fourpoints Magazine

The #1 Resource for Everything Miss America & MAOTeen

8-3_Exclusive_Web_PhotoMiss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler has been well-recognized for her work in advocating for education among young women throughout the country. Now, she's heading an initiative to promote style and beauty through the Edison Nation Innovative Product Search.

Laura is calling to action all those who have invented products that help women look and feel their best. Do you have ideas for a new curling iron that also includes safety features? Maybe you've invented an effective way to carry your makeup and hair accessories on the go. Submit ideas or inventions that have two or more purposes, like functionality as well as safety, and that Miss America herself would like to use!

"Together i think we can create new products that are chic, stylish, and make life easier for women on the go," Laura says.

Share your ideas for fashion and beauty tools with future Miss Americas!

According to the Edison Nation website, "Licensed ideas will receive a $2,500 minimum advance on twenty years percentage of sales or buyout. We split the royalties 50/50 with you on the products we select. Royalties vary based upon the product but we always earn industry-leading rates."

Submit well-communicated ideas by filling out the submission form and uploading images, sketches, and any other media to support your idea. Include details of your innovation including, if preferred, a video demonstration of the item. Videos submitted must be less than two minutes.

Click here to learn more and get started! The deadline is September 17, 2012.

Source and photo: Edison Nation

Ask the Expert: Johnathan Kayne

Monday, 30 July 2012 15:31

7.31_headline_news_Photo_smallerJohnathan Kayne is an expert designer who can put to rest your burning questions about pageant attire. Check out what he has to say about making the big walk across the stage!

How can I find shoes that look good on stage, but are also comfortable?

Look at the construction of high hells and find something with more padding in the instep of the heel. I currently use three times the industry standard and don't stop there. We use a German embossed sole that absorbs the stress of every step and offers more traction and support.

I'm having a hard time finding the right gown. What should I do?

The best thing to do first is your research. A whole world of information is at your fingertips with the Internet. Print the dresses that catch your eye and find out what retailers carry those designs or similar. Visit that store and communicate what you want and show them the pictures that you like, but also let them make suggestions to you. They may have the perfect dress for you that you have not seen yet. Trust the professionals.

I like to be a bit trendy when I compete. What's going to be hot the rest of this year?

There are two major trends I am seeing everywhere right now and they are:

  • Bling is in! Big, chunky stones are everywhere. Show your personality and be bold with this sparkly trend. Even if a more simple gown is your style, make a fashion statement with your jewelry and accessories.
  • Bright neon colors are everywhere! Now, I am not saying wear a fluorescent highlighter yellow evening gown, but think outside the box with your accessories. A beaded champagne gown would be gorgeous with an unexpected pop of neon color. Feathers are also a huge trend right now in accessories, so maybe incorporate those.

For more advice from our attire expert, subscribe to fourpoints

The Stuff Judges Are Made Of

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 08:32

If you have ever had the privilege of judging a Miss America preliminary pageant, you know that it is a wonderful opportunity and a huge responsibility. When you are asked to join a panel of judges, you are being asked to choose a titleholder who will represent a community for an entire year and go on to the next level of competition. It's not an easy job, or one that should be taken lightly. Be an able, competent judge by using this guide.

Know the Scoring System

The Miss America Organization has its own unique scoring system, like all pageant systems. Before the day your pageant begins, familiarize yourself with the scoring rubric so you give thoughtful scores to each contestant.

For preliminary competitions, each contestant is judged in all phases of competition (interview, talent, onstage question, swimsuit, and evening wear) and given a score ranging from one to ten. There is no hard and fast rule on what kind of performance deserves a certain score–that is up to your discretion. It is a subjective scoring system, but McNeil Chestnut, a volunteer in North Carolina who often teaches judging seminars, suggests that you start with a five. Before a contestant steps on the stage or in the interview room, is is at a five–average. From there, her score can go up or down. Very low scores (one to three) or very high scores (eight to ten) should be reserved for extreme performances. A good way to avoid comparative scoring is to act as if each contestant is the only contestant in the pageant.

Know What You Are Looking For

Each titleholder within the Miss America system has the same basic job–represent her community during her year of service, work on her platform, and compete at the next level. However, each local or state title has unique responsibilities and requirements. During your judging prep at the pageant, ask pointed questions to the judges chairperson or executive director on exactly what kind of contestant they are searching out. For example, some titleholders do intensive school tours during their year. You will need to find a contestant who is willing and able to travel constantly, can speak to large, diverse groups, and thinks quickly on her feet. You are always searching for the next Miss State or Miss America, but the reality is this: only one contestant goes on to hold that title.

