They say if you feel the need to do something in secret, you probably shouldn’t be doing it at all.
That certainly could be said when discussing the so-called Beauty Pageant that took place behind closed doors in Corrigan’s Kitchen in Monaghan last week. After an outpouring of criticism, The Bracken Court Hotel in Balbriggan publicly pulled out of hosting, citing the fact that they were not made aware of the “nature” of the event. The plug-pulling was welcomed by the Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald TD.
Following a mad scramble by the organisers, Universal Royalty, to find another suitable venue willing to host the pageant (and weather the inevitable bad publicity) the event went ahead, with organiser Annette Hill acknowledging that she had to ask parents to keep the new venue and details a secret, lest there be more vocal complaints or even protests.
Last Friday night saw Hill and her fellow organiser Mickie Wood appear on The Late Late Show, along with Irish supporter and “pageant mom” Stephanie Murphy. It’s not often you see Ryan Tubridy lose his cool (in fact many accuse him of being too bland and “safe” in his interview style), but it was clear to any viewer what the father of two thought of these women.
The interview also included input from Mickie’s 8 year old pageant veteran daughter Eden, as well as Stephanie’s 9 year old daughter and entrant to the controversial affair, Aisling.
I have a lot of pint-sized relatives, so am fairly used to being around kids of various ages and temperaments. I know how the majority of little girls behave, what makes them tick – hell, I was one once upon a time. The two young ladies on the Late Late made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, particularly young Eden. Standing on the stage with elaborate (and in one case, clearly dyed) hair styles and wearing more make up than I even own at any given time, both girls answered questions about why they were happy to get up, parade about and be judged by several fully-grown men and women.