The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

15 Year-Old Pageant Queen Loses Crown Over Hair Color Dispute

Olivia with her pageant-friendly blonde streaks, left, and her new dark look.  Photos / Supplied, Wanganui Chronicle

Over the years, pageant winners have lost their crowns for numerous reasons; including lingerie-like modeling photographs. Olivia O’Neil, pageant winner of Miss Teen Wanganui, recently gave back her crown after photographs surfaced of her newly dyed brown hair on Facebook. Barbara Osborne, the Miss Teen Wanganui pageant organizer, originally asked Olivia, a fifteen year-old from New Zealand, if her new hair was a wig. After Olivia admitted that it was not a wig, she began to wonder if pageant life was for her if she wouldn’t be allowed to do something different with her hair. In response, Osborne said “Well you better decide, miss. Hand over your crown with an attitude like that. I’m sure someone will step into your place with manners.” According to the pageant spokesman Jeavan Goulter, Olivia lost her crown because she did not “maintain the image” she had when she won the pageant.

After handing over her crown, Osborne allegedly told Olivia that “she would not go far in this world.” In response, Olivia went straight to the New Zealand Herald to share her story and tell others how pageant girls are treated. Olivia said she and her competitors were criticized from everything about their weight to their complexion and even yelled at by Osborne. Although pageant panels may not sugar coat advice, Olivia’s father believes comments like this are unfair to young girls who are still developing. To read more about Olivia, please check out “Web row ends pageant dream.”

Does it really matter what color your hair is? Should pageant winners and participants only be able to represent one form of beauty? Can pageants be healthy competition or do they create low self-esteem for contestants?

-Samantha Bradbeer
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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