Thursday, November 12, 2009
Hutt Valley women try to break the stereotypes of their kind by entering a beauty contest.
Oh yes the irony.
Last night I sat down to read this week's edition of the Hutt News. What I found on the front cover was an article about the newly crowned Miss Hutt Valley. Now there have been a wide variety of events reported on throughout my eight month residency in Petone, but none had me deploring quite like this one.
The winner, Miss Hutt Valley 2009, was one 22 year old Mary Cooper, who obviously stuck out during the swim, designer and evening wear sections. She believed she'd won "because of her professional approach and the way she spoke". Yes, that's what I thought looking at her photo too.
Furthermore, young Mary stated that she had been annoyed by stereotypes of Hutt women as having no ambition, and one of her aims now was to become a positive role model. She was beginning this journey by stating that she now regretted getting a playboy bunny tattoo, and plans to have it removed. "Everyone makes mistakes when they are young". Yes dear, they do.
Still, I can't blame the poor lass. When you grow up (probably) spending your weekends at Queensgate, watching TV and reading Dolly magazine it would be hard not to think that success and popularity are predominantly based on looks.
Often the young women that I teach talk to me about their struggles with the idea they need to be 'perfect'. The thing they find the hardest is that they know that they are being force-fed false messages, but they so often bow to the pressure.
I hope Mary will one day realise this.
As for me, I can't help but keep my stereotypes of the Hutt for events like this and last night's shooting in Stokes Valley.