Bethlehem resident representing N.H. in beauty contest



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July 10, 2009
BETHLEHEM—In a few weeks, a local talent will be representing New Hampshire and on stage looking for international recognition in Chicago.

Lauren Mullkigian, a 2005 graduate of Profile High School, will be representing the state as Miss New Hampshire International in the Miss International Contest in Chicago July 24 and 25.

"This kind of landed in my lap," Mullkigian said. "I never imagined myself doing a beauty pageant."

Though Mullkigian has been working as a model while at Gordon College in Massachusetts and recently landed a contract with a modeling agency in Boston, the thought of entering a pageant never entered her mind, she said.

Ashley Herron, her best friend, who is also a model, nominated her for the contest without her knowledge. Herron also happens to be Miss Massachusetts International.

Mullkigian found out she had been nominated when the organizers of the contest contacted her for an interview. There wasn't a show for New Hampshire contestants. Because of the small number of nominees, the decisions were made by judges who interviewed the applicants on the phone and reviewed photo spreads sent in by them.

The contest isn't strictly a beauty contest, Mullkigian said. Part of the show—and largely its appeal to Mulkigian—is supporting the charity of her choice. In this case the charity is the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

"I got really excited when I heard that I get to advocate and raise money for charity," Mullkigian said.

Mullkigian's mother had breast cancer and this is her way of helping combat the disease.

Because of this, she believes that there is a higher reason why she was entered into this contest.

"I feel God has put it in my path for a special reason and I am leaving everything in his hands," Mullkigian said. "I pray that while I am in Chicago he will use me in any way possible. Whether I win or lose, I know that this is going to be an experience that I am going to learn a lot from and I am very excited!"

Of course it being a beauty contest there are many of the standard obstacles associated with one. On the first night of the contest Mulkigian will participate in an evening gown event, fitness wear (bathing suit), and a fashion fun wear segment, during which the contestants can show off clothing that highlights their personality.

After that, each contestant spends five minutes with a judge talking about herself and her charity, Mullkigian said. The second night the pool is cut to the top 10 contestants, and each will speak to a panel of judges and the audience about herself and her charity.

Mullkigian is viewing modeling and beauty pageants as a hobby for the moment, as she recently graduated from college with a degree in business and accounting. With the economy the way it is she said she is not going to turn her back on a potential means of making a living, or at least increasing her network of contacts.

For the moment she has returned to her summer job at Gordi's Fish and Steak House in Lincoln, waiting for the 24th to arrive.

Since she was entered in the contest, she has been keeping a particular verse of the New Testament in her mind as her motto, "For with God nothing will be impossible."

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