Miss Papua New Guinea, Lucy Maino, has been stripped of her crown over a TikTok video that showed her twerking. According to The Guardian, Maino, who has served as co-captain of PNG’s women’s football team, had shared the video of herself twerking on her private TikTok account. However, the clip was then downloaded from her private account and shared widely on social media platforms, sparking intense criticism and cyberbullying.
The critics of the clip said that Maino’s dance was not fitting for a “role model”. After the clip went viral, the 25-year-old was “released” from her duties by the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant PNG (MPIP PNG) committee this week. The MPIP said that after discussion with Maino, the committee “formally advises” that the reign of 2019 crowned Miss Papua New Guinea had come to end and Maino has been released with immediate effect. The committee added that MPIP PNG is focused on developing young women holistically, ensuring that they grow in terms of academia, social consciousness, personal development, and exposure to a bigger brighter world with awareness of issues facing PNG and the region.
"Mrs O’Rourke acknowledged Miss Maino’s contribution to the MPIP PNG platform during 2019-2020 despite challenges, especially with Covid-19, the subsequent closure of borders and an economic downturn, not only in PNG but around the region," the Facebook statement read.
Following MPIP PNG’s announcement, the decision to strip Maino of her crown has been heavily criticised. The Guardian reported that a former Miss PNG said that the incident showed deep-seated “misogyny” in the country. She added that she was sure that if a male public figure did a TikTok video, people would all be laughing or even praising him.
The United Nations in Papua New Guinea also expressed their dissatisfaction and said that the agency sees the devastation of violence against women and children in this beautiful country (PNG). UN PNG added, “some through bullying have lost their lives … It starts with telling women they should cover up. It starts with telling women, they shouldn’t dance like that”.
It is worth noting that Maino received a football scholarship which allowed her to complete a degree in business administration at the University of Hawaii. She has also represented her country as co-captain of the 2019 national team, winning two gold medals in the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa. The same year she was crowned Miss PNG, which is a role that involves acting as a cultural ambassador for the country and an advocate for women. Several internet users even took to Twitter and wrote, "I stand with Luch Maino".
@LucyKerry6 If you are Lucy Maino I would like to send you my deepest sympathies for the backlash you have endured from your TikTok video. I hope you are ok and sending you love and positivity. Keep safe and be strong. Xx— Shelly Godfrey-Coles (@ColesGodfrey) April 7, 2021
I'm inclined to be outraged, but the thing with "beauty" pageantry is that THEY decide who or what is beautiful. Subscribe to that and you're selling your soul. Let them keep their crown... you're still a (twerking) Qweeen, Lucy Maino from Papau New Guinea! ð https://t.co/KHmY6fTseV— Binta del Nobelle (@soopawooman) April 7, 2021
I thought we'd moved past what happened to Vanessa Williams but I guess not. Stripping #LucyMaino off her #MissPNG title for sharing a video of herself twerking on tiktok reveals a deep-seated culture of misogyny. She deserves her crown back!!!— Binod Dhakal (@BinodDhakal75) April 7, 2021
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