Beauty Queen's Gowns, Makeup Spiked

  1. The Associated Press
    By REBECCA BANUCHI Associated Press Writer
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Nov 26, 2007 (AP)

    Pepper spray failed to deter Ingrid Marie Rivera, who beat 29 rivals to become the island's 2008 Miss Universe contestant.

    Pageant organizers said they hope to catch and expose whoever was responsible for dousing Rivera's evening gowns with pepper spray and spiking her makeup, causing her to break out in hives.

    Police said Monday they have also opened an investigation into the attacks on the beauty queen.

    Rivera was composed while appearing before cameras and judges throughout the competition. But once backstage, she had to strip off her clothes and apply ice bags to her face and body, which swelled and broke out in hives twice.

    "We thought at first it was an allergic reaction, or maybe nerves," said pageant spokesman Harold Rosario. "But the second time, we knew it couldn't have been a coincidence."

    Rivera's clothing and makeup later tested positive for pepper spray.

    Someone also stole Rivera's bag containing her gowns, makeup and credit cards. And a bomb threat forced pageant officials to postpone the last day of competition on Thursday, said Magali Febles, director of the Miss Puerto Rico Universe pageant.
    Authorities said they searched with dogs and didn't find any explosives.

    A tearful Rivera recounted her ordeal at a news conference Sunday, acknowledging she had wavered about staying in the contest.

    "At one point I said, `Am I a masochist?'" she recalled, her voice breaking. "But I said, `I am with God and this is my goal, regardless of the results.'"

    Beauty competitions in the U.S. Caribbean territory which boasts five Miss Universe titles, second only to the U.S. are fierce, drawing boisterous audiences and accusations of rigged results.

    But the pranks under investigation this year are a first, Rosario said.

    Rivera, who won Miss World Caribbean in 2005, had been a target of controversy from the start of competition, as rivals complained she was too experienced and should be disqualified.

    Local media touted her as the likely winner, stoking jealousy among contestants, Rosario said.

    When Rivera won, rivals accused her of buying the crown, Puerto Rico's El Nuevo Dia newspaper reported.

  2. That's horrible that someone would do that to her! I'm glad she won despite it all. It shows how much strength, composure, and grace she has to put on a straight face despite having pepper spray all over her!
  3. girls can be so treacherous. Bitter *****es.
  4. ^^^^^:roflmfao::roflmfao::roflmfao:
    ITA, BITTER BIOTCHES!! Those are some harsh contestants!!
  5. I'm glad after all that, she won. She didn't have to resort to evil tricks to get the crown.

    Besides, she's really pretty!
  6. This would make a great lifetime movie, or documentary on the dangers of beauty pageants:p.

    Seriously though, this isn't unique to pageants-even in figure skating (excluding Tanya Harding), I've heard stories of hiding skates, dulling blades, and ruining outfits. Human nature at it's finest with pretty sequins.
  7. I loved how she pooped on all of them when she won the crown.
  8. I can't believe someone would go to those lengths to try to win! People are ridiculous!
  9. Beauty pageants really bring out the ugly in some people.
  10. OK,
    The plot thickens-and gets twisted. I read on that this girl may have made up/staged the whole thing. Truth really is stranger than fiction!!
  11. ^^^:nuts:
  12. Yup, I heard the same thing on the news. Makes one wonder.

  13. im not really surprised. I saw clips of the show, and she looked fine. but then again, their idea of looking horrible is probably our idea of looking fantastic
  14. Do Beauty Queens Lie to Win?

    Psychologists Say High Pressure Pageants May Push Contestants to Act Out

    Dec. 4, 2007

    Forget the sparkly tiaras and flowing couture gowns — pageant life isn't always as glamorous as it seems.
    Especially if you ask newly crowned Miss Puerto Rico Universe Ingrid Marie Rivera, who says her competitors at last month's beauty pageant tried to sabotage her by spraying her outfit and makeup with pepper spray, causing her to break out in hives.
    Rivera was reportedly the favored contestant in the island's pageant.
    "At one point, I said, 'am I a masochist?'" Rivera said in a tearful news conference, where she explained to reporters how she had considered dropping out of the competition. "But I said, 'I am with God and this is my goal, regardless of the results.'"

    But when the Puerto Rico Forensic Science Institute tested Rivera's belongings for traces of the chemical found in pepper spray, they came up empty-handed, according to Reuters, leading those who had been feeling sorry for the botched beauty queen to question whether Rivera had pulled the prank.
    "I guess she has a lot of explaining to do," police spokesman Stephen Alvarez told the news service.

    Beauty Pageant Pressure Cooker

    While Rivera has yet to comment on allegations that the pepper spray incident never happened — or, if it did, that it was self-inflicted — people close to the pageant don't seem surprised at the unfolding controversy.
    Fellow Puerto Rican pageant contestant Bianca Morales appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" and said that there was certainly tension between the beauty queens, likely due to jealousy.
    "We more or less know the girls who were very mad about [Rivera's ongoing success]," said Morales, who refused to be more specific about who may have sought revenge. "ooner or later we'll know. Everybody's going to know."
    Former Miss USA Shanna Moakler told that pageants — especially those held in Latin countries — are extremely competitive and often lead contestants to do anything it takes to look good.
  15. Beauty Queen (cont'd)

    "The pageants in Latin countries aren't like [those in the United States] — they're like their version of the Oscars," said Moakler, who, since passing on her crown, has appeared on several television shows. "Presidents attend and they're huge events."
    "[Becoming Miss Puerto Rico] isn't like becoming Miss USA — they become huge celebrities, and it doesn't just change their lives, but their whole family's life," Moakler said. "It's highly competitive."

    Did the Beauty Queen Crack Under Pressure?

    While there is no evidence that Rivera fabricated the pepper spray incident, psychologists told that it is not uncommon that these stressful, cutthroat environments push contestants over the edge, spurring them to act dishonestly.

    "In Puerto Rico and Venezuela — countries with even more emphasis on looks than the U.S. — pageants are close to life or death situations for these women," said Debbie Then, a social psychologist who specializes in women and appearances. "It can propel people to do untruthful things."
    Ruthlessness and competitiveness is fairly common in beauty pageants, said Then, who added that, when so much emphasis is placed on looks and appearance, ethics are often overlooked.
    "People who go into these pageants, to begin with, want attention — and [lying] is one more way of trying to get it," said Then. "The pressure makes you do anything to win and stand out."
    But Rivera still won the competition, so why would she lie about getting doused with pepper spray, as some of her critics suggest?
    In Rivera's case, the pepper spray ruse — if it isn't true — may have been a way for her to compensate for what she believes to be a lackluster performance and may have little to do with the crown.
    "Sometimes, people lie to make themselves look better," said Nadine Kaslow, chief psychologist of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University. "Perhaps she feels like she didn't perform as well as she should have, and wanted to explain why she didn't look as good as she wanted to."