by Michell Spoden
The following conversation was held with the organizers of Miss Deaf Germany contest a few years ago. The contest runs annually and is a special occasion for celebrating talent and beauty among the hearing-impaired women in Germany. Meet Björn Blumeier and Arne Blumeier, both President Miss Deaf Germany, who are twins and are into the event management profession.
Michell: Bjorn, please tell us a little about how young you were when you lost hearing and how you managed to get over the barriers this condition could create in your daily life?
Bjorn Blumeier: It has been assumed that we both are deaf from birth. Because we have grown up, so we have no problems. I would say that we have actually managed all areas of our lives. Here in Germany, we have no major problems for the deaf except that it’s difficult in the labor market.
Michell: What is the population of deaf females in Germany?
Bjorn Blumeier: I cannot say what the population of deaf women in Germany is but can only tell you that more than 80000 deaf live here, and the hearing-impaired include more than 1.5 million people.
Michell: When and how did Miss Deaf Germany begin? And how many participants are usually in these pageants?
Bjorn Blumeier: Miss Deaf Germany is there since the 1970s, formerly held by various organizers. Then, finally it in 2010, while we were newly established, that we took it and registered at the Patent Office. So the first Miss Deaf Germany took place in the year 2011 with us. 2012 was the second event. Our rules are that up to 16 participants can enter the event.
Michell: What are some of the things that these females compete in?
Bjorn Blumeier: It is the beauty of the participants. Five days with us, you learn how you can walk on the ramp. In addition, we have the photo shoot. The girls must then run a fashion show somewhere before the final. There are four rounds with us; there is a presentation of the person, where it is, and how old it is. All participants must perform up to three minutes in the talent show which is the second round. Third round is bikini presentation. The fourth and final round is the presentation in evening dress. The judges then decide on the winner of Miss Deaf Germany.
Michell: I noticed one of the competitors did her song in sign language. How is she able to do that if she can’t hear the music?
Bjorn Blumeier: Quite simply, can be seen somewhere in the Internet music lyrics. And watch video music clip. Then, they realize how long they need it, when they can sing, and when they can stop.
Michell: How do these females change their lives with the contest?
Bjorn Blumeier: There are new experiences for all women. For example, the girls can get rid of inhibitions, be anxiety-free and present in the public before many people. They know that they are all pretty, and that is why they have applied and been nominated by us.
Michell: I noticed in the pageant there were names such as “Miss Deaf Sympathy and Miss Deaf Photogenic”. What is the reason they choose these types of titles?
Bjorn Blumeier: Since we have a photo shoot during the Miss Deaf Germany week, photographers can crown a girls only as Miss Deaf photogenic. The girl shows her talent at the photo shoot. And in the Miss Deaf sympathy, a girl is selected after observing her throughout the week at training, mainly based on how she shows her and her will. Also particularly important is the observation of how that radiates from her face.
Michell: Please tell us a bit about the judges and the criteria on which they judge a contestant’s talent.
Bjorn Blumeier: I cannot say with surety as the judges decide that and it is their own responsibility; we have just specified the rules. I suspect that may be seen at the talent no errors or is unique. 4 Rounds are counted by judges together and spotted. Who has achieved the most points is crowned Miss Deaf Germany.
Michell: Do they have these pageants for deaf girls in other countries also?
Bjorn Blumeier: We have only Miss Deaf Germany and Miss Mister Deaf stars. Miss Mister Deaf stars is brand new and is an international beauty pageant for both sexes.
Michell: What are you future goals?
Bjorn Blumeier: Our goals are that we want to establish a company this year. We want many deaf artists, models, actors and others to go about fulfilling their goals and dreams. And at the same time we want to continue to organize the beauty contests with great sponsors.
Michell: Thank you very much for participating in this interview!
Bjorn Blumeier: We thank you for the interview!
About the Interviewer
Michell Spoden is the author of Stricken Yet Crowned and is also pursuing a transitional housing project for woman with an agricultural aspect. She has a degree in Business Science Administration and is finishing her bachelor’s in Project Management.