Rose of Tralee host Daithí Ó Sé with some of the roses in 2013
From the Rose of Tralee website:
People sometimes ask if The Rose of Tralee Festival is a beauty pageant. The Rose of Tralee Festival is an event that celebrates many different things. We received these words from one of our Roses that eloquently describes how the Roses feel about their experience:
“The Roses are actually only one part of the festival. The festival is a week of events (most of which we weren’t even at!) that brings people to Kerry to celebrate their Irish heritage and culture. Yes, the TV nights look very beauty pageant-like and there are all sorts of corny conversations and performances (mine included) but again, that is only one part of the festival and it’s the part that most of Ireland knows about.
RTÉ puts on two nights of entertainment which they hope will trend on Twitter and create conversation. Like anything on television, you don’t have to watch it but in no way do I think it is damaging to the feminist movement or promoting superficiality.
One commentator asked why unattractive, unemployed women can’t enter and beside the fact that they can, I think the festival is about celebrating women who raise the bar and are confident, hardworking, intelligent role models. It’s a double standard and patronising to ask women to lower the bar to be more inclusive when the rest of the world celebrates excellence. I can’t remember the last ‘average’ athlete that made it to the Olympics and was on the telly.”
Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
Thanks Bingo Slimz