ONE of the child contestants who took part in a controversial US-themed child beauty pageant in Co Monaghan over the weekend has defended the competition from its critics.
Aisling Murphy (9) was one of around 30 child contestants who took part in the much publicised event that sparked severe public backlash last week.
“People write some silly things but I ignore them. I don’t really care what they say – I can do what I want,” she said.
The Texas-based Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant saw toddlers and teens take part in a show held in the beer garden of Corrigan's Kitchen in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.
The four-star Bracken Court Hotel in Balbriggan previously cancelled plans to host the event, claiming the organisers had not identified the true nature of what they were planning to stage.
Aged from as young as 18months, the children competed in sections such as ‘beauty’ and ‘formalwear’ against their peers.
With her mother “crazy pageant Mama” Stephanie (28) in attendance, Aisling spoke to RTE radio after the event to share her own experience of the day.
“It was really stressful,” said Aisling, who stayed up until the early hours the night before to sign autographs for ‘fans’ who follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
“We got up about 6.30am to do hair and makeup – we normally don’t have breakfast on pageant days.”
She draws from a US pageant show for inspiration for her ‘act’. “I watch Toddlers and Tiaras and I learn all the faces and body movements everything from that.”
In fact, there was a small contingent from the US competing in Ireland at the weekend event, of whom Aisling expressed her admiration.
“There’s these girls from America,” she gushed. “I love how they look – they have soft skin and lovely teeth.”