Australia, you have a decision to make. A decision that could affect our great nation’s standing on the world stage.
The Miss World stage.
The four finalists for the Miss World Australia 2017 costume competition have been revealed, and it’s up to us to chose what Madeline Cowe will wear as she sashays down the runway in Washington D.C. come December.
At this point, let’s remind ourselves that more than one billion people will be watching the event.
These are the options:
Yes, that was a Vegemite dress. We love a bit of concentrated yeast extract as much as the next true blue Aussie, but we’re not sure how to feel about this one.
Perhaps it’s the map-of-Australia toast hat that’s… actually, WAIT A MINUTE! Where’s Tassie?! Surely they could have worked it in as an earring or something. #unaustralian #putyourtoastoutfortasmania
The other designs include a sequinned number inspired by the Dreamtime legend of the rainbow serpent, one covered in postcards and another nodding to Australia’s Indigenous heritage.
Of course, it’s not meant to be haute couture. The 2015 choice – a Dame Edna-inspired get-up – is permanently burned into our frontal lobes, and the sequinned/satin stockman from the year before was equally, um, impressive.
But with that kind of back catalogue, it’s no surprise the Vegemite dress has people feeling nervous. After all, we all know the potential for e-democracy to backfire… Boaty McBoatFace, anyone?
When the four finalists appeared on Studio 10 earlier this week, the program’s Facebook page lit up with concerned citizens voicing their opinion:
Perhaps a bit harsh, folks. I mean, reducing a country with a long, problematic history and diverse cultural identity to one Size 8 frock can't be easy.
And let's not forget, we have the power here, people. This is democracy in action.
To paraphrase President Obama, don't whinge; vote.
You've got two weeks.