Breaking the cliche
Hannah Hallom-Eames was once skeptical about beauty contests but now believes in pageant power and is determined to defeat the cliche´ s and stereotypes.
Ms Hallom-Eames attended her latest photo-shoot with Marvel Media last week and has been riding a wave of modelling offers and publicity opportunities since she entered Miss Wellington earlier this year.
The 19-year-old, from Paremata, had never given beauty pageants much thought until her mum made her an offer she could not refuse.
‘‘My Mum came to me and said I should do the Miss Wellington pageant. Straight away I said ‘there’s no way I’m gonna be judged on just appearance, I’m not doing it’. Mum was like, ‘I’ll give you a hundred bucks if you do it’ . . . it was a done deal.’’
She took home the title for Miss Photogenic and a prize which included a three-month membership with talent agency Star Now and a photo-shoot with some top Wellington photographers.
Ms Hallom-Eames, who is studying fine arts at Massey University, said she appreciates modelling because it gives her a different way to express herself. Cat-fights, hairspray and insipid Q& As on ‘‘ world peace’’ was all she knew of pageants from what she had seen in movies like geniality, she said.
‘‘It was amazing. We met so many different people and you learn how to present yourself nicely. It wasn’t at all cliche´ . [The organisers are] really conscious of pageants being like you see in the movies, catty and shallow . . . they try hard to break that stereotype.
‘‘ My public speaking has really improved by doing it, my confidence has grown.
‘‘It’s been a really positive experience, not at all what I thought. It was actually really cool,’’ she said.
‘‘I would encourage younger girls to enter things like Miss Teen Wellington. If you’re ever asked to do it, just do it because it’s really good for your confidence. Being 14 or 15 is a really hard age and being in pageants does so much for your public speaking and self-esteem.’’