Jeff Lee: How The 30-Year-Old Turns Women Into Miss Universe

Jeff Lee has gotten an extensive profile in GQ, with the 30-year-old Lee’s background in becoming a Miss Universe coach listed in full detail. The beauty tips listed within the article reveal that the contests are more about creating a full package of a woman. In order to win Miss Universe, a woman usually cannot be too short and she must be a well-rounded person in terms of poise and intelligence.

Lee practices ways of trying to tactfully tell women the things that he feels they need to improve about their looks. Jeff might tell one woman that she needs her nose fixed and to have it shaved down a bit, if she so desires.

The path to the Miss Universe contest is also a road paved with pageants where women are pre-judged, with the winners sometimes seemingly chosen well before they hit the stage. Stopping short of calling it an all-out fixed process, the in-depth profile offers loads of insight for those seeking to win such a contest.

The rewards for winning or advancing to the Miss Universe contest can mean a prosperous journey for some contestants.

Miss Universe hopefuls must always be ready to appear before the camera. They also need to be as social media savvy as Lee himself. Lee coaches his top performers to walk, talk, and answer questions with panache. Certain women might look better with minimal makeup and their hair down. A big constant with all potential winners is the ability to walk with confidence and woo the judges.

What’s most shocking about the GQ profile is the revelation of just how heavy of a hand Donald Trump had in selecting the winners of the Miss Universe contest during the years in which Trump owned the pageant.

“Lee will tell you that from 2005 until Donald Trump sold the Miss Universe pageant last year, the billionaire quietly handpicked as many as six semifinalists—’Trump cards,’ they were called. In Miss Universe, Lee later explains, the decisive battles take place during the days preceding the pageant. There are preliminary swimsuit, evening gown, and interview competitions, and also countless extracurricular charity dinners and press junkets that are no less crucial. The international selection process is opaque, so Lee has done his best to reverse-engineer it. The women are judged on their raw beauty, of course. But from what I gather they can be evaluated for their poise, personality, and wit, too—as well as their humor, imagination, style, generosity, sensitivity, authenticity, aptitude for small talk, ability to eat without spilling, patience with small children, patience with geriatrics, patience waiting in line, cheerfulness, kindness, boldness, self-awareness, and finesse under duress. It also helps to have a certain je ne sais quoi.”

The “Trump cards” became evident once a favorite of Trump’s — Miss Ukraine, Oleksandra Nikolayenko — was snubbed in 2004.

Lee’s love of taking all sorts of selfies and posing for plenty of photoshoots is a recurring theme throughout the article. Lee proclaims that he sports his six-pack abs and keeps himself in tiptop condition so that he can tell the women he coaches that he knows what it takes to look great and maintain a low body-fat percentage.

His own background and “Tiger Mom” is credited as a big part of his success. Lee entered Stanford University as a 16-year-old, the only acceptable institute of higher learning for his Asian family, outside of an Ivy League school.

One important person in his life was Monica Spear, a model who contacted Lee for advice when she was tapped to enter the Miss Venezuela contest. Spear brought Lee into the Miss Universe world, but years later was tragically killed. Lee choked up when speaking about Monica.

[Photo by AP Photo/Bullit Marquez]