While beauty contests tend to carry the stigma of being superficial competitions, the annual Miss Israel pageant – held this year for the 13th time at the Haifa Congress Center – celebrates diversity and rewards struggle.
Eighteen-year-old Mor Maman of Beer Sheva was crowned Miss Israel 2014 earlier this month. A student of graphic design, Maman will soon be joining the Israeli Air Force.
Her mother, Ilana, was also a beauty pageant contestant and was once crowned Miss Beer Sheva.
Her life has not been without pain. As Mor explained in an in-depth interview with Dalia Ben Ari and Ynet news, "Four years ago, our life changed. My mother fell down and lost her memory as a result of the fall. It was simply erased. I arrived at the hospital and she didn't know who I was. I was angry at the enire world. I began neglecting myself, and then my father had a heart attack."
After struggling in her pre-teen years with her own health issues surrounding her weight, she was thrust into a primary caregiver role for her parents as her family fell on hard times all around. But Mor picked herself up and took responsibility for all that needed to be done, while keeping up with her studies and graduating with honours.
Last year's Miss Israel, Yityish (Titi) Aynaw, also made headlines as the first Ethiopian-born woman to win the crown.
Here at Heebonics, we look forward to seeing Mor compete later this year for the title of Miss World.