Cousin L's Dinner (and Era Fazira!)

Awhile back, Cousin L mentioned that she had gone for a makeover near where I live. And a few weeks later, I think, she mentioned that her picture was one of the contestant in the "most dramatic transformation" category and that she'd be buying a table at the official dinner that was going to be organised by the people taking her picture. She offered 2 places for us and the other 7 would also be her friends and family members. We saw the picture- it was really nice! Of course we 'd be there, we said!

So tonite was the night. Not any hotel, mind you, but the Shang. Which in my mind remains the poshest place in KL, despite the arrival of newer hotels. Anyways! Arrived at the ShangriLa hotel's ballroom, to be greeted by glamourous looking women and menfolk in ballgowns and dresses, some very elaborate, and glitzy. Me and Hubby in conventional baju kebaya and batik. There were potraits set on tables , in various categories- child, teen, demure 20s, something 30s, and 40s, elegant 50s and even the over 60s! The pictures were very nicely taken, some airbrushed a bit, some HEAVILY airbrushed (er some of the over 50s look 20s ok- no nasal labia at all and no sign of lines anywhere). Cousin L was waiting outside allready, and after giving us our tickets we registered & got our pink ribbon to be tied to our wrists. We were also supposed to vote for our choice of the "Miss Photoshoot 2007" ie the picture we most like. Of course, we put our votes with Cousin L. Cousin Lana, Helostzz, Mak Z ( to whom future son in law bears a scarily striking appear, Mak B and Uncle M, and Mak M also turned up to show our support to Cousin L. Also because she had paid for our seats!he he he he!

You can guess that this was no stuffy dinner with speeches when the clip shown to introduce dinner (wondering if any other countries have this "introducing dinner" parlava?) - was from Beauty and the Beast - the scene where the candelabra start singing "Be our guest" .Food was mercifully quickly served. Pictures of the contestant, before and after were put up for all to ooh and ahh over. Looking at some of the before pictures, I thought- really, the digital age makes anything possible. He he he.

We found out then that the organisers were called "Pink Professionals" , the main sponsor and the whole point of this dinner was this cosmetic and skincare products from America,TLV, and is a clever and interesting marketing idea basically to reward these participants of the photoshoot and the members of the beauty company. Boy they had a lot of sponsors- Habib, Boustead, Kodak, Mercy Malaysia etc etc., which was why we got to watch catwalk sponsored by Kodak & jewelry show showing expensive Habib diamonds. In fact the grand prize (the most votes etc) in the Adult /teen category would win RM10,000 worth of jewelry, and in the children section, RM3,000. Not something to be sniffed at , ok. We all hoped that Cousin L would win! Although she was already a winner as far as we were all concerned.

There was even a lucky draw- although I had no hope of winning as I'm not lucky. It also does not help if the lucky draw in question seemed to be FIXED!! If it was not, then I'm sorry but it did look suspiscious when the winners of the lucky draw wore pink shirts and/or bearing the name of the beauty product he he . And all starting from the same pre-fix 6. Oh well, why not reward own members eh.

Then, an unexpected treat- Erra Fazira! Announced as the top diva and entertainer- (for a while I thought it was Siti) she appeared - long wavy hair, tall and slender and basically drop dead beautiful- hey Miss Malaysia, whaaaattt. I was surprised that she can sing live - she can sing well! She sang 4 songs, but the 2nd one, Sway, was a real hoot- she made this man go on stage - he was randomly picked but so happen to be the son in law of one of the key members of this company- and accompanied her singing and swaying with a feather boa (a lot of "bulu" jokes) . The guy sportingly salsaed with her. She came to the tables,spotted Yusni Jaafar and Norlia Ghani on one table and said hi. Mak B who knew her from before, said I'm here too! and instant spotlight to our table as kisses were exchanged between my husband's aunt and Erra - this girl was more beautiful close up, I tell you. Stupid Yusri. If I was his next girlfriend I would constantly feel inferior- yelah his ex was Erra Fazira! He he he.

Back to dinner- after the show, they launched the Pink Calendar- Cousin L was in it! Yay!! Must get the calendar- 20% goes to Mercy Malaysia. Then ,Hubby and I went outside for fresh air- to discover Mak Z and Mak M having the same idea- we found them at the sofa near the loo- and we joined in. Suddenly, some caffufle- oh, it was Erra going off, and some people taking pics. Mak Z and Mak M went up (with me tagging along) and salamed her hands, and exchanged words and then she left. Wah, happy semua orang, dapat salam Erra Fazira. He he he!

The thing about me is that I don't get star struck when I actually see these stars- like seing Pak Lah. I was blur only, with no thought to shake the man's hands, or even with Era, with no thought to getting her autograph etc. It's only when Im alone that I think- oh, wouldn't it be nice had I taken some PICTURES!!, or at least get her to sign something. Or shake Pak Lah's hand. If I were to ever see BYJ ever, I'd probably just go ho hum how are you, and later, kick myself for not doing whatever. Ha ha ha!

We went back in for the results of the voting. Yay Cousin L!!! We all wanted her to win! They had 12 categories, and each winner would receive a digital camera. Not a bad deal. But luck was not on Cousin L's side, and she was not one of the 12. We were ok with it- hey its a fair competition. Then they started on the Grand Prize winners and that was when we got an inkling that it may not be such a fair competition after all. It just felt funny to us that the Grand Prize winner, the one who got the most votes, and won the RM10,000 worth of jewelry- is the daughter of one of the main sponsors! Her picture was neither the prettiest, nor the most photogenic, nor the most memorable, nor the most dramatic transformation etc etc, it probably just meant that the sponsor company bought the most tables, and had the most votes for her! It's all about money and where's the fairness in that??? What is the sense of psyching all these individuals like Cousin L to think that they stand a chance when the real determining factor is not how you actually do in the contest, but how much money you sink in their dinner?? It's really burning Hubby up, let me tell you that. Dont quite like the Grandprize thing as they got so many individuals to pay to enter into this photoshoot contest and not everyone can buy the votes that this winner got- its not right , its not ethical, and it's morally wrong. Cousin L is too nice to be bothered about it, I think, but how can you think - "oh well, I tried", when you failed not because you didn't deserve to win, but because you did not have deep enough pockets? Not fair to all the others, too. Cousin L, you look nice, you'll always be a winner to us, and I'm so tempted to tell you to stop supporting this company and its products.

But!! I guess all's fair in love, war and business! It leaves a bad bad bad taste in my mouth, but at the end of the day, we had a good time, and thank you Cousin L, for inviting us to share in your nite. Again, your picture was one of the better ones!

Night night everyone.....

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