The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Miss Singapore Universe Beauty Pageant: an end?

Today, the Straits Times is suggesting that Miss Singapore Universe, the national beauty pageant, should be brought to an end. Their reasoning essentially is that it has undergone a long, slow decline in interest so perhaps it is time to bring it to a close.

Well, I disagree. Though it is true that national interest in such pageants has declined over the years - and though sponsors too, have fled, on the basis of finding "more relevant marketing relationships", the fact remains that such pageants serve a useful function. There will always be people, in every society, whose primary gift is one of beauty. Such people need to have an outlet and means of expression as much as someone with academic or sporting gift does: they should not be ignored. A pageant can act as a platform whereby someone whose primary gift is beauty can begin a career based on their appearance. It gives them instant recognition and, usually, a monetary reward to give them a good start. That seems to me, to provide an invaluable opportunity for that particular type of person: a person whose greatest gift is their beauty.

Now, Singapore is a pragmatic society: here, they like to see the money. Well, a beautiful person can not only bring in a lot of money to a nation (in terms of overseas earnings on modelling contracts and sponsorships) but also make a lot of money in terms of increased product sales for those who hire them. This seems obvious. It is also just as obvious that such people need a chance to start their careers: pageants provide that.

So, though Singaporeans are showing less interest in pageants and even though national TV decided not to cover it, this year, the fact remains that such events serve a useful purpose: they allow entrants to the world of beauty, a chance to begin a career.

A complete, wholistic society values all kinds of people: the smart, the strong, the fit, the beautiful. Singapore should not ignore the inherent value and importance of the more beautiful among us: they, too, can make a contribution to society - even if it is not reflected in exam grades and school success. I think they should have a chance to do what they were born to do. So, keep the pageant. It is the gateway to an international industry, for those who use it well.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and five months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and ten months, and Tiarnan, twenty-seven months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 5:08 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a slightly related-note,
^On the issue of too many aptitudes, thought it might be interesting.

3:57 PM  

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