March 31, 2000

Ms. Belleza Latina Pageant

Michigan In response to the growing Hispanic population, Maria Torres is launching the Ms. Belleza Latina Pageant. There will be approximately 40 pageants nationwide including Puerto Rico, with the first pageant being held on September 3-4, 2000 at the Holiday Inn O'Hare in Chicago, Illinois.

The Ms. Belleza Latina pageant is unique in a couple of ways. First, the age range is 19-29, most pageant's eligibility ends at 25 leaving many women without a format to compete in. Second, and more importantly, is that single mothers are also eligible to compete. This is the main reason the pageant was created.

Maria T. Torres, founder of Ms. Belleza Latina, Inc. explains, "I wanted to create a pageant where the Latina woman of today would be judged on what she stands for, and represents more so than just on physical appearance. Also, one that acknowledges and accepts those that are single mothers. Most pageants do not accept single mothers as contestants. They do not consider it a "good example." I feel that a single mother can be just as good a role model as a woman who isn't." Torres speaks from experience, as she became a single mother at the age of 23, ending her pageant career even though she was still within the age requirements.

"I want to create Hispanic role models on a local and national level." Torres states. "I feel Ms. Belleza Latina will be admired by her peers and create pride in her community. Ms. Belleza Latina, Inc. is an organization that understands their cultural background and works to enhance, recognize, and honor it".

Torres, now married and mother of 3, is not new to the world of pageantry, she has produced small local pageants in her hometown of Massachusetts. She is a former Miss Massachusetts Teen USA, where she represented the state on the nationally televised Miss Teen USA Pageant, the world's most prestigious teen pageant, owned by the Miss Universe Corporation. Torres has competed and won many titles, including the spokes model competition on the internationally televised show "Sabado Gi-gante" in 1990.

For more details on the Ms. Belleza Latina pageant or the Miss Teen Belleza please contact Maria Torres at 248-584-1437 or write to Ms. Belleza Latina, Inc., 2899 E. Big Beaver Road, #152, Troy, MI 48083. You can also email us at, or visit us on the web at

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