By Donald WittkowskiNever say there is no such thing as beginner’s luck. Just ask Ginger Mumman.Competing in her very first beauty pageant, the 10-year-old blonde was crowned Little Miss Ocean City 2018 on Friday night amid a crowded field of 27 contestants ranging in age from 8 to 12.Appearing stunned when they called her name as the winner, she broke into tears of joy and continued to cry while Little Miss Ocean City 2017 Charlotte Erickson placed the silver tiara on her head.“I’m so excited right now. There are so many emotions rushing through my head,” Mumman said while accepting hugs and congratulations from well-wishers.Her parents, Christa and Patrick Mumman of Ocean City, seemed as surprised as their daughter.“This is shocking,” Patrick Mumman said, shaking his head in astonishment. “This is the first time she’s ever entered a pageant. To hear her name called was a shock.”Ginger Mumman and her family celebrate her win.Ginger Mumman, who will enter the fifth grade at the Ocean City Intermediate School in September, believes her classmates may be a bit shocked, too.“I think they’ll say, ‘Whoa, how did you do it?’” she said with a laugh. “I can’t wait to see them. This is so amazing.”Mumman displayed poise in front of the audience from the very beginning. When she came out on stage at the Music Pier to introduce herself at the start of the pageant, she reached for the microphone, but it slipped out of the stand into her hand. Without missing a beat, she calmly placed the mic back in the stand, announced her name and flashed a big smile.“I was a little bit nervous when that happened,” she said of the loose mic. “But I got back on track and everything seemed to go better after that.”Grabbing first runner-up honors was Annie Farrell, 10. Camryn Schultheis, 11, was second runner-up, Erin Coughlin, 11, was third runner-up and Makenna Fleming, 10, was fourth runner-up.Contestants perform in the poise and composure competition in the pageant.Contestants were judged on scholarship, talent, poise and an interview segment with the judges.Mumman won the interview segment, but that portion of the pageant was conducted with the judges before the public part of the show got underway. For the talent segment, she performed a dance routine to the song “When I Grow Up.”Mumman’s pageant duties in the next 12 months will keep her busy. Little Miss Ocean City joins with Junior Miss Ocean City and Miss Ocean City in parades and other promotional events for the town.Mumman explained that she decided to enter a beauty pageant for the first time because she wanted to become an ambassador for a town she has grown to love.“It’s amazing that I’ll be able to represent the town. I care about it so much,” she said.The Little Miss Ocean City Pageant has been sponsored by the city’s Recreation Department for the past 28 years. Kristie Fenton, the pageant’s executive director, praised all of the contestants.“In my mind, they are all winners,” Fenton said.Erickson, Little Miss Ocean City 2017, was honored Friday in her last night as pageant queen. In her farewell remarks, she said that serving as Little Miss Ocean City allowed her to become “the girl I always wanted to be.”“This year was the best year of my life,” she said.Little Miss Ocean City 2017 Charlotte Erickson, in yellow dress, leads the contestants in the pageant’s opening number. A tearful Ginger Mumman accepts the congratulations from her fellow contestants immediately after she is crowned.
Although many Americans argue advertising images do not impact them, Dr. Jean Kilbourne argues that the impact comes from repeated, subconscious and instant exposure. This inundation shapes cultural norms, especially with regard to acceptable forms of female beauty and behavior, she said in her talk “The Naked Truth: Advertising’s Image of Gender,” on Tuesday night in DeBartolo Hall.“They stay with us and we process them over and over again, and we process them subconsciously,” Kilbourne said. “To a great extent, advertising tells us who we are and how we should be.”Kilbourne, an author and filmmaker, spoke as part of the Gender Relations Center’s (GRC) “Love Your Body Week.”She said Americans view an average of 3,000 ads every day and spend two years watching television commercials in their lifetimes. She said it is impossible to completely ignore this constant messaging, which creates a toxic cultural environment that sacrifices health for corporate profit.“What they’re selling us is image,” Kilbourne said. “… People are willing to spend a lot more money to buy that image while at the same time they believe they aren’t influenced by advertising.”Having studied advertising since the late 1960s, Kilbourne said that American advertising has created an unrealistic ideal for female beauty, telling women and girls that they must spend incredible time and money to achieve the impossible standards portrayed in advertisements by unhealthily thin and often airbrushed models.“What this does is it creates the idea that there is something wrong with [women who see the advertisements] … and creates the image that women can be perfectly thin and beautiful if we try hard enough,” Kilbourne said.Citing multiple examples of computer-manipulated photos, Kilbourne said these artificial and constructed pictures damage women’s self-esteem and also cause men to have unrealistic expectations for females.“Failure is inevitable because success is based on absolute flawlessness,” she said. “No one looks like this, including her … yet real women and girls measure themselves against these ideals everyday.”Kilbourne said if an eating disorder meant having a disordered attitude toward one’s body or food, 65 percent of America would qualify. She said an obsession with becoming thinner and thinner prevents women to value themselves for anything but their bodies and teaches girls that they will be judged in life for how they look and what they wear, not what they accomplish.“On a deeper level, the obsession with thinness is about cutting girls down to size,” she said. “Girls are taught to aspire to become nothing”Kilbourne said advertising’s obsession with perfect female bodies has caused the prevalence of body-altering products and services like “The Wonderbra” and plastic surgery. She said 91 percent of plastic surgery patients today are women and women are getting surgeries at a younger age.