Beauty - and the beauty contest - is more than skin-deep

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    Sparta-Over the years women have had to fight against the common assumption that if you enter a beauty contest, you couldn't possibly be that smart or that you wouldn't be doing it if you had anything else going for you. These days, however, young women feel quite comfortable entering beauty contests, confident that they will not be defined by their appearance alone. The Hawaiian Tropic contest, which was held this past weekend at Mountain Creek, attracted many young women who entered the contest because it simply is a fun thing to do and because it provided them with an opportunity to perhaps make some money to help with college. Onica Patalive, 19, of Sparta had these very reasons in mind when she entered the preliminary round of the contest which took place at Mountain Creek early in July. "I basically consider myself a geek because I love to study and I take my education very seriously," said Patalive, who will be a sophomore at Virginia Tech this fall. "Some of my friends say why are you doing this but I have done modeling before and when my agent suggested that I enter. I thought it would be a good way to get some exposure and possibly some more modeling work, plus it has turned out to be so much fun." Patalive, who is doing double majors in Psychology and Health Food, Nutrition and Exercise (pre-med) and double minors in Biology and Chemistry, is very focused on her education. But she said she but sees competitions like the Miss Hawaiian Tropic as pit stops along the road to her ultimate goal, a career in neuroscience research. "My education is the most important thing to me but that doesn't mean that I can't have fun along the way and this has been a very interesting experience for me," she said. "I have had to work on my public speaking skills and I have been working on getting into better shape and eating well, so win or loose it has all been a really positive thing." While Patalive made it through the preliminary round of the contest she did not win this weekend's contest and is not something she is going to brood over. "I had fun and I would have no problem entering such a contest again," she said. Though Patalive may not have had the success she hoped for in this particular contest she recently enjoyed a good measure of success when she was chosen as one of the models to appear in the 2005 "Coors Light Rock and Roll Fantasy" calendar. The winner of the Miss Hawaiian Tropic heat which took place at Mountain Creek on Saturday was Renee Beebe from Highland Lakes in Vernon. Joint runners up were Cheryl Berg from Sparta and Brandi Vetrini from Bud Lake.