Malibu gets its own pageant


Malibu has had many pageant contenders but never its own pageant.

By Vicki Godal / Special to The Malibu Times

While some might say that beauty pageants are a thing of the past, something that showed women’s beauty but not much else, others say it isn’t so.

Kristen Bradford is perhaps an example of beauty plus brains, and one who has taken advantage of both.

Bradford was a contestant in the 2003 Miss California USA contest and a two-time, second runner up in Miss Oregon and is a graduate of Pepperdine University’s Seaver College and School of Public Policy.

Now she is using her experience plus brains as director of the first Miss Malibu / Miss Teen Malibu pageant, which will take place June 25 at Malibu High School.

Bradford explained her thoughts, in a recent e-mail, on the evolution of beauty pageants: “I think pageants have evolved as the role of women in the workplace evolves. Women no longer take a backseat to men in the business world. They are CEOs rather than secretaries. The pageants of today are promoting a more prominent role for women in business as well as the home.

“In addition, they are looking for women who are more socially conscious and looking to make a difference in their individual communities, states and countries as well as the rest of the world. The pageant is merely a platform for women to express themselves and what is most important to them as an individual.”

However, she also deems this as an opportunity for female contestants to acquire local, state and national exposure to their advantage in the acting/modeling industry.

“The Miss Malibu pageant is designed to help girls interested in entering the entertainment industry,” Bradford said in an earlier telephone interview. “Our personal interview category is actually a workshop where participants are taught how to walk a catwalk or interview on stage. It’s designed to benefit them as well as being a competition category. This kind of coaching is what can make the difference for girls in real industry interviews.”

To compete in the Miss Malibu/Miss Teen Malibu pageant, contestants must be females between 14 and 26 years old and live, work or go to school in Malibu. The three competition categories are swimsuit, requiring a one-piece suit for the teen pageant and two-piece suit for Miss Malibu, evening gown and the personal interview. All categories carry equal weight. Judges representing the industry in entertainment and fashion will choose winners.

Bradford incorporates her pageant experience with the business of producing a pageant. Bradford was choreographer and assistant director of Miss Greater L.A. for the last several years. Bradford said she is excited about a Malibu pageant.

“Having worked at local preliminaries and as delegate hostess at Miss California USA/Teen USA 2005, I always wanted to direct my own local competition. And there’s definitely a need for a preliminary here in Malibu,” Bradford said.

The Pepperdine grad recently visited Malibu High School and her alma mater to inform girls about the pageants. “There are so many girls in Malibu that could compete,” Bradford said. “I hope girls will take advantage of this.”

Fourteen- to 18-year-old girls will compete for the title of Miss Teen Malibu and 19- 26-year-olds will compete for the title of Miss Malibu. Winners proceed with all entry fees paid to the Miss California Teen USA and Miss California USA pageants held in Palm Springs, September 9 – 11. Winners will also receive cash awards, scholarships and other prizes.

Malibu has had several successful pageant competitors. Last year, Pepperdine alum Amber Coffman, representing the city of Malibu, was 2nd runner-up at the Miss California USA pageant. In 2003, another Pepperdine student, Candice Sanders, won the Miss California USA pageant and went on to compete in the Miss USA. In 1992, Pepperdine’s Shannon Marketic won the Miss USA pageant and went on to represent the U.S. in the Miss Universe competition.

The Miss Malibu / Miss Teen Malibu pageant will take place June 2 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Malibu High School, 30215 Morning View Drive. More information can be obtained by contacting Kristen Bradford at 310.9934361 or by