It’s not often I have strong opinions on things… Ok, that was my white lie for the day haha. I am extremely passionate about the things that matter most to me (and although I am much more eloquent about my delivery these days), when needed, I am more than happy to educate you if you try and tell me how to do my job (particularly if you know nothing about).
My husband is in the same boat, however, as a man he takes a much more pragmatic and chilled out approach than most women (to an extent myself included, I’m not nearly as hung up on general opinions as I used to be). Being an officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (or more to the point, being in the military full stop) he and thousands of other serving members are constantly under fire in the media. The general public often takes the media’s opinions of operations and circumstances without understanding the bigger picture, or better yet, only publishing the negatives. I’ll put it to you like this - when you see a photo of someone in the military, or see them walking down the street in uniform, do you see a hero - or a baby killer? These are the two sides of the camp; trying to educate one about the other is like trying to convert a Christian into being a Muslim or vise versa.
My analogy is drawing to a point here. Whilst the Defence Force is nothing like the Pageant scene, parallels can be drawn in terms of a difference of opinion (very vocal and published opinions), enough to negatively alter the views of readers, particularly from those who know NOTHING about pageants. This blog post is dedicated to just that; the misrepresentation of models and pageant girls by people who only have a superficial understanding of how it all works and why, or have pre-conceived and prejudicial opinions based on their own negative life experiences, that aids and abets the age old ‘all pretty girls must be bitches.’ Just like all blondes are dumb. Haha. Thank you Marliyn Monroe!
Without starting any arguments, I’m not oblivious to the ‘oh my goodness did she just say that/do that’ moments that often take centre stage in the media, and would be one of the first to have a good belly giggle whilst watching YouTube compilations of the most ridiculous pageant Q&A’s from around the globe, trip ups on stage, outrageous gowns, and in some parts the down right wrong scenes from child pageants (cue the controversial reality TV show Toddlers & Tiaras). Though to use these examples as the bench mark for all pageant entrants and title holders, when they’re in fact the exception to the rules…would be no different to assuming that all Politicians are corrupt based on one member’s misuse of a union credit card for escort purchases.
So for the first time since I’ve been blogging (circa 2010), my husband has written an article and kindly asked that I publish it! Despite being my biggest and most biased fan, he’s not your typical American groomed ‘Pageant Husband’…in fact the poor man fell into the job when I switched careers from Graphic Designer to Model, and then found Pageants. Consider him a sceptical bystander, though a very supportive and knowledgable one, because he’s cared enough to get to know the ins and outs of my profession as I have his. He’s not one to be swayed without a good factual fight (believe me I would know!) so it comes as a complete surprise that I received his ‘hubby post’. Might I also point out he’s currently a 2 hour flight away from home, I haven’t seen him for five weeks - with three more to go - and this is the first thing he wanted to talk about last night on the phone). CHIC NATION readers…Do let me know your thoughts!
Beauty Pageants: For Dumb Girls Hey?
Hubby Post by Jason.
I’ve been telling Kate for a while that I will contribute to her blog when I have things worth saying and, having just read another negative media article about the pageant scene, I’m inclined to begin now.
Following the (sadly inevitable) negative media coverage after the Miss Universe Australia pageant I have found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the way that women who choose to participate in pageants are represented in the media. Apparently it is socially unacceptable to mention that someone might be fat, or that obesity might be unhealthy (cue Daily Life’s fat shaming article here), but it appears perfectly acceptable to assume that attractive girls are dumb (see Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘nasty questions we ask beauty queens’ article here). You can find my comment under Jason P).
Ms Zielinski makes the point in the above article that the girls are not vying for Mensa membership. If I were to meet her I would ask her two questions – ‘Do you personally know many ‘pageant girls’’ and, ‘Are you Mensa material?’
It just so happens that I can answer yes to both those questions. I can also attest that I am a seasoned pageant ‘sideliner’ and, if I say so myself, have a pretty good understanding of how the scene works and what is going on.
Here’s the great hidden secret of the pageant scene – these girls are extremely driven, motivated, passionate, inspirational and (dare I say it) intelligent. And yes, Ms Zielinski, that’s my Mensa level opinion. I have had many enjoyable and friendly (including some red wine induced) intellectual debates with ‘pageant girls’, models and fashion professionals. It’s my experience that you can always learn something from self-employed professionals that thrive in a cut-throat industry.
Let me throw some inspirational names out there, some I know well and some I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on occasion: Erin Holland - a brilliant ambassador for Australia, one of the most successful Miss World Australia’s that have graced our shores, a fantastic theatrical talent and a huge heart. Becky Lamb – an uplifting self-made woman juggling more businesses than a mere mortal should. Natalie Roser – an outstanding fashion AND commercial talent, star of (just about) every model TV show, and a future giant on the Australasian photographic scene. Peter Sereno – not a pageant girl but a massive personality (also known as Australian Pageant Royalty and Founder of Dear Pageant Girl) that volunteers his time to advance our country’s reputation on the world stage in a multi-billion dollar industry. And of course my amazing wife, Kate – the most hard working, intelligent and kind hearted soul I know, the one who completes my life (and supported me unconditionally whilst I was deployed) and is an inspiration to so many. ALL of whom are leading figures in the pageant industry.
Here’s my message to the girls of the pageant/model/fashion world – people will instantly judge you because you are attractive. This is the sad but socially acceptable truth. If, by circumstance, you hadn’t been born with ‘good’ features or a ‘good’ body then you would be judged on your actions, achievements and social contribution; however, by being slim and attractive your personal achievements will always be seen by society as less important.
Don’t worry about it. Those who matter in life are more intelligent.
I am quite fond of and greatly admire Nick Vujicic and Stephen Hawking. My personal interests also include being on the look out for new practices and theories relating to spinal cord injury, treatment and development. If there are any members of the press who would like to have a conversation with a Pageant Girl about things, I would like to extend the invitation for lunch someplace (you’ll be pleased to know I eat almost anything). I might even wear my sash and crown, first impressions are important
The irony in all of this is that the current Mrs International, Amy Gregorio, for whom I am joining 60+ ladies to compete for the 2014 title in Florida, USA this July - is in fact a journalist! And an accomplished one at that. Together with her two children and the home she makes, Amy is a prominent member of her community; travelling the USA as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) ensuring children are in a safe home environment free from abuse or persecution. I’ll have to introduce my fellow Mrs International candidates another time…their wrap sheets are too long for this post!
There is always a person behind the face and the name. Do as your mother told you and treat others as you in turn would like to be treated. #BackToBasics
Lead by example!