MOSES LAKE — It takes more than just a pretty face to enter and be successful in a beauty pageant.
It takes practice, hard work, determination, organization and support — a lot of support — to even participate in a beauty pageant, much less succeed.
“It’s a huge industry,” said Natalie Luttmer, a former Mrs. Washington and Mrs. America pageant winner who placed in the top 10 at last year’s Mrs. World contest in South Korea. “It’s a little bit daunting when you get into it.”
Daunting it may be, but that hasn’t stopped five Moses Lake residents from being nominated for Global Beauty Awards, one of the industry’s first ever award shows on March 10 at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue.
“This is our first year, an inaugural event,” said Maureen Francisco, one of the event’s executive producers and herself a pageant organizer.
Joining Luttmer, who has been nominated for “Best Titleholder” and “Most Photogenic,” are: Pamela Curnel for “Best Costume” and “Most Photogenic”; Shree Saini for “Academic Achievement” and “Miss Congeniality”; Ekta Saini for “Best Pageant Parent”; and Melissa Curnel Pendleton for “Most Impactful/Best Story.”
Curnel, herself a former Mrs. Washington and the state director of the Mrs. Washington Pageant for the last 25 years, has been nominated for a costume she designed for Dionne Tarter, who was Mrs. Washington is 2015 and represented Jamaica in the Mrs. World contest in South Africa in 2017.
“I’ve always designed my own clothing,” Curnel said. “At the national level, I’ve always wanted the best costumes.”
Curnel, who has designed a number of pageant costumes over the years, said it takes anywhere from four to six weeks to make her pageant costumes. And she stitches them by hand.
“I’m a perfectionist, I do everything 200 percent,” Curnel added. “I research my own costumes, colors, styles, and I research the queen as well, and find our her favorite colors.”
“It was a beautiful costume, it represented Jamaica really well,” Tarter said. “She sent me the colors, and she was the driver. I trusted what she was putting together.”
Luttmer said being nominated for the “Best Titleholder” is a reflection of how well a pageant winner represents herself in the community. She said she has worked hard to be relatable, approachable, and active in and around Moses Lake.
“I did a weekly video series, and live Q & As,” she said. “I do speaking engagements, have talked about substance abuse awareness, and raised money to help provide Narcan to first responders.”
Luttmer has also been involved the PTA and the Public Library Board.
“I do lots of things to make our community better,” the mother of seven said. “I’m trying to represent what a modern married woman is.”
Luttmer, a 26-year resident of Moses Lake, said she also wants to help and encourage young people — young women especially — know that they can work hard and do well in life no matter what obstacles they face.
“You can be a success and do great things and come from a small community,” she said.