Which is the mom and which is the daughter?

Those who struggled with that question during Ivory soap commercials may grapple with it again in September during the state's first Mother/Daughter pageant."It's going to be much more fun and interesting than any other pageant," said Kay Ellison. She and her daughter, Charisse Christiansen, are the Utah directors for the international beauty pageant.

The young pageant has never had Utah participants because there has not been an organized local competition until this year. Ellison, thinking she might like to enter the contest, recently inquired and discovered the pageant needed a Utah director. She ended up volunteering for the job.

"We're doing it to let the women here have an opportunity," she said. "This is going to be a big success in Utah."

Ellison said she believes Utah is an ideal place for this pageant. Its family-oriented ties are great for a Mother/Daughter pageant, she said. "Women stay younger and prettier longer in Utah."

Mothers of any age may participate, but daughters must be at least 16 years old. The mothers and daughters may be single, married, divorced or widowed.

"What really makes the pageant unique is that beauty takes a back seat to the celebration of that very special relationship that exists between mothers and their daughters," said Ellison. Contestants will be judged on the mother-daughter relationship, personal interviews, swimsuit and formal gown competitions and a finalist statement. The contestants will be judged as a team.

Ellison said that although she believes swimsuits soon may be a thing of the past in beauty pageants, they are an important part of the competition because the suits show the physical condition of the contestant.

"Women can hide a number of sins in an evening gown," she said.

Winners of the Utah contest will win a trip to the national competition in Florida, in addition to other prizes. Contestants also will have the opportunity to participate in workshops on modeling, makeup, attitude and self-image, Ellison said.

Ellison participated in the 1955 Miss Sugar House competition and placed in the top 10. One daughter, Margie Hunsaker, is a former Days of '47 queen and former Mrs. Utah. Christiansen is fourth runner-up in this year's Miss Utah Scholarship Pageant.

Those interested in participating in the pageant should call 943-1241.