The definition of beauty always, differs as people have their own classification of what is beautiful. This makes it difficult to pin-point a universally accepted beautiful woman; what I may see as beautiful, may not be necessarily charming or beautiful to someone else, and therefore the popular clichĂ© â€śbeauty lies in the eyes of the beholderâ€ť is not far from the truth.
Over the years, organisers of beauty pageants have tried to explain what â€śbeautyâ€ť in their contest stands for; whereas some look at the outer or physical appearances, others pay attention to character and other traits which are not seen by everyone.
This makes most pageants controversial, as winners are not accepted by everyone.
In 2010, when 18-year-old Stephanie Karikari won the nationâ€™s most prestigious beauty pageant, Miss Ghana, it attracted a lot of comments from different people who all thought their favourite contestant should have won; but there was only one crown and all the ladies couldnâ€™t be winners at the same time.
After Stephanie won the â€śBeauty with a purposeâ€ť crown at the Miss World contest, almost all entertainment critics agreed with the judges for selecting the right candidate to represent the nation on the international platform.
Being the last of four children, Stephanie was born in Ghana but moved with her mum to South Africa at a very tender age. She returned to Ghana at age 14, and had her basic education at the Akosombo International School (AIS), then to Faith Montessori. Currently, she is a Level 100 student at the Central University College, studying Management.
She recounts that though she never dreamt of becoming a beauty queen, she wanted to be an international model and, therefore, kept in shape for her dreams.
â€śI went to the Miss Ghana auditions just to give it a try, and it worked out perfectly. I didnâ€™t have to struggle because it was an inner quality that resurfaced just when I needed it to.â€ť
Last year, Stephanie entered the history books of the Miss Ghana pageant when she had to keep the crown for two years because there was no pageant last year.
With help from Exclusive Events, organisers of this yearâ€™s Miss Ghana contest, Stephanie made Ghana proud when Miss World 2011, Ivian Sarcos led an entourage of the Miss World team, including the first and second runner ups from the Philippines and Puerto Rico, Miss World Europe, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Miss World organization, Julia Morley and some members of the international press, to launch her project and raise funds towards the organisation of this yearâ€™s Miss Ghana.
For her project, Stephanie is building a model nursery school at the Ayalolo Cluster of Schools.