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Miss Universe Pageant Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Miss Universe Pageant

This is an interview with Guest Judge Vivica Fox on September 8, 2011 about the Miss Universe Pageant. The pageant airs on September 12, live from Sao Paulo, Brazil beginning at 9 pm Eastern Time on NBC.

Question:
What are you doing to prepare, because it's a big beauty night for you too. What are you doing diet-wise, skin, hair, and dress-wise, how's it going for you?

Vivica Fox:
I must tell you that you know you're right, I am preparing even as judge. I'm not one of the participants, but as a judge you want to make sure that you show up pageant-ready. I worked with stylists and I've got a beautiful gown that I'm going to wear and I've dieting here in Jamaica participating in Fashion Night Out, and I've been letting everybody know that when I leave Jamaica that I'm headed to Brazil and how excited I am because it's my first time coming to Brazil, and also being a judge for the Miss Universe Pageant. So, I'm up in the Jam working on my fitness, drinking my water, and I've got my hair and makeup beauty squad with me so that I show up camera-ready.

Question:
Do you have any advice for regular women if they have a big event to go?

Vivica Fox:
The first thing that I always say to women, whether or not you're going to a big event, a party, getting ready for a wedding is to always make sure that you don't force fashion. Just because something's trendy or the in-thing, if it's not fitting your silhouette, your body's silhouette, your frame, or what the look that you're going for don't force it. Be honest with yourself, make sure that it's something that you're comfortable in and that looks good on you.

Question:
You have the most gorgeous skin, do you have any tips for that?

Vivica Fox:
Oh, yes. Once a month I do microdermabrasion facials. You know, especially for a woman, I'm over 40, I make sure because I love to be in the sun, I work out, I sweat and things like, so once a month I always get a microdermabrasion facial and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate ladies. Drink plenty of water. It's good for flushing and for just keeping you just looking refreshed.

Question:
Have you ever had a beauty pageant experience of your own, and if you have what happened?

Vivica Fox:
No. the closest to a beauty pageant that I've ever got is I've modeled before. I've participated in tons of modeling shows over the years and the one thing that I always suggest, whether you're modeling, or a pageant because they're very familiar is that whatever happens the show must go on. If you slip or if something falls over, keep putting your best face forward and the show must go on.

Question:
Did you ever have a wardrobe malfunction or anything like that happen to you when you were out there?

Vivica Fox:
I didn't have a nip slip or anything like that, but there was one time that they didn't tuck my tags and that was a little embarrassing that the tags were showing, but I was a young model at the time. And I love the commentators say, ???Well, that's all right, we know that she's modeling fashions from one of the local stores,??? but I kept strutting like nothing was going on.

Question:
We're so excited about your upcoming wedding, In what ways it'll be special?

Vivica Fox:
The only thing I can tell you guys, because we're trying to keep it a little bit private, is that it will be around the holidays and it will definitely be special; got to put that Hollywood touch in there.

Question:
What will you do?

Vivica Fox:
My wedding will be very romantic and intimate. I'm not looking to do something that's over the top and a spectacle.

Question:
How did you know your fiance was the one?

Vivica Fox:
I guess the main reason why I would know if my fiance was the one was because we're friends, and that I took the time to get to know him. I didn't rush into something feeling the pressure as a single woman needing to be married or validated kind of relationship.

Question:
Could you talk about how you got connected as a judge with the Miss Universe Pageant?

Vivica Fox:
They reached out to my manager, Lita Richardson and this isn't the first time that they've reached out to me to ask me would I participate, but this time my schedule was free. And it worked out perfectly because like I said, I'm here in Jamaica when I finish my responsibilities here, because I'm promoting my hair line and participating in Fashion Night Out, which is something that's celebrated internationally and one of the times it's been brought to the Caribbean that it worked out perfectly for me to go from Jamaica to Brazil. And so, it's going to be a whole week of beauty and fashion for me, which is wonderful.

But anyway, they reached out to my manager, Lita Richardson, and asked for my participation. And then also, the fact that they say, ???Well, we're going to be in Brazil this year,??? and I've never been to Brazil. I mean, you always hear the most sexy and romantic and beautiful things about Brazil. So, I have to be honest with you and know that was definitely a draw that they were going to be in S??o Paulo, Brazil that I said, ???Absolutely. Sign me up. It sounds so fabulous.???

Question:
Sometimes at these pageants things happen that can be unpredictable or embarrassing. In your time in the entertainment industry, whether it was on an audition, a photo shoot, or on the set, is there anything that happened to you that was an embarrassing or something you kind of wish you could kind of take back in retrospect?

Vivica Fox:
This is the thing that I can say life is about living and learning. None of us are perfect. I can't particularly pick out one exact moment, but sure I've looked at a photo shoot and went, ???Oh, I should have had on a different pair of shoes,??? or, ???Oh, I should have answered it this way.??? My advice to give to these young ladies who are going to be exposed in front of billions of people is to put your best foot forward, and when I say put your best foot forward that means that do you. Do what's best that can represent yourself, your country, and from that point hopefully it will take you to the Finals and perhaps to the Crown. You can always live and you can learn. Don't beat yourself up, none of us are perfect.

Question:
Is there any portion of the pageant that you're most looking forward to watching?

Vivica Fox:
Sure, the gowns. I love gowns. You know, being an actress we have a lot of red carpet events. To just see the pageantry that when it comes to the gowns, the colors, the fits, we have 89 different countries that these ladies are representing, so the fashions that are going to come from around the world are going to be wonderful to look at.

