Each year a new Miss America is selected. Three months prior
to the selection, each state has to pick a representative.
The choice for Hawai‘i, according to Rubin, was not easy.
The criteria? Beauty, of course. But Rubin says that Miss Hawai‘i
must also be educated and ambitious. Her intellectual achievements
and innate talents must outshine her physical attractiveness.
Miss Hawai‘i is a role model, mentor, and businesswoman,” Rubin
said, and she added: “[the] primary focus is on the interview,
talent, and commitment to community service.
The Miss America Organization is nonprofit and aims at empowering
women. The pageants, for one thing, provide scholarships
to winning contestants. This is the number one reason why
participated. “I needed the scholarship money for school,” she
said. The goal of each Miss America is to better the world
through applying her perspective to a year’s activities
in which she collaborates with government agencies and businesses
in order to promote certain areas of legislation.
Another purpose of the Miss America contest is to celebrate
the ethnic diversity of the United States. It is an opportunity
for demographic minorities to speak out and take action
in the eyes of the nation. During the past four years,
has seen two African-American and one Hawaiian contestant
being elected Miss America.
The Hawaiian woman is revered for her beauty and grace,” said
Rubin who, with Chinese, Polish, Russian, and Jewish ancestry
is a perfect example of ethnic diversity and an excellent representative
of Hawai‘i and its blending of cultures.
Rubin was born and raised on Kaua‘i and has traveled
around the world. She has participated in beauty pageants since
she was 13 years old. She won the Miss Garden Isle title in
1998, the Miss Kaua‘i title in 1999, and Beauty of the
Beach in 2003. In addition, Rubin is an actress and singer
who auditioned for American Idol, and a part-time deejay at
KIKI I-94. Her platform is: “The ABCs of HIV: promoting
abstinence, being monogamous, and advocating condom use.”
At 23 years old, and if she is not elected Miss America,
she intends to get her degree within the next two
years and become
a speech therapist.
First runner-up Amber Stone, who happens to be Miss
Honolulu, is also an HPU student, born and raised
Stone counts two other Misses Hawai‘i in the family.
Her sisters Lani and Auli‘i Stone were elected Miss Hawai‘i
in 1991 and 1997, respectively.
Her sisters’ experiences motivated Amber, who is 24 and
who owns an administrative services company called Pohaku Services,
to compete this year. Running on a platform that encourages
voter participation, she won both scholarships and speaking
The second runner-up is also an HPU student,
Lyanna Tumaneng. Tumaneng was born and raised
and is of
Caucasian and Filipino ancestry. She has been
a professional international
hula dancer and was a rodeo girl in high school.
After competing in the Miss America pageant
system for three
years, she describes
herself as “driven” and feels great about being
the second runner-up.
Participating, she said, “pushes you to be in great shape
and to be aware of local and world events.” Tunameng
added: “And it allows you to showcase your talents in
front of a live audience.”
Tumaneng, who is also Miss Island Ilima,
has spoken at the American Heart Association,
Impact. She emphasize the importance of
living healthily to avoid obesity.