A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the reject miscreants of a dying civilisation stole a starship and headed to Earth. Their mission? To infiltrate the fashion industry and render it unsuitable for humans.

Note the alien-like long necks and oversized eyes on Miss Australia and Miss New Zealand. Pic: AFP

Every now and then, humans suspect that something has gone terribly wrong. In news today, people are suspicious because the 16-year-old winner of Miss World Fiji Torika Watters doesn’t look “native” enough. According to news.com.au:

“The ugly race row has even included attacks on Watters’ hair, with many claiming the model chosen to represent the island nation should have a “buiniga” - the local word used to describe the naturally-fuzzy Fijian hairstyle.”

Now that they point it out, Miss World Australia and Miss World New Zealand (above) didn’t really look all that native.

God knows how these poor people still believe that Miss World was about representing a nation’s first people. Or second people, for that matter. Or fat people, or fuzzy-haired people or bepimpled people. Or even people at all.

Beauty pageants are just about who best embodies an arbitrary notion of perfection, a notion trumped up by these asexual aliens in small dark rooms in the heart of Paris. They meet once a year to sip on diuretics made from the gall bladders of endangered hippopotami and decide on tweaks to the idea of beauty.

Have people never wondered why, one year, bushy eyebrows are in? And the next, lurid orange? It is because these creatures have no contact with earthly creatures and are forced to pick characteristics at random from a bespoke version of Guess Who?

Goodness, I even read once that gappy front teeth were ‘in’. Who ARE these weirdos?

The point is the invasion has been entirely successful, if not flawless. While some characteristics endure – visible ribs, legs from here to ya ya, an ongoing tendency to androgyny combined with mermaid hair – others depend entirely on the fickle caprices of people whose brains have been infected with botulinum toxin.

The Miss World Fiji judges weren’t being racist, they were just obeying the fashion world hivemind, and buinigas weren’t on the list this year.

There’s every chance they will be next year, but unfortunately there’s also every chance that it will be a blonde Scandinavian extraterrestrial who has bathed in fake tan for weeks and paid hundreds for the latest in perming technology who takes home the prize.

Then the year after pale elfishness will be the thing, and the sales of whitening cream will skyrocket and eyebrows will be pruned into barely there wisps and dark curly hair will be bleached and straightened until it falls out and is washed down the drain with the tears of the pretender.

My only hope is that one day all the fashion gods will smile on me and decide that gappy teeth, a surfeit of moles, man legs, and the occasional lump of back fat will come up in their cosmic game of Guess Who? But I suspect I’m the wrong species.

A gappy Twitterer: @ToryShepherd

Most commented


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    • M says:

      12:33pm | 27/04/12

      Isn’t fashion just an excuse for the vain to blow disposable income on retail therapy every few months?

    • Emma says:

      02:46pm | 27/04/12

      *Oehm* months?

    • Bev says:

      04:01pm | 27/04/12

      Depends how big your shoe rack is. Don’t worry though its a women “thing”.  Excavation of the viking town of York discovered 48 different styles of womens shoes so fashion goes back a long long way and it’s not just limited to women. In the 16th century mens clothing was far more elaborate than womens.

    • Paige says:

      07:36pm | 29/04/12

      Fashion is not an excuse for vain to blow income.

      Fashion is an art form, an expression of who you are. 

      There is a difference between fashion and clothing.  Clothing covers you up, fashion expresses who your characteristics.

    • Lauren says:

      12:44pm | 27/04/12

      Did you know there are actually creams to make darker skinned girls hoo-haas more “white”?

      True story.

    • John F says:

      12:53pm | 27/04/12

      I’m looking forward to the Miss hoo-haas pagent then !

    • haitrn says:

      01:15pm | 27/04/12

      Something I did not know..

    • Lilyleaves says:

      01:23pm | 27/04/12

      That cream is not just for dark skinned girls…

    • Richard says:

      02:19pm | 27/04/12

      You’re allowed to say vagina. ‘Hoo-ha’ is just so juvenile.

    • Kat says:

      03:02pm | 27/04/12

      I prefer ‘bajingo’.

    • Lauren says:

      03:19pm | 27/04/12

      Thank you Richard, but I prefer hoo-haa. It’s fun to say, almost like you are laughing from your belly.

    • Philip says:

      11:50am | 28/04/12

      Same with white skinned girls tanning to look darker…......Everyone just wants to look Latin American i guess.

    • Mik says:

      03:55pm | 28/04/12

      Vulva actually. The vagina is internal.

    • Nick says:

      08:37pm | 28/04/12

      The vagina/vulva thing is one of the favourite bug bears of the anatomically correct, but the Macquarie Dictionary, which is the standard reference for Australian English, allows us to use vagina when ho-haas come up in this context.

    • RyaN says:

      12:49pm | 27/04/12

      The mere fact that this is a debacle just shows how racist the Fijians who are complaining actually are.
      She isn’t black enough so pull out the race card, how sickening, and I thought we had gotten rid of apartheid.

    • MD says:

      01:13pm | 27/04/12

      Fiji is a backwards military dictatorship, it’s not entirely surprising.