Question:
Sometimes ahead of these pageants there's bad publicity around a contestant, like the reports about Miss Colombia this year, what is your advice to those contestants and how can they overcome what people already know about them?

Vivica Fox:
The first thing I would say is to breathe. You know, to not put so much pressure on yourself that you freeze up, and to just be yourself, be likeable. I think that sometimes you can tell when someone has an answer that's already pre-programmed. I don't know about you, but you know personally I don't like to see a stiff Barbie doll. I like to see a beautiful woman that can be relatable, that's down to earth because you have to realize that Miss Universe, she's going to be representing and dealing with something that is affecting the world worldwide with HIV, AIDS, and awareness.

And so, in that she's going to have to embrace some situations that are probably going to be a little uncomfortable for someone who's used to being perfect, who's used to always being beautiful that she's going to see people that are suffering. So, for her to be likeable, to be approachable, and to be down to earth and relatable is something that is going to endure her to me, besides her outer beauty.

Question:
What else are you going to be looking for in the contestants?

Vivica Fox:
A sense of humor. If she can make me smile, because she's isn't only beautiful on the outside and the moment that she opened up the envelope, if she's not beautiful on the inside and cares. She is representing the universe, so she really has to have the qualities that a lot of people can relate to all around the world.

Question:
Why do you think pageants continue to be such a huge pop culture icon?

Vivica Fox:
For me I think they've made a little bit of a comeback. There was for a while that it had the statement of plastic that no one cared about. We must give props to the organizers of the event that they want the girl to be more than just skin deep. And when I say that, they're asking for the women to be intelligent, to be charitable, to give back to the community, so they're a little bit more involved in the community instead of just showing up with the Crown on and not being relatable. You know, there are services that they have to provide to the community for the entire year and I think that that's made them a little bit more down to earth, more relatable, and it's helped to bring back their comeback.

Question:
Have you already selected a question in particular that you're hoping the contestants will be able to answer?

Vivica Fox:
No, I'm still kind of thinking about it. I want it to be something in a way that happens organically with me after I come down to the final choices that it's something that organically happens. If I'm prepared already then I'm going to be looking at that too early. I want to look at them and just figure it's something that I want to ask them that comes from their heart or something that I need for them intelligently to move me.

Question:
How are the press treating you for Fashion Night Out?

Vivica Fox:
So far, so good. This morning I did CVM at Sunrise and that was really fun. I mean, I'm here promoting my hair line as well as fashion and makeup. It's a different way to start off the day. I was telling some of the other reporters that this is going to be a week of beauty. The fact that I shot here in Jamaica celebrating beauty and fashion and makeup and I get to promote my hair line and introduce my hair line to the island girls, and then after I leave here I'm going to judge some of the most beautiful women in the world at the Miss Universe contest, what a week I'm having.

Question:
Do you think that Yendi Phillips, Miss Jamaica World for 2010 was robbed of her Crown last year?

Vivica Fox:
I'm so blown away because she didn't tell me that, because when I told her that I was going to Miss Universe she just told me that she had been involved. Wow, that's awesome. You know, what that's great because you know why I like her so much, because she had a sense of humor and she was so well versed and likeable, so that is awesome that she was from Jamaica. That's great. That's great. That's cool. See, she didn't even shove that down your throat.

Question:
How do you judge beauty?

Vivica Fox:
I love that they're giving me to o change a woman's world. I mean to open the doors to her destiny, you know? This night is going to change her life forever. That she's going to get this title. For me, it takes a lot more than just skin deep. I mean, of course there are certain representations that Miss Universe has to qualify in as far as beauty, charm, and poise. But like I said a little bit earlier, I'm looking for someone that makes me smile, so one when I look at her and says, ???You know what, I want you to be a representation for the universe, that you can go into the hospitals, that you can go into the churches, that you can go into the schools, that you can go and meet Presidents, and everything and everyone when they walk away from meeting you will smile just as much as you made me smile that night that I chose to put that Crown on your head.???

Question:
Do you think that the pageants have gotten away from objectifying women?

Vivica Fox:
No, not at all. No, because I'm going to tell you something, a lot of the pageants, what I've been pleasantly surprised at, is that they make sure that these women understand that, yeah, you have to be attractive and that's part of it, but you're going to have community service. I was so pleased when I got the notes that they do a lot with HIV, AIDS, and then a lot of other charities that a lot of their work that they do they raise necessary funds and bring awareness to charities. That's beautiful. You would think that, ???Oh, she's only going to go to award shows. She's only going to show up and be pretty in this.??? No, she's going to get out there and she's going to work, so this is a job. It isn't just the crown. It is a job and a responsibility that she's representing the universe.

Question:
You've got a big year. I was looking at your schedule; you've got a ton of movies you've got coming out?

Vivica Fox:
I've been very blessed. It's definitely been a year of blessings, but it was because I took the time to step back and take charge of my career that I'm now even doing projects that I want to do, as far as my hair line is doing fantastic. I did the episode of the Protector with Tisha Martin-Campbell. I did an episode of Femme Fatale, and before that I was on the road with a play for 14 months that I produced, as well as started.

So, I'm taking my career to the next chapter by choice, and I've worked on branding and working smarter, not harder. I can't keep playing the same roles over and over and doing the same things over and over. I'm evolving as a woman, and so I've been very blessed that I've been able to do that.

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