The Miss International beauty pageant started in 1960, when the Miss Universe Organization left Long Beach, California, after almost 10 years as host city, to continue their pageant in Miami Beach. The people of Long Beach were very disappointed about that and so they started a new international beauty pageant: The International Beauty Congress, nowadays known as Miss International.
The Netherlands did send delegates to the pageant every year up-till 1996. After that year people started to loose interest in beauty pageants in the Netherlands.
One of the real victims of the loss of interest in pageants was the Miss International beauty pageant. From 1996 till 2009 only 4 girls represented the Netherlands at the pageant where the dutch girls where so successful at the beginning of the pageant, back in the 60’s.
In this new serie we will introduce all the dutch girls at the Miss International pageant and we wil start with the 4 from 1996 till 2001.
Nathalie van den Dungen
In 1995 the Miss Holland beauty pageant, where the dutch representatives for the Miss Universe, the Miss Europe and the Miss International pageant where chosen, was no longer on television.
The organization which started in 1991 by selecting a girl for the Miss Universe pageant took over the franchise of Miss Holland in 1994 together with all the franchises for the international pageants except the Miss World franchise. The pageant was broadcasted live on television from 1991 till 1994.
In 1995 they started a two year cooperation with the largest newspaper in the Netherlands, “De Telegraaf”.
Over 700 girls tried there luck, 20 were selected for the semi-finals and 8 made it to the finals and were introduced to the readers of the newspaper.
It was Chantal van Woensel who won and who would represent the Netherlands at the Miss Universe pageant in Namibia.
Second runner-up was the tall, 19 year old beautiful Nathalie van den Dungen from Eindhoven, who was born in South Africa. Nathalie would go to Japan where she was unplaced at he Miss International pageant.
Like in 1995 the Miss Holland pageant cooperated with “De Telegraaf” and the modeling agency from Miss World 1959, Corinne Rötschaeffer: Corinne’s Agency.
Many girls entered and 12 were selected and introduced to the readers of the newspaper. There were some familiar faces in the pageant but the girls who made the top 3 were new faces.
Marja de Graaf became Miss Holland 1996. First runner-up was Leonie Maria Boon, who would go to the Miss International 1996 beauty pageant where she was unplaced. In 1997 she would also represent the Netherlands at the Miss Europe pageant, where she was also unplaced.
In 1997 the Miss Nederland pageant was broadcasted in the very populair television show “de 5 uur Show” on RTL4, like the year before. There were 12 finalists chosen, each representing a province of the Netherlands. Ilona van Veldhuisen became Miss Gelderland and a top 6 finalist. She did not win the pageant but it was the start of a career as a beauty queen. In 1998 she was asked to represent the Netherlands at the Miss International pageant. The Miss Nederland organization was the new franchise holder for the Miss International pageant but showed little interest in the pageant, only two girls were sent to the pageant.
The blond and tall Ilona would represent the Netherlands in 1999 at the Miss World pageant as she was selected as Miss Nederland in that year. At both Miss International and Miss World she was unplaced.
Caroline Heyboer represented the province of Drenthe at the Miss Universe Netherlands 2000 pageant where she placed first runner-up. In 2001 she tried again but was not as successful as the year before. She became a great help for the Miss Nederland organization. She did a lot of work like scouting girls for the pageant. She was asked to represent the Netherlands at the Miss International 2001 pageant in Tokyo Japan. Although one of the judges was the ambassador of the Netherlands in Japan she was unplaced.
In 2012 she was a member of the organization commitee for the Miss Drenthe 2012 pageant which she also hosted. Miss Drenthe is a preliminary for the Miss Nederland pageant.