Teen beauty queen stripped of her crown for dyeing her hair
Published 12/08/2010 | 16:38
A 15 year-old in New Zealand was told to hand back her beauty pageant crown after posting a photo of herself with dyed brown hair on Facebook.
Olivia O’Neil won the title of Miss Teen Wanganui three months ago. A few months after winning the crown she dyed her blonde hair brown and posted a photo of her new look on Facebook.
But when the beauty pageant organiser Barbara Osborne saw the photo she reacted strongly to the teenager’s decision to colour her hair.
Ms Osborne wrote: "Is that a wig? I hope it is, don't give me heart failure. Oh my God, I hope it's a demi. Please tell me that's a wig".
Miss O'Neil told Ms Osborne it was not a wig and she had dyed her hair.
She added that if she wasn't allowed to dye her hair then beauty pageants might not be for her.
Ms Osborne responded by telling the 15 year-old to choose between the hair dye and her title.
She 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."
Ms Osborne also told the teenager that she would not go far in the world.
Miss O'Neil told the New Zealand Herald she was shocked by the decision and Ms Osborne's comments.
She said: "I don't think you can tell a 15 year-old that they aren't going to go very far in life. It's hurtful.”
Miss O’Neil also claimed Ms Osborne had yelled at the girls during the pageant and made her feel pressured to wear a lot of make-up and do at least 20 sit ups a day.
Pageant spokesman Jevan Goulter confirmed that the crown had been taken away from Miss O'Neil due to her decision to dye her hair.
He said: "The expectation in holding the crown [was] that she maintain the image she had when she won it.”
But Mr Goulter added that it was an exaggeration to say there had been harsh treatment to the girls from behind the scenes.
Barbara Osborne has since left the organisation.