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Tiger Woods, hijabs banned, baby beauty pageants…what’s making news.

FYI: dress by Anu, shoes by Witchery.

Tiger Woods. Muslim head coverings. Baby Beauty Pageants. Rise and shine.

While you were eating your Weet Bix or sitting on the train, I was getting four centimetres of make-up and a blow-dry. I was also trying to read the paper for my regular Today Show What’s Making News segment with one eye open while the magical make-up fairy applied liquid eyeliner to my other eye. Tough morning.

We discussed some ripper stories this morning (you can watch the video here – sorry, 9MSN doesn’t allow embedding, grrrr) and I wanted to open all three of them for discussion because three minutes wasn’t nearly enough time to workshop them. The rest of the segment was admittedly spent talking about my shoes which Karl is rather fond of. Next week I may need to take a cold spoon on set with me….

ANYWAY.

Here’s what we discussed on air this morning:

1. SHOULD TAX PAYERS FUND TIGER WOODS TRIP TO AUSTRALIA?

Money or morality?

TAXPAYERS may have to stump up $1.5 million to tempt disgraced golfer Tiger Woods back to Melbourne. The Herald Sun reports as a sheepish Woods prepares to return to the fray in the US Masters, Melbourne organisers confirmed they would try to lure him back to defend his Australian Masters title in November.

The State Government and event owner IMG are working on a similar deal to last year’s. The cost to taxpayers last year was about half Woods’ $3 million appearance fee. Sports Minister James Merlino said it was still “early days”, but the Government would love to have him back. The Government would secure the best economic and sporting deal for Victorians, not judge morals, he said.

A prominent women’s group has slammed the decision to use taxpayer money to lure the philandering golfer back to Melbourne. Women’s Network Australia founder Lynette Palmen said it would be wrong to finance Tiger’s Aussie comeback. “Perhaps he should pay his own way or event organisers should put their hands in their pockets,” Ms Palmen said. “I certainly don’t think people would feel comfortable if taxpayer dollars were used to get him here.”

I don’t buy this one. It’s business not morality we’re talking about here. Last year’s visit cost the tax-payer (via the Vic state govt) $1.5m and brought $30m into the Victorian economy. You do the math. If Tiger had been found to be cheating at golf in some way then that’s another story. But I don’t believe his off-field (or whatever it’s called) life should factor into the financial decision of whether or not to bring him out again.

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Do you?

2. SHOULD FEMALE SOCCER PLAYERS WEARING HEAD COVERINGS BE BANNED FROM COMPETING?

This is what FIFA have banned…

The Iran girls’ football team has been kicked out of the Youth Olympic Games because the world governing body for soccer, FIFA, ruled that wearing a hijab was not in accordance with laws of the game relating to on-field equipment.

The president of Lakemba Sport and Recreation Club, Jamal Rifi, said: ”It’s extremely disappointing, especially because we’re trying to encourage local females to play sport, head scarf or no head scarf. It’s a smack in the face for all the hard work we have been doing.

”It’s not an occupational hazard and it’s definitely not a sporting hazard. The number of Muslim girls playing soccer at an elite level is already very few. To restrict these few females achieving at a high level, it’s very demoralising.”

The number of girls’ football teams in the club has risen from one to five in the past four years, which Dr Rifi said was a direct result of opening the sport up to players ”from all religions, races and cultures”.

I think this is a shocker for all the reasons given above. Aren’t we trying to encourage people to be active and to play sport? Why on earth should they be discriminated against because of their religious dress? Who is it actually harming?

3. WHY WOULD YOU ENTER YOUR CHILD IN A BEAUTY PAGEANT?

So very many shades of wrong

MELBOURNE beauty pageant for children inspired by controversial US TV shows will see tiny tots model swimwear and be judged on their smile and posture. Psychologists say the concept wrongly judges young children by their looks and could lead to insecurity and even eating disorders.

But organisers of the Little Miss Bayside Pageant – which will award tiaras to winners – insist it will not be “over the top” like US versions where pre-schoolers are plastered with fake tan, make-up and big hair.

The June pageant, which costs $100 to enter, will judge girls and boys up to 13 on modelling, talent, how they photograph and answers to a series of questions.

Organiser Laura Buik said US shows Toddlers & Tiaras and Baby Beauty Queens (you can watch a clip here if you have a strong stomach) had sparked interest here. But she said make-up was optional at the Miss Bayside pageant and “we’re not encouraging the diamantes and that sort of stuff “.

“When it comes to the formal wear, we’re looking more for like a party dress,” Ms Buik said. “It’s more about the kids getting up and having a go. They get a tiara … but the main prizes are the modelling contract and a three-day workshop.”

Children will pose in a formal gown, casual outfit and sport or swimwear. Photo categories include natural (no make-up), glamour (make-up allowed) and a fun photo. Children will also perform a talent routine, such as dancing or singing.

In the formal gown section, children over three will be judged on public speaking, sincerity and confidence.

Family psychologist Andrew Fuller said pageants could lead to competition, anxiety and embarrassment. “This is a good recipe for how to predispose your daughter into having an eating disorder,” he said. “The risk is that they suddenly fear that their body shape is more important than their intellect.”

Ugh. This gives me the creeps. A SWIMSUIT SECTION? A FORMAL GOWN? MAKE-UP? Really? I just cannot begin to understand why any parent would put their child in this kind of situation. And it’s not enough to say “Oh but she wants to do it. It’s not my idea, it’s hers!” Dressing up in make-up and ‘a formal gown’ and prancing around on a stage in front of an adult audience? My daughter would love to do it. She’d also love to eat all the dozens of Easter Eggs she received but as a parent, my job is not to let her do whatever she wants to do. It’s to decide what is in her best interests.

And entering a beauty contest like this is the farthest thing from teaching little girls (or boys) that they are valued for more than their appearance or that looks are a competitive sport. Ugh.

FROM OUR NETWORK
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