15-year-old beauty queen Olivia O’Neil never realized the color of her hair could cost her the beloved crown she won only three months earlier as Miss Teen Wanganui. But when Facebook photos surfaced of her sporting a dark brown ‘do, as opposed to her usual blonde locks, things went awry.
After seeing the photos, pageant organizer Barbara Osborne had some choice words for Olivia’s darkened look. “Is that a wig?” I hope it is, don’t give me heart failure,” Osborne wrote. But despite Osborne’s seemingly threatening words, Olivia would not back down.
She admitted that her hair was, indeed brown, and that if being a Teen Queen meant she couldn’t dye her hair, well, then maybe she wasn’t cut out for the pageant life, after all. But of course, the drama did not stop there.
“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,” Osborne said. And hand over the crown Olivia did. But not without dishing the dirt on Osborne’s harsh treatment of the girls.
After Osborne reportedly told her she would “would not go far in this world,” Olivia told the New Zealand Herald:
“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. She was always really harsh on the girls. And when she says things like ‘present yourself better’, ‘wear lots of makeup’, ‘do 20 sit-ups’, it gets to you after a while.”
No one over at the pageant’s office is denying Olivia’s crown was stripped due to the dye. “The expectation in holding the crown [was] that she maintain the image she had when she won it,” a spokeswoman said. Apparently that image had more to do with her blonde hair than Olivia had thought.
They are, however, denying the accusations of Osborne’s treatment of the girls. What Olivia was referring to was “advice,” not “yelling,” they claim.
“In a beauty pageant, it’s not about sugar coating and providing lip service to the girls. They should be treated the same way as in any other beauty pageant in the world.”