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Beautiful resources

Beauty pageants are about more than good looks they can have a message, too. Stas Shectman and Marina Kamenev report.

Published: August 8, 2008 (Issue # 1397)



  • The first Moscow Beauty pageant was held in 1988.
    Photo: Beauty of Moscow

  • Yulia Nagayeva is the current Miss Atom, having won an Internet beauty contest for workers in the nuclear energy industry.
    Photo: Vladimir Filonov / The St. Petersburg Times

The headquarters of Nuclear.ru are located in an uninspiring building near Moscows Paveletsky Station. The company is an independent Internet portal providing the latest developments in the field of nuclear energy. But that is not what it is best known for.

Inside the small office sits Yulia Nagayeva, a tall, striking brunette. She is a senior manager for business development at TVEL, a manufacturer of nuclear fuel. She is also Miss Atom, the latest winner of the beauty contest that has been run by Nuclear.ru annually since 2004. Miss Atom is an online contest for women under the age of 35 who work in the nuclear energy industry.

In addition to the countrys oil and mineral wealth, during the past decade Russia has been busy refining another one of its valuable natural resources: beauty. And while there have been no major international wins for Russia since Oksana Fyodorova won Miss Universe in 2002, numerous domestic competitions ensure that some of Russias most beautiful girls get to bask in the glow of a spotlight.

I think its every girls dream to see how they compare to other women, Nagayeva said. She had entered the contest twice before she won this year and loves the process of taking part.

Its great. We get a stylist who chooses our dresses, a professional hairdresser and a photographer. Then we get photographed in beautiful locations. I really wanted to take part in this, she said.

Our country is recognized for the beauty of its women, said Tatyana Andreyeva, director of Beauty of Russia (Krasa Rossii), one of the longest-running beauty contests in Russia. I consider ours one of a very few countries, perhaps even the only country, where female beauty is in the blood, where it is a national resource. Because of this, I feel that beauty contests here are very significant. They glorify these national resources.

Its not that Russian women are more beautiful than other women, said Fyodorova in a telephone interview. Its just that Slavic beauty is a universal kind of beauty.

Ilya Platonov, the director of Nuclear.ru, runs his competition for a rather different reason. When people think of nuclear energy, they get scared, they think of Chernobyl. We want to show that the people working with and promoting nuclear industry are normal and the fact that the industry is filled with lots of beautiful women.

On July 25, 63 beauties as the organizers call them represented the genetic wealth of cities, villages and regions across Russia and the CIS and strutted their stuff on a custom-built, 500-meter stage on the shore of Lake Onego in Petrozavodsk, Karelia, north of St. Petersburg. This years Beauty of Russia pageant was the first to be held outside of Moscow since 1995.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Nov. 26


AmChams Public Relations Committee will meet this afternoon in their office in the New St. Isaacs Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha at 4 p.m.


Zoosphere, an international exhibition focusing on the pet industry, opens today at the Lenexpo convention center on Vasilievsky Island. Not only will items such as toys, terrariums and accessories be available for purchase, but animal enthusiasts can also learn about the latest in veterinary medicine and behavioral training thanks to the conferences and presentations that are part of the event.



Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburgs showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the teams website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literatures most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poets birthday. The tragic tenors work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russias greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Strategically dominate your foes at the British Book Centers Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test ones intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only mans best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Honor the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during todays reenactment titled Winter War: How it Was. More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Culture Palace on Petrograd. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie Black Cat, White Cat, as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of Takoy Festival, a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonights festival finale is Fathers and Sons, a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenevs classic about familial relations.



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