie picturing Miss Lebanon next to Miss Israel, a new interview with president of Miss Universe Paula Shugart conducted by NEW YOU magazine in early December for is upcoming issue reveals a tale of a friendship between the countries’ contestants from a previous year.

When asked about some of the most interesting friendships she has observed, Paula tells NEW YOU: “One year, we couldn’t have Miss Israel and Miss Lebanon take photos together because the countries were at war and they had never met anyone else from the other country. They became best friends. One of them had a personal tragedy happen during the pageant, and the only person she sought solace and comfort from was her best friend who was from the other country. No one knew this, and to me this says a lot. These women are putting themselves out there, and even if they don’t win they become better people.”

For many of the competitors of Miss Universe, the greatest by-products of the pageant are the chance to form lasting friendships and to garner support for humane causes.

NEW YOU went behind the curtain at the offices of the Miss Universe Organization, for its upcoming issue – on newsstands February 10th – where president Paula Shugart went in depth about the Miss Universe Pageant – explaining that it’s an extraordinary platform to further contestant’s charitable goals and careers as well as personal growth: “You would think being a Miss Universe or Miss USA is the most narcissistic thing, but I’ve found that it’s the exact opposite. They spend their entire year giving back. People don’t see what really goes on. If there’s not an event, someone will be volunteering at God’s Love We Deliver that morning. By the time the title-holder is done with her year, she will have discovered so many more possibilities. It’s always so interesting to watch her personal growth. People joke about pageants—and I probably did in my day—but then I saw it happen. You cannot have people from all around the world, many who have never left their home country, get together and think it will all just work out. I make it an assignment for them all to make sure they know somebody from another country.”

For the full in-depth interview with Paula Shugart, look for NEW YOU magazine’s upcoming issue, available on newsstands February 10.