Sunday 25 February 2018

Holly Carpenter: Daryel's honesty on First Dates was refreshing

Holly Carpenter and (inset) Daryel and Amy on First Dates Ireland
Holly Carpenter and (inset) Daryel and Amy on First Dates Ireland
Holly Carpenter
Holly Carpenter
Holly Carpenter, judge in the Bollinger best dressed lady competition at the Punchestown Racing Festival in Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Damien Eagers

Holly Carpenter

It seems half of Ireland has been tuning in to watch new series First Dates Ireland on RTE.

I’d already seen the first episode when I filmed some footage for the RTE Player, and I had a feeling it would be a big hit with Irish viewers.

One of the dates that really got people talking online was between former Kildare footballer Daryel O’Brien and Amy Molloy from Wexford. 

At the beginning of the show Amy won the viewers’ hearts when she revealed she’d never had a boyfriend and didn’t have much confidence when it came to chatting to men.

The pair seemed to hit it off straight away and were having lots of laughs and sharing flirty banter even before the food arrived.

By the time they were getting their coats to leave, Twitter was full of gushing messages saying they were so cute together and they would definitely be seeing each other again.

Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out that way, when in a shocking twist Daryel told Amy he would like to meet her again – but only as a friend.

Amy was clearly disappointed because, like everyone watching the show, she felt the date had gone really well.

Suddenly, people on Twitter turned against Daryel, saying he’d led Amy on.

It prompted him to speak out about the criticism he received.

I was really surprised at Daryel’s decision against a second date, but I appreciated his straightforward honesty. There’s no point in giving someone false hope purely out of fear of hurting them.

I think a lot of men struggle with being up-front with their feelings, so it was kind of refreshing to see a young guy speaking so honestly.

I’m sure Amy will be snapped up for plenty of dates after coming across as such a sweetheart.


Best Dressed shouldn't be bitchy

I had a great day out at Punchestown on Tuesday, when I judged the first round of the best-dressed lady competition.

Holly Carpenter at the opening day of the Punchestown Festival. Picture: Michael Chester
Holly Carpenter at the opening day of the Punchestown Festival. Picture: Michael Chester

I really enjoyed talking to each woman about where they got their outfits and who or what had inspired their look.

Some people may see the likes of best dressed competitions and beauty pageants as shallow or outdated, but I think they’re quite the opposite. 

Although technically the contestants are about competing against one another, events like this actually bring women together.

One thing that has been really irritating me lately is people who claim to be feminists and yet they judge girls like me who might wear a bit of make-up to the gym or take the odd selfie (okay, I take a lot of selfies, but so what?).

I think women should be focusing on building each other up and supporting one another rather than making bitchy remarks and judging each other’s life choices.

We don’t all have to fit in the same category or the same-sized jeans. I used to be so worried about what people thought of me when I started out as a model, but as I get older I’ve realised that the less you care about other people’s opinions the happier you’ll be.

On Tuesday, I got a comment online from someone who didn’t like my race day outfit. When I looked at her Instagram, her profile was full of quotes about “being yourself” and “loving who you are”, which I thought was funny seeing as she was slating me for doing just that.

When I get asked if I’m a feminist, I don’t really know how to answer. I think the word “feminist” has been tainted by male-bashing prudes. Of course I think women should have equal rights, but that doesn’t mean I hate men or see them all as sexist predators.

I think feminism is about choice and supporting each other. I don’t see anything wrong with someone choosing to pose for Playboy or enter a beauty pageant.

I understand where people are coming from when they say women are not sex objects and they should be praised for their intelligence and achievements.

But I also see sexuality as a form of art and freedom.


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