“Nowadays we’re supposed to go further; we’re supposed to get surgery,” she said.With damaging ads running in teen magazines targeted at audiences as young as 12, she said the image of the ideal woman causes a girl’s self-esteem to plummet in adolescence.“Girls are getting the messages so young that they need to be thin and perfect looking and hot and sexy, and there is no way they can succeed,” she said. “Part of this wall [of self-esteem] is this terrible emphasis of physical perfection.”Kilbourne said an over-emphasis on thinness and dieting pairs logically with the obesity problem in the U.S., where both fast food and diet pills are commonly advertised. She encouraged a realization of natural, healthy body-sizes.“We need to transform our attitudes as a culture about how we eat and how we exercise,” she said. “Eating should be one of life’s joyful experiences.”Kilbourne said objectifying women by showing only a body part like legs or a stomach or by transforming a woman into a beer bottle can lead to violence.“It is part of a cultural climate in which women are seen as things, as objects … which is almost always the first step of being violent against someone,” Kilbourne said. “It is a chilling but logical result of this kind of objectification.”Kilbourne said many ads also show women in victimized, passive positions that glorify battery, murder and submission. She said these advertisements are dangerous in the U.S., where one-third of female murder victims are killed by their romantic partners.Kilbourne said objectification of male bodies has become increasingly common, although men often assume poses of power, dominance and violence that contrast with the passive rag-doll positions of females. She said male models often receive computer-enhanced muscles instead of the waifish look for female models.“It’s a perverse kind of equality, and it’s not okay; it’s not ever okay to be objectified,” she said. “… Men and women inhabit very different worlds. Men don’t live in a world where their bodies aren’t routinely stereotyped and judged.”According to Kilbourne, the body language in advertisements has grown increasingly graphic and pornographic. She said ads have more frequently portrayed young girls sexually, but she said an APA study suggests that girls exposed to sexual images at a young age have higher chances of developing eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem.“Girls learn from a very young age that their sexual behavior affects them,” Kilbourne said. “… Girls learn to turn themselves into objects. When the culture offers women and girls only one way to be sexy, it can hardly be portrayed as a choice to choose it.”Kilbourne said American children receive their sex education from the media, through sexualized video games, music videos and advertisements because the U.S. has no regulated education program. She said this could be one reason why the U.S. has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and sexual diseases of any industrialized nation.When asked how she stays hopeful despite advertisements growing worse since she started her work decades ago, Kilbourne said society must work together for change. She said after showing one of her documentaries, “Killing Me Softly,” to the British Parliament, a politician introduced legislation to label Photoshopped images and to enforce a minimum body mass index for models.“The big thing that’s changed is I’m no longer alone, which I was when I started talking out about it,” she said. “What’s at stake for all of us … is the ability to have authentic and freely-chosen lives and relationships, and we all deserve that.”Tags: advertising, Body Image, gender, Gender Relations Center, GRC, Jean Kilbourne, Love Your Body Week, media
Wray and Nephew’s popular Contender series, will start on Wednesday, with the first of three road shows, which the promoters have stated will be an exciting build-up to the start of the regular series which kicks off on Wednesday April 5 at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium on Old Hope Road in Kingston.The first of the road shows will see veteran boxer Anthony Osbourne, who has appeared in the Contender series on a couple of occasions, going up against Patrick Miller, who himself is a Contender “graduate”, at Colonel’S Cove in Morant Bay. The second show will take place at Island Village in Ocho Rios, St Ann, on Friday, March 10, featuring Kevin ‘Bus Boy’ Hylton and Glenroy ‘Bumpy’ Beckford, and the third show on Friday March 17, at Breds Sport Park in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, will have a showdown between hometown boxer Jermaine Vassell and popular Miguel ‘Iron Dog’ Raye.HIGH ENERGYCommenting on the road shows to The Gleaner, Wray and Nephew’s Marketing Manager Pietro Gramegna said that he was “enthusiastic and excited about the new series which we are calling ‘the Best of the Best’, as several former champions will be back this year. We are starting with this high-energy series of road shows because we want our loyal and enthusiastic rural supporters to see some live action, and I am sure that they will enjoy themselves”.Boxing Board President Stephen “Bomber” Jones has praised the idea of taking the show on the road, and said that it showed that sponsors Wray and Nephew fully supported the Board’s idea of having live boxing shows outside of Kingston. “Taking the experience of the live boxing matches outside of Kingston is something that we suggested to the sponsors and we are very happy that they have made a start this year. We are sure that our fans outside of Kingston will support the move wholeheartedly.”Mark Kenny, who promotes the series, told The Gleaner that he wanted this year’s competition to be the best ever and was optimistic that the road shows would be a popular innovation. He said that former champions such as Devon Moncrieffe and Sakima Mullings are expected to participate and that the Jamaicans will this year be going up against boxers from Canada. “The competition this year should be very exciting”, he added.There will be delayed broadcasts of the three road shows on Television Jamaica and the weekly shows will be broadcast live each Wednesday night.