    • SydneyGirl says:

      01:31pm | 27/04/12

      RyaN your simple minded bigotry is tolerated on most days.


      I gather you were once in Zimbabwe/South Africa.  If that is the case please do not use the word apartheid loosely and pretend its applicable to Fiji. Its not going to change the facts of the apartheid regime in SA.

    • andye says:

      01:51pm | 27/04/12

      If Fiji is reverse apartheid, then why are resort owners and managers white and the staff black? Oh, I guess because it isn’t.

    • andye says:

      01:52pm | 27/04/12

      If Fiji is reverse apartheid, then why are resort owners and managers white and the staff black? Oh, I guess because it isn’t.

    • RyaN says:

      03:39pm | 27/04/12

      Nope still no right to reply, I guess you can get away with wrongly accusing someone of something and the Punch won’t let your defence be published.
      Sensored up the wazoo and Tory you always claim that you don’t censor comments.

    • John F says:

      12:59pm | 27/04/12

      My 3 daughters are actualy Fijian/Australian (Anglo Saxon), should they enter Miss Australia and win will there be an uproar in Australia about it ? I dont think so. Most people will judge Fijians based on their holiday experiences ooppss WRONG !  Fijians I have found are just like other people only more racist. I know having experienced it !

    • natweeza says:

      03:39pm | 27/04/12

      Are you acotel or are you just trying to emulate him?

    • Tory Shepherd

      Tory Shepherd says:

      03:37pm | 27/04/12

      Weirdos. Although… at least we gappies don’t generally get stuff stuck between our front teeth. Unless it’s an entirely stalk of broccoli, and then we work it out pretty quickly.

    • Chris L says:

      06:27pm | 27/04/12

      You’re lucky Tory! My teeth are like a graveyard after an earthquake (without the suddenly exhumed corpses). When I run the dental floss between them it ends up shredded!

    • Mouse says:

      07:06pm | 27/04/12

      LOL….. the mind boggles!~  :o)

    • There will be no Carbon Tax says:

      01:08pm | 27/04/12

      This is what happens when you rely on “stereotypes”.  They create all sorts of false expectations.

      For instance, you would think that the high office of Prime Minister would require a person of wit, charm, high intelligence, impeccable honesty, universal respect, honour, morality and integrity.

      In Australia though, we have Juliar Blowhard occupying that office, which emphatically disproves the stereotype.

      Go Figure!

    • MattyC says:

      02:14pm | 27/04/12

      Excellent comment but surely there is enough room on the other items of the punch for it.

    • Tubesteak says:

      05:02pm | 27/04/12

      Not one PM in the last 50 years has had any of those. At least not in Australia.

      Churchill maybe. There was a man of wit!

    • Good Grief says:

      01:10pm | 27/04/12

      I can’t believe the Fijians are taking this “competition” so seriously. The show is nothing more than a contest of materialistic perfection between women. Anybody these days (given enough cosmetics) can look pretty; heck there’s a youtube video of a pudgy middle aged chinese man who managed to transform himself into a typical 16 year old Chinese girl beauty.

      Anybody can preach that they wish for world peace, and thank thier Ma and Pa for raising them and teaching them to be model citizens. Again, the contest is a joke and people should feel bad taking it seriously.

    • M says:

      01:46pm | 27/04/12

      “Contest of materialistic perfection”

      Well duh!

    • Billy says:

      01:16pm | 27/04/12

      Kindly refrain from writing anything negative about the events where scantily clad women display themselves,It is a cultural imperative to educate men on the qualities of the fairer sex,by admiring their shape with the tv muted men learn to understand women better and become more sensative thus reducing carbon

    • egg says:

      04:21pm | 27/04/12

      Wanking doesn’t reduce carbon… if it did, we’d all be much better off, come to think of it. wink

    • Kirsty says:

      01:17pm | 27/04/12

      I found it interesting that in the local Miss Indigenous event the some of the girls get a fake tan to look a bit darker or “less white” if they have mixed heritage.  Seems like a bad message to send to others.

    • Ian1 says:

      01:25pm | 27/04/12

      Geez, that Miss Australia is gorgeous!

      This whole issue highlights the racism encountered by those who are born citizens to a country, but of a race which is foreign to the said country’s cultural roots.

      In short, though you may be Indigenous, as in natively born to any particular Nation, if you are not “pure-blooded” like those whose culture historically resides there, then you are somehow a second class of citizen bereft of National acclaim?  Why could it not be called Miss Fiji of Indigenous Fijian descent?

      Fiji needs to get over this, as do other Cultures who would not embrace their citizens by birth, or naturalised citizens, by giving up the same policy stances which blight their memory and reputation, much like the White Australia Policy still haunts the now ALP in the mind of many, many older immigrants.

    • gobsmack says:

      02:19pm | 27/04/12

      Andrej Pejic should be the next Miss Australia.
      Only entrenched sexism would prevent him from vying for that title.

    • Ian1 says:

      03:03pm | 27/04/12

      A prettier Mr Australia you might not know.  But if he has had gender reassignment surgery, could your point be valid?

