International Update

Aboriginal Teen Model Makes History After Reaching Miss World Australia Finals

HGNlogosampAn Aboriginal teenager from a tiny outback township will be the first indigenous model to represent the Northern Territory in the Miss World Australia after she was spotted by a scout maninydjama-maymuru  while withdrawing money from an ATM.

Maminydjama Maymuru, 19, whose model name is “Magnolia”, initially rejected an on-the-spot offer to appear on a catwalk at an upcoming fashion show because she was completing her high school exams.

A year later, she was shopping at a supermarket when she was spotted by the same scout.   She agreed to “try something different” and made her first fashion show appearance last October in Darwin, the territory’s capital.

“I thought – I’m a woman just like everybody else,” she told ABC News.

“If people don’t accept me just because I’m indigenous or from community, it won’t bother me… I was very, very nervous. I thought: ‘What if I fall over or trip? I’ll be on the news.’ But I threw [those thoughts] away and decided to get through with it.”

Ms Maymuru, from Yirrkala,  a tiny community  which is hundreds of miles from the nearest city, has since made national headlines after she was selected to represent the Northern Territory in the Miss World national finals in July. About 30 per cent of the territory’s population is Aboriginal – by far the largest proportion of any state or territory.

Mehali Tsangaris, the agent who spotted her, said: “I think Magnolia is the girl that could spark a revolution.”

Ms Maymuru’s “breakthrough” follows the growing success of Aboriginal models in a development likened to the emergence several decades ago of supermodels Iman and Naomi Campbell.

“Maymaru is smashing stereotyped notions of blonde, blue-eyed beauty,” Dr Liz Conor, an Aboriginal studies academic, wrote on The Conversation website.

Maymaru is smashing stereotyped notions of blonde, blue-eyed beautyDr Liz Conor

“Still, the question remains whether Aboriginal women like her can assert a distinct Aboriginal beauty without falling into entrenched notions of the ‘Native Belle’, with all its trappings of exoticism and objectification.”

Samantha Harris, 25, whose mother is Aboriginal and father is of German-English heritage, has appeared on numerous magazine covers and been described as Australia’s first Aboriginal supermodel.

Maymuru, who is 5 feet 10 inches tall, said she was enjoying her new career but would “trade anything” to return to her hometown for a weekend of fishing and camping.

“I want people to know that it took a lot for me to come out of my shell and do this,” she said.

“I wanted to break the cycle of how people see life back in community.”


Written By:
Written Source: The Telegraph
Photo Source: Paper Magazine, Black Girl Long Hair-Source: Marie Claire
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