LaPlace toddler mixes pageants and playtime

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / August 19, 2000

LAPLACE – What do you do when you are 2 years old and have just been named Supreme King? Where do you go from there? Justin Dubose doesn’t seem to care too much about it. He’s too busyplaying with his toy trucks and building blocks.

For a kid who has been competing and winning pageants since the tender age of seven months, Justin is pretty blase about it all.

“So far he’s just a little boy,” said Justin’s mom, Tina Brouwer. “He likesto play all the time.”Justin, Tina and Justin’s grandmother just returned from Montreal, Canada, where Justin competed against 11 other children in the Hawaiian Tropic International Pageant. Justin represented the state of Louisiana, and asBrouwer puts it, “He won everything.”In the 13-35 months category Justin won king of the tropical wear division plus best smile and best attire.

In the same age category in the glamour wear division he was again pronounced King for his tuxedo and also won prettiest hair, best smile and best attire.

He made king again in the swimwear division and also won best smile.

His photos were judged the best for glamour and swimwear division.

He was declared mini-king for the 1- to 12-year-old category and finally, he won supreme king of the entire pageant.

Not bad for a 2-year-old kid.

As a result, Justin won an eight-day, $5,000 trip to Barbados, a $500 savings bond, gold chains, Speedo swimwear, cameras, a ton of suntan lotion and a trophy taller than most NFL linebackers. He will also got anall-expense trip to Las Vegas, where he will make an appearance at the adult version of the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Pageant.

More important to Justin’s mom is that he also won a chance to be in several Hawaiian Tropic ads. Brouwer sees this as a way to earn somecollege money for Justin.

“I am sending his photos to two top modeling agencies in New York,” said Brouwer. She said one of the members of the singing group ‘NSync, whosename is also Justin, was discovered after he won supreme king at the Hawaiian Tropic International Pageant.

With his charm, smile and demeanor, little Justin is already making his mark on the world.

He won his first contest when he was 7 months old. He was MasterAndouille of 1998.

“He was a natural from the first,” said Brouwer. “The first time he was onstage at seven months, he got very excited and started bouncing around like he was dancing.”Brouwer, an elementary teacher at John. L. Ory Magnet School, said gettingJustin into the pageants was not her idea. She was not very keen on theidea, but her mother talked her into it.

“At first it was very nerve-wracking,” admitted Brouwer. “Now, I reallylike it, and so does Justin.”Since the first contest Justin has won Baby Master Kenner, Little Master Bonfire in St. James Parish, Cover Boy U.S.A., Master Sweetheart, BabyMaster of LaPlace, 2000 LaPlace King and, of course Louisiana Hawaiian Tropic King.

Not bad for a 2-year old kid.

According to his mother, Justin just seems to naturally know what to do when he is on stage.

“When he steps on that stage he just turns on the charm,” said Brouwer.

He dances, bows, blows kisses to the audience, turns around and shows off his muscles.

“He is very proud of his muscles, and likes to show them off,” said Brouwer. “He only wants to wear muscle T-shirts now.”At his mother’s request Justin reluctantly left his toys and demonstrated his on-stage persona. He got into a muscle pose that would make ArnoldSchwarzeneggar proud, then quickly went back to playing with his toy trucks.

Brouwer said she was impressed with how the international pageant was run in Montreal.

“He really enjoyed it,” said Brouwer. “He liked playing with all the otherkids, and the pageant made it fun for the children.”Brouwer thinks all this exposure had been good for Justin.

“It is teaching him self-confidence,” said Brouwer, “and he is learning how to be with people.”As if to prove her point Justin shook hands, said goodbye and walked his guest to the door.

Not bad for a 2-year old kid.

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