June 26, 2007

Pageant winner has talent, message

Meet Miss Indian Farmington:  Navajo teen hopes to send message of respectMariah Kay Bolding isn't your typical beauty queen.

"When a boy opens the door, I want him to go in first," the new Miss Indian Farmington said.

The 16-year-old pageant veteran has a similarly strong message for other Native teens in Farmington: Be yourself. Respect your culture. Don't let your mistakes hold you back.

Bolding grew up in both Shiprock and Farmington. "In Shiprock, younger people are more involved in tradition," she said. "Being out here, kids my age and younger are ashamed of being Native American. They don't participate in events ... they make fun of things, kind of teasing."

That's at least in part, she said, because young people encounter prejudice, and she isn't immune. After she moved to Farmington permanently in the seventh grade, for a time she rejected the Navajo traditions her aunt taught her.
Her talents:For the traditional talent segment, Bolding sung Navajo songs her aunt taught her. For her modern talent she showed off fashion designs, contrasting trends with classic looks. "I was really worried about it before the pageant," Nolan said. She asked her daughter if she needed any help preparing. "She said, 'Mom, don't worry about it. I have it under control.'"

Looking forward, the incoming high school junior wants to either enter the military, then join the FBI or the CIA, or become a fashion designer. "I want to make something of myself," she said. "I want to show people that if you work hard, you'll get it."
Comment:  Let's not forget that beauty pageants are a Western invention. The concept is foreign to Native cultures.

No comments: