Monday, July 15, 2013

INTERVIEW: Miss America Mallory Hagan talks Lena Dunham's Girls and the Brooklyn stereotype

When Mallory Hagan, the current Miss America, came to Calgary this past week I arranged a sit down with her.

Why? Well, first of all I had a spot open up in my schedule after hearing Tim McGraw's concert was cancelled at the Calgary Stampede. I had allocated 7 hours of stalking time that were no longer necessary.

Second, I knew she was formerly Miss New York and had lived in Brooklyn for a number of years. Brooklyn, home to Hannah, Jessa, Shoshanna and Marnie. The setting of the popular TV show that supposedly is the voice of our generation, Girls.

I was curious as to her take on the show. Is this an accurate representation of Brooklynites? I mean, it's TV so the exaggeration factor needs to be accounted for, but is it somewhat accurate and should we all be bracing for the impending doom of civilization if it is?

"I think there are parts of it that are accurate," said Hagan "Brooklyn has a whole different vibe. The whole, hipster, free thinking out-of-the-box kind of thing is there