Youth work is important to her: 20-year-old is the new "Miss Germany"

The bikini rounds on the catwalk image are passé.

Youth work is important to her: 20-year-old is the new "Miss Germany"

The bikini rounds on the catwalk image are passé. In the election of "Miss Germany" the personality is now in the foreground. This year the winner comes from Baden-Württemberg and is only 20 years old.

For her commitment to youth work, Kira Geiss was named the new "Miss Germany" in Wilhelmsdorf near Ravensburg. "Democracy should aim to support young people," said the 20-year-old on Saturday evening. It's not about ready-made concepts, but about shaping the future with young people. They should be given responsibility, Geiss demanded.

On stage, she described how, as a teenager, she fell into a circle of friends in which alcohol and drugs were the order of the day. A youth group helped her out and she found a mentor. That's why she wants to set up a Germany-wide youth platform, said Geiss, who is also active in the church. In Magdeburg, she founded a youth church, as the 20-year-old reported. She also goes to companies to report on what the so-called Gen Z needs. This is the term used to describe the generation of young people born between the late 1990s and around 2010.

Ten women competed for this year's "Miss Germany" on Saturday. If it was once a competition with bikini rounds on the catwalk, the organizers heralded an image change a few years ago: Since 2019, the personality and "missions" of the participants should be in the foreground - and no longer their appearance. Instead of a crown, as in the past, the winner this time also received the "Female Leader Award", which was presented for the first time. The title comes with a prize money of 25,000 euros.

The Miss Germany Studios as organizers emphasize that "Miss Germany" does not get model contracts and photo shoots or has to go to car dealership openings. Instead, they want to manage the winner professionally and offer a network of companies, investors, politicians and the media. They promise appearances on "serious" talk shows and as a speaker at conferences. Criteria for the selection are professionalism, inspiration and the ability to develop, said juror and press spokeswoman for "Miss Germany", Jil Andert, during the show.

15,000 women had applied for this season. Ten of them made it to the final. Among them were trans woman Saskia von Bargen from Friedrichsfehn in Ammerland, Lower Saxony, chimney sweep Vanessa Didam from Cologne, who campaigned for more women in the trades, and gamer Sandra Friedrichs from Hamburg, who wants to explain the advantages, disadvantages and especially the mental health aspect of video games. The spectrum of "missions" was very broad overall, ranging from non-violent midwifery and financial independence for women to the fight against racism and discrimination.

Juror Ruth Moschner already saw the next federal cabinet in the finalists due to their qualifications. "I think there could be many more events like this," said Moschner. "We women are in the majority, but we have so little stage." The jury also included TV host Bruce Darnell, model Monica Meier-Ivancan and entertainer Nicolas Puschmann. With their votes, Geiss was chosen as the winner. Frauke Ludowig and daughter Nele presented a live show together for the first time. This took place for the 21st time in Europa-Park in Rust, southern Baden.

Last year, social entrepreneur and actress Domitila Barros from Berlin won the "Miss" election. She grew up in a favela in Brazil and worked in a street children's project run by her parents. She is committed to sustainability, environmental protection and social justice.

(This article was first published on Sunday, March 05, 2023.)