Widely regarded as the most infamous pageant in the virtual world, the Miss Virtual World competition is the paramount of a model’s career. The winners’ year long reign is highlighted by designer exclusives, fundraisers and community works in their names. And not only does the ultimate winner share the spoils of the pageant but so too the runner-ups and other country title holding finalists.
But what happens after their reign is over and the torch is passed on to the next lucky Miss? To some, the succession of winning a title in the pageant is likened to winning the game. With their ultimate goals met, what else is there to strive for? How can the winner really compete in other events when their hard earned title automatically holds them to a higher standard?
For some, life and its daily routines are the same as before. The title does not affect their relationships with friends, designers and agencies and the perks/awards that came with the contest bring a plus to their portfolio. For them, the success of winning a title is more of a badge of honor than a life changing event which helps them continue their path as modeling with no interruptions and distractions.
For others, there is no choice but to meet the end of their previous activities as invites for the roles as teachers, judges and designers overwhelm their time and energy to model as they used to. And more so than not, the need for a break is a welcomed one. After all, the challenge and stress of being a Miss is enough to last a lifetime, whether you placed amongst any of the top lists or not.
“I see many, many models that are like falling stars. They marvelously capture our attention for a little and then disappear.” – Astralia Miliandrovic MVW DENMARK 2014
After interviewing a handful of past winners and title holders alike, the majority have expressed a common desire to do it all again, if they were given the chance. And why? The answer was pure, simple fun… “It is a whole different thing to enjoy these challenges.” The increasing difficulty to earn top scores also gave contestants more experience and knowledge that is rarely seen in a typical contest, “It pushes you to the extreme. It improves your modeling and styling skills. It teach you how to learn and better manage your frustrations as well how to overcome them.”
The chance to represent a country that was not your own native land was also an inspiring factor for many. As one contestant had explained, “On the Canadian side, I fell in love with the country and their couture and it is on my plans to make a trip to Canada to actually see all that I found out about it when I was doing my research for the MVW Challenges.” While most contestants may never be able to see the country they represented so dearly, the feeling of pride and kinship still remains. One does not need to speak the language to love the cultures and history that built their assigned country.
“Fashions, new Academy, new Agency and news projects. Want jump on them?” – Locuala Madruga MVW INDIA 2014
To remain active in the modeling community, a few contestants have turned to more of a supportive role after their reign. As Dream Love had noted, “At the moment, I am totally involved with this old project I have always had and that I finally was able to get started now in this amazing group called The QueenS. This group/project is absolutely the center of my attention at the moment.”
From clothing, poses, accessories and almost anything in between, and small handful of past Misses turned designers who have made strides to give back to the community with their unique creations include: Eva Kelini, Shanty Bookmite, Astralia, Bodza Blackadder, Kim Rongyu, Hermione Mocha, Betty Draesia and Beatrice Serendipity. Perhaps the experience and insight gained from participating in the MVW pageant help steer them towards their designer sides? Few would tell.
Other contestants remained well ingrained in the modeling community as regular models from runway to print and even participate in other pageants and contests. Those interviewed all have stated that while there were a few initial gains in blogging for high profiled designers though there were no noticeable differences in how they were treated for castings. According to one Miss, “I would not say I was treated differently at all. I have always had amazing support from not only friends but also the people that are somehow related to what I do in SL.”
“Modeling to me is a lot more than just looking pretty and walking the runway and it will always be in my veins.” – Dream Love MVW CANADA 2014
During the time spent on inquiring and getting to know this small group of ladies, it is very noticeable that there is a strong bond held between all of the past title holders. It is a sisterhood of winners, even if one did not make it to the top. The trials they went through, the tears, frustrations and unavoidable drama created a friendship so strong that even life after the crown cannot break.