Pageant Mom Outraged at 'Best Personality' Award: 'I Didn't Understand Why'

An Australian mother is pitching a fit because her daughter won "Best Personality" at a children's beauty pageant, which is evidence of anti-meritocratic judgment, she says, because her daughter's personality sucks. The Herald-Sun reports,

[Leonie] Myles was baffled when her nine-year-old daughter won Best Personality at final judging on Saturday. She said: "I didn't understand why."

"Tahnee's social skills would not include having the best personality, due to autism. It was getting more sad, watching and wondering how they judged."

So, this might look bad (autistic people can't have good personalities?) but Leonie swears she means well. You see, pageant organizers recently faced criticism for making little girls feel bad about themselves, so Tahnee's win was just a ploy to curry favor with the press. How dare they employ anything other than pure, laissez-faire competition while judging totally subjective qualities like "beauty" and "personality"?

Now, if you squint and cock your head just right, you can sort of see Leonie's point. If it came across as a sympathy award, then yes, that might be fraught. But then you look at this picture that Leonie made her daughter pose for, that ran in a major newspaper beside the headline "Mother Cries Foul After Autistic Daughter Wins Best Personality," and, oof.

And by "oof," I mean "Does Toddlers and Tiaras exist in Australia? These two are destined for stardom." [Herald Sun via Fark]