    • SydneyGirl says:

      01:37pm | 27/04/12

      Miss anything is stupid.  And I am sure there is plenty of beauty discrimination in Fiji even if you looked “Fijian”.

      But in part this is also because there is now a global standard of beauty that is increasingly homogeneous and surprise is dictated by the fashion houses in the US and Europe. All it does is result in a kind of cultural schizophrenia where you have to conform (e.g. black girls straightening their hair) and the desire to stay true to yourself.  And I guess choosing a girl who doesn’t look “Fijian” just brings out that schizophrenia.

    • M says:

      02:57pm | 27/04/12

      Your feminism is getting the better of you SydneyGirl.

    • SydneyGirl says:

      03:21pm | 27/04/12

      Also add the multiculturalism is getting the better of me.

      Their ain’t no greater feminism booster than the comments of certain folk on the Punch.  Charged for the day now. Yay!

    • Dan Webster says:

      03:13pm | 27/04/12

      Hey gappy teeth with man legs, are you hating on pretty girls ?

      The fickle world of beauty is human made unfortunately.
      We can all blame ourselves.

      (BTW, I lol’d at “man legs”, please tell me you shave them!)

    • Tory Shepherd

      Tory Shepherd says:

      03:39pm | 27/04/12

      Mr Webster, not hating on the girls, just saying they are the unwitting creations of alien masterminds.

      Even shaven they are generally manly. Big feet don’t help.

    • Bev says:

      04:11pm | 27/04/12

      Think positivly you have a much firmer grip on mother earth if the ground is lets say a might slippery.  Can limits your choice of shoe though.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      04:39pm | 27/04/12

      Don’t be so hard on yourself Tory, at least you ( presumably) don’t have man hands, although you still have a lovely adams apple smile

    • Tory Shepherd

      Tory Shepherd says:

      05:09pm | 27/04/12

      Oh sweet jeebus that pic’s about ten years old.

      I’ve grown into the Adam’s Apple.

    • Lucy says:

      03:14pm | 27/04/12

      Its interesting that my friend who is drop dead gorgeous and was raised in a village wouldnt qualify becuase she scored genetically from both parents and her Fijian curls are soft ringlets that were the envy of the other girls in her village. She also inherited the height and build of her mother (ie is taller and slimer than the most other Fijian girls) but the skin and hair colouring of her father.

      But in real terms, there would be very few Fijians who are “pure breed” and it seems wrong to exclude native born simply because of some mixed or non-mixed heritage. Why couldnt an Indian-fijian qualify? or a Chinese-fijian or any other combination of which there are lots. The Fijian population has been interbreeding for over a century.

      In Australia if we were to stick with indigenous populations the potential “talent” pool would be about 100 girls (ie those that fall within the required age requirements and are 100% or even 50% indigenous) of all shapes, sizes and degrees of “beauty”. The pool in North America, NZ and Canada would be of similiar size. The argument makes no sense.

    • Fred says:

      03:23pm | 27/04/12

      It’s easy to call the Fijians “racist”, because they’re pissy.

      Dare you to try it with the Indians and their caste system. Or dig up something about when the Chinese have been “racist”.

    • Don says:

      03:40pm | 27/04/12

      Now that you mention it, indians make up a sizeable proportion of Fiji - hence the coup.

    • Tory Shepherd

      Tory Shepherd says:

      03:40pm | 27/04/12

      Fred, who was calling the Fijians racist?

      And what do you mean by ‘pissy’?

    • che says:

      03:36pm | 27/04/12

      When I read the title of the story, I though it said ‘naive’.

    • HappyG says:

      03:41pm | 27/04/12

      From a purely male perspective I don’t subscribe to the idea of beauty being about a particular look. I find women of all races, colours and builds to be uniquely attractive in their own way. The problem is, particularly in the west, the women themselves feeling a need to conform to some kind of ideal standard.

    • suzanne h says:

      03:49pm | 27/04/12

      Hmmthe judges were all non-indigenous ie white and were judging beauty by very narrow western standards, I suspect their decision is racist….based on racial imperatives. The fact that newspapers did not bother to show any of the other girls is also racist by omission. How can we possibly assess a story without the full picture.

    • suzanne h says:

      03:49pm | 27/04/12

      Hmmthe judges were all non-indigenous ie white and were judging beauty by very narrow western standards, I suspect their decision is racist….based on racial imperatives. The fact that newspapers did not bother to show any of the other girls is also racist by omission. How can we possibly assess a story without the full picture.

    • renold says:

      04:27pm | 27/04/12

      Suprised the PC brigade hasn’t demanded that the Miss Universe contest to be banned from tv

    • multiculturalism multinationalism says:

      06:35pm | 27/04/12

      Your comment:Very few girls selected for MISS Australia have come from the natives .

    • Tator says:

      06:37pm | 27/04/12

      MMMM, those bloody Golgafrinchans from the B ark causing more problems again.  Bugga

    • Paul M says:

      12:21pm | 29/04/12

      Women wear fashion to impress one another. Screw you people. Evaporate into irrelevance.

      (Guys: google MGTOW)


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