Know the End Game

When you judge a pageant and see your titleholder crowned, it can feel like an ending. In actuality, it's all just beginning for the newly crowned titleholder and the pageant that will support her. In the moment that crown is placed on her head, her entire life has changed. It is imperative that you take your job of judging very seriously. You are giving a pageant system a titleholder that will help further their message and forever be a part of their history. You are making a difference.

To learn more tips for judging preliminary pageants, subscribe to fourpoints!

letsreadLaura Kaeppeler participated in the Let’s Read! Let’s Move! summer enrichment events sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education today in Washington, D.C. this week.

The Department’s Let’s Read! Let’s Move! series increases awareness of the critical importance of summer learning and encourages all adults to read to children.
As part of the series, the Department invited Cabinet members, administration officials, and other public figures to join in reading children’s books, promoting healthy lifestyles, and participating in games and fitness activities with children in pre-kindergarten through third grade, from various local schools and summer programs.
Laura was joined by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton, and former NFL player, LaVar Arrington. During the pre-show activities Laura sang her own rendition of “Over the Rainbow.” Following her performance, Laura and LeVar both served as guest readers.
Afterward, Laura acted as a celebrity mover by leading students in games and other activities, as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to encourage the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle.
Following the Let’s Read! Let’s Move! series, Laura visited the Capitol to tour and meet with State Representatives to discuss educational issues including arts education and STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
Miss America 2012 continues to promote the Miss America Organization's commitment to education.
Source: MAO Photo: From left: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Former NFL player LaVar Arrington, Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler, and host of Reading Rainbow LeVar Burton
fpts_post-the_right_lookAs a pageant contestant, you know how difficult it is to find the “perfect” gown to wear during competition. You’ve probably tried on hundreds of dresses, and maybe you’re a bit frustrated in the search. You’re not alone. It isn’t easy picking out the perfect dress, and the right look for a pageant contestant is based on several factors.

As a storeowner, when I am consulting a new girl for the first time, I always want to talk to them and see what their personality is like. I ask them, “What type of look are you going for? What did you envision yourself in? What kind of fit do you like? Do you have an inspiration of a titleholder? What looks make you feel beautiful when trying on gowns? What is your budget?”

From there, the fun begins. I start pulling dresses and have them start trying them on. Determining the contestant’s personality is important because the dress has to reflect the personality of the contestant (e.g., fun, playful, outgoing, elegant). She should be wearing the dress–not the dress wearing her.

Beyond that, some top key elements of finding the perfect dress would be the fit of the gown. It definitely needs to highlight the best parts of their body. Color is also a factor; it needs to be complimentary to her skin tone. And make use of the opinions of others. The opinion of directors can help guide a contestant to make the appropriate choice based on color, fit, style, and budget.

The biggest factor in finding the perfect dress is how the contestant ultimately feels in her gown because the right look will only help her exude confidence and her true beauty will shine through. The winning choice is the gown that brings the biggest smile to the contestant’s face, makes her feel beautiful, and if she does not want to take it off.

To read more tips on finding the perfect pageant look, subscribe to fourpoints!

Source: Larissa Maner owns Shimmer Boutique in Carrollton, Texas Photo: David Jones/stock.xchng

STEMphotoThe Miss America Organization is proud to announce that Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler has been named by as one of the Top 100 Women Leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

According to STEMconnector, Laura was chosen based on her efforts to promote "education for young women and her personal platform: mentoring children of incarcerated parents."

"Much of Laura's time is spent encouraging young women to pursue studies in STEM subjects in an effort to bridge the gender gap among an already pressing issue," according to the STEMconnector publication.

"As I look at the statistics and see that 49 percent of female students say that they chose a STEM profession to help make a difference in our world, I become even more passionate about promoting this type of education. Every day I meet children from all walks of life throughout my travels and they share amazing stories about their hopes and dreams. If we can channel those dreams into applied sciences and formal education and an application of their personal interests, then we can foster them into reality rather than simply smiling with pride," Laura says.

This one-of-a-kind publication honors the careers and initiatives of one hundred women in all STEM industries. With this, STEMconnector aims to advance the cause of more girls and women pursuing a STEM career as the United States' economy relies more than ever on a prepared STEM workforce. The publication was presented for the first time at the U.S. News STEM Solutions Summit.

The women included in this tribute share the commitment of taking over the cause and serving as mentors and sponsors of those who are next in the jobs pipeline. In the STEMconnector publication, readers learn the inspiring stories that showcase the traits needed to advance in the STEM world and how women can make a difference.

The publication will feature several key CEOs, presidents, and key public officials, including four U.S. Senators, an EPA/NASA Administrator, and a Deputy Administrator respectively.

One hundred Women Leaders in STEM will also present opinion editorials featuring interesting data on women in STEM. Some of the pieces written include commentary from the Society of Women Engineers; ABT Associates / TERC; Center for Energy Workforce Development; American Association of University Women; Girls, Inc; National Science Foundation; U.S. News and World Report; The American Institute of Architects; Aerospace Industries Association; and Bayer USA Foundation.

Source and photo: MAO 

calgaryMiss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler was in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, this week on behalf of her sponsor, Joseph Ribkoff, to participate in events surrounding the one hundredth anniversary of the Calgary Stampede. For one hundred years, the Calgary Stampede has brought people from all over the world together to experience Calgary’s unique Western heritage and values.

calgarystorevisit2Laura participated in several media interviews to promote her appearance in the Stampede Parade, and visited two local Joseph Ribkoff boutiques for autograph sessions.

This week, she is in Helsinki, Finland with Joseph Ribkoff, where she is conducting magazine interviews and press conferences, participating in autograph sessions, and visiting a children's hospital.

Source: MAO

STEMMiss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler participated in the U.S. News STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Solutions Summit last month. The Summit was the first event of its kind and brought together major players to work towards a competitive STEM workforce. Taking place on a national stage, the Summit had a lineup of top speakers ranging from educators, technology experts, policymakers, business executives, government officials, and community leaders. Also for the first time, U.S. News STEM Solutions brought together youth delegations to participate in the Summit so they could actively engage in creating solutions.

As Miss America 2012, Laura encourages women to pursue a college education and focus interests in the arts, as well as STEM education. Along with the Miss America Organization, she supports and targets female students who are currently underrepresented in STEM professions. Laura spoke in the Summit's session on "Leading by Example: The Need for STEM Mentors." She was also a keynote speaker at the Innovate+Educate Youth Summit, where she spoke on the importance of the youth voice in STEM education.

Source: MAO Photo: Deb Knoske

july4Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler has a huge week of events in celebration of Independence Day. To kick off the week, Laura will spend the day with media today and will participate in the closing bell ceremony with Macy’s at the New York Stock Exchange.

Wednesday, July 4, Laura will join Macy’s Star Spangled Sing Off winner, Kory Leigh Glattman, to sing a special rendition of the National Anthem prior to the start of the New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies baseball game at Citi Field. After the game, Laura and Kory will attend Macy's Thirty-Sixth Annual Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration. Laura served as a vocal mentor to Kory, who recorded a special rendition of the National Anthem, which will be played during the finale of the fireworks spectacular.

The Thirty-Sixth annual Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks will fire more than forty thousand pyrotechnic shells during an approximate twenty-five-minute synchronized display. Designed in collaboration with SOUSA Fireworks, the show will be set off from barges positioned on the Hudson River from 18th to 48th streets. With an average of sixteen hundred shells launched per minute, Macy’s Fireworks show is truly a dazzling spectacle.

Independence day revelers from coast-to-coast will have a front row view of the pyro in the sky by tuning to NBC’s national broadcast of Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular beginning at 9 p.m. (check local listings).

Viewing, and other show information is available here!

Source and photo: MAO

IMG_0421cropMiss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler was in Pompano Beach, Florida, June 27 visiting with children from the Champions Sports Camp, organized by Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree ministry, an outreach to incarcerated parents and their children. Erika Harold, Miss America 2003 is a board member of Prison Fellowship and emceed the event. Laura was honored to receive the organization's first-ever Star of Victory Award, for children who have had an incarcerated parent.

"I'm a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason," Laura told the kids. "If you work hard, believe in yourself, dream big, I stand before you to say it really can come true."

The camp is one form of outreach by Angel Tree to children of inmates, including eight thousand in South Florida. It also provides volunteer mentoring and annual Christmas gifts, given on behalf of the incarcerated parent, usually donated through churches.

After her speech, Laura stayed to chat and pose for photos with the kids. She confessed, "I have to put myself on the line every day. I have to make the message hit home, that we're the same. And if my past didn't define me, it doesn't have to define them."

Source: MAO