Miss Italy contestant receives death threats for her actions during competition
To a lot of people, being a "beauty queen" must seem like a pretty cushy job. All you have to do is stand around, look pretty, and occasionally give your opinion on something. Seems simple, right?
What many people don't take into account, however, is that competing in these contests takes up a great deal of time, and a lot of pageant queens have to sacrifice other important parts of their lives in order to keep up their job.
Take Alessia Spagnuolo, for instance, a 24-year-old who recently took part in the Miss Italy contest; Not only is she a model and pageant competitor, she's also a mother. And, like any good mother would, she considered her duty as a parent to be more important than her chances of winning the competition - so she made a drastic decision while on stage.
When she was preparing to compete in the swimsuit round of the national contest, Spagnulo realized that she had nobody to take care of her six-moth-old daughter, Chloe. Her partner, who works in a paper factory, and her mother - a nurse - were both called into work that day, so she had no choice but to take care of her herself.
Rather than give up on the job completely (which, after all, would give her a shot at taking home a good sum of money to look after her family), Spagnuolo decided to take the baby on stage with her, and strapped Chloe to her chest while modeling a swimsuit.
While many people thought the young mother's actions were brave - especially considering that a former winner named Mirca Viola was stripped of her title in 1987 after it was discovered she had a child - others had the complete opposite response, and even sent her death threats over the matter.
According to Spagnuolo, someone told her "you deserve to die for this," while others said it was "unnatural" and she should "stick to being a housewife."
Understandably, the young woman was shocked by the comments, but has decided that the best way to handle the situation is to ignore them. She said: “I have never felt this kind of violence before but I am refusing to respond.”
Other contestants had offered to hold onto Chloe while Spagnuolo took her turn on stage, but the model didn't see why she couldn't bring her along. “I thought ‘Why should I hide her,'" she said.
Fortunately, her actions paid off, and she was one of just 18 out of 130 competitors to be chosen to progress to the next round.
This was amazing news for the 24-year-old, who previously held down a part-time job as a shop assistant, but was let go after she told her employers she was expecting a child. Now, with her newfound success, she hopes that the incident will inspire other young mothers to realize that they are not limited by their duties as a parent.
“My message to other mothers is that your dreams can come true even if you have a child and the 1,000 tasks that come with it,” she said.
Spagnuolo says that, if she wins, she will dedicate it to Mirca Viola.