Miss Tahiti 2008, Hinatea Boosie
Well, Triple P thinks that we haven't had a beauty queen for a while and therefore, given the cold and grey weather in London at present, something tropical might cheer us all up so we present Hinatea Boosie (what a perfectly splendid name!), Miss Tahiti 2008.
Perfection from Paradise
A few days ago Triple P took delivery of a set of DVDs called Tales of the Gold Monkey which was an American TV series which ran for just the one season in 1982. Produced by Donald P Bellisario, who later gave us such deathless epics as Airwolf, Quantum Leap, JAG, NCIS and Magnum, P.I. (actually we used to quite like Magnum), it was an ABC TV sub-Indiana Jones adventure series (actually closer in spirit to the Cary Grant film Only Angels Have Wings (1939)) about a pilot in French Polynesia just before World War 2. Much of the series, to its benefit, was shot on location in Hawaii where Bellisario had more successfully set Magnum. It had a reasonably well done period feel, was quite popular and was mainly cancelled because of the cost of producing the show.
Anyway, this is a very long winded way to explain that we have been thinking about French Polynesia during this dreary weather so that's why we decided that a Polynesian lovely would be just right to brighten up our blog. Polynesia, from the point of view of the West has an enduringly exotic reputation: beautiful beaches, spectacular jungle clad islands, a romantic and exotic history of contact with the West, (The Bounty, Captain Cook, Paul Gauguin) and of course, Polynesian girls; the legendary, sultry long haired vahine.
Fancy a slurp?
Sailors visiting Polynesia for the first time could not believe their luck when young, naked, Polynesian girls swam out to their ships and happily had sex with the incredulous sailors. In 1778 one report noted of the place: “The great plenty of good and nourishing food, together with fine climate, the beauty and unreserved behavior of their females, invite them powerfully to the enjoyments and pleasures of love. They begin early to abandon themselves to the most libidinous scenes.” This did not go down so well with Christian missionaries and in 1863 the French banned many of the locals' traditional cultural practices; including such horrors as naked bathing, although largely the locals found ways to conveniently avoid these strictures. Of course the sailors were not aware of the structure of Polynesian society in that not all women were so inclined to distribute sexual favours. Those swimming out to boats were outside the tapu system (which definied certain behavioural patterns and characteristics) and had, therefore a low status which could be enhanced by obtaining gifts from the sailors. They were also young and, again, local society allowed more leeway for its younger members. Nevertheless, Polynesia developed a reputation, which it still has today, as a semi-mythical paradise of beautiful, underdressed and willing women.
Hinatea is beutiful and underdressed, certainly.
In America, a concatanation of events following World War 2 (such as troops returning from the South Pacific, James Michener's book Tales of the South Pacific (1948), the subsequent musical based on the stories and Hawaii gaining statehood in 1959), built on an interest in Polynesia that had first been tapped into by the restaurants and bars developed by Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic shortly before the war. This led to the popular, but short-lived, Tiki Culture in the fifties and sixties which is now, making something of a comeback.
Hinatea (left) poses with other Miss France contestants
Tahiti is today a French Overseas Collectivity (the French siezed power in the 1840s from the locals) and the winner of Miss Tahiti is entitled to compete in Miss France as a result. That is not the main political implication of being a collectivity of course but it is the one we are concerned with here!
Miss Tahiti 2008 contestants
The poor Polynesian girls, having had syphillis inflicted upon them by generations of sailors (who couldn't believe how "friendly" they were), and being turned into prostitutes (a concept unknown in the Islands) now have to put up with beauty contests. The first Miss Tahiti was held in 1960 and so we have had nearly fifty years of some of the most meliflously named women on Earth (Mareta Tuihaa, Léa Avaemai, Viola Teriitahi, Timia Teriieroo, Mihimana Sachet and on and on) parading up and down in the Polynesian paradise. One of them, Mareva Galanter, has become a successful actress, musician and televison presenter in France.
Another, Miss Tahiti 2003 Heitiare Tribondeau, was retrospectively stripped (!) of her title for posing naked outdoors in the June 2005 edition of French Magazine NewLook. The pageant organising committee claimed that these pictures contradicted the respectful image that their contest shows to French Polynesia and the healthy and positive image of Polynesian women.
Heitiare in NewLook
Actually, Triple P would argue that a lovely Polynesian Woman posing naked in the countryside sums up the charms of the place perfectly. If the committee really wanted to respect Polynesian women they wouldn't have them posing in bikinis at all!
Hinatea easily outclasses this group
Hinatea cheers up a dolphin
Anyway, Hinatea went on to the Miss France Competition but didn't do very well, surprisingly.
Hinatea cheers up a dolphin
Hinatea was a twenty year old psychology student at the time she was crowned in April last year. We think she is completely gorgeous! If we had just arrived by seaplane to stay in a dodgy waterfront bar in a Polynesian island Hinatea is just what we would want to find walking along the sands...