25 maio 2010

The Pros and Cons of Being a Russian Beauty

By Anna Malpas

The St. Petersburg Times

This week, a former Miss Russia beauty queen, Anna Malova, was arrested in New York as she came out of a pharmacy, on suspicion of forging prescriptions for painkillers.

The “leggy, blond beauty” was arrested as she walked out with 85 Vicodin painkiller pills, after her psychiatrist tipped off police that Malova had swiped blank prescription forms, the New York Daily News wrote.

“Malova proved to be ever the fashionista — even in handcuffs,” the tabloid wrote. “When she was pinched, she was wearing a black fur-lined coat and skinny jeans and was toting a Burberry plaid umbrella.”

It’s a sad story — particularly as the Long Island Press reported that this was Malova’s second arrest in three months for the same offense. And it shows that life is not easy for former beauty queens.

Malova has been away from Russia ever since the late 1990s. She won her Miss Russia title in 1998 and made the semifinal of Miss Universe that same year. She was a relative veteran at Miss Russia, aged 26, and had already bagged such titles as “Miss Baltic Sea 1994” and the “Face of Shaping,” the 1990s aerobics-like craze.

For those interested, she has green eyes and blond hair, and her vital statistics during her Miss Russia days were a perfect hourglass: 92-61-92.

Express Gazeta wrote that she was once the girlfriend of film director Yegor Konchalovsky, son of Andrei Konchalovsky.

In a video of the Miss Universe semifinal, Malova struggles a bit to answer the inane question posed by the presenter with appropriate inanities, probably because her English skills were still basic. The tall blonde wears a tiny black dress and heels.

U.S. media reported that Malova had qualified as a doctor in Russia — perhaps resulting in her skills with forging prescription forms — but did not get a license to practice in the United States.

Kommersant wrote that she was already studying in the United States in 1998 and that she paid for her Miss Universe dress by working at a New York modeling agency.

Things seem to have gone well for her initially. She was photographed as a model for jewelry company Chopard. In 2004, she was linked to philanthropist George Soros. “He was seen more than once in the company of the Russian beauty,” Kommersant wrote, hinting that he may have even bought her a villa.

There are photographs of her posing next to luminaries such as pop singer Michael Bolton and actress Mira Sorvino, although it’s unclear whether she was an invited guest to the charity galas or was working as a decorative hostess. The pictures seem to dry up after about 2006, though.

Malova is not the first Russian beauty queen to get into a spot of trouble.

In 2002, Miss Universe 2002, Oksana Fyodorova, was formally dethroned after failing to carry out her round of universe-saving duties.

She blamed a contract she hadn’t understood and the scarring experience of doing an interview on The Howard Stern Show, where she was questioned about her attitudes toward anal sex.

Former policewoman Fyodorova has not done too badly for herself back in Russia. She co-hosts a children’s television show, “Good Night, Little Ones,” featuring animal puppets. It may not have been the stuff of her girlish dreams, but she at least plays the love interest in a video by chubby pop/opera singer Nikolai Baskov.

Miss Russia 2009, Sofia Rudyeva, was revealed to have done a nude photo shoot for a U.S. soft-porn magazine when she was just 15. Rudyeva told Komsomolskaya Pravda that she was pressured into posing, after being told that she would have to pay thousands of dollars in fines if she didn’t agree to pose for the shots.


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