Saturday 3 December 2016

I'll take the Rose of Tralee over child beauty pageants any day

Published 27/05/2013 | 17:00

The Rose of Tralee competition, which was won most recently by Nicola McEvoy, provides an innocent aspiration for young girls. It is a far cry from our own version of ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’, which is on its way
The Rose of Tralee competition, which was won most recently by Nicola McEvoy, provides an innocent aspiration for young girls. It is a far cry from our own version of ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’, which is on its way

EVERY little girl dreams of being a princess, but my ambitions were a bit simpler. I harboured a secret ambition to be crowned Rose of Tralee.

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The fact that I was a complete tomboy, hated dresses and had no clue about make-up didn't matter. I saw Gay Byrne on television every September having the craic with dozens of beautiful, confident young women clad in stunning ball gowns. I wanted to be up on that stage with them. And I wanted to wear that glittering tiara.

My Rose of Tralee aspirations were very innocent indeed. Fast-forward 30-plus years and a contest of a much scarier kind is about to make its presence felt in Ireland. Our very own version of 'Toddlers & Tiaras' is on its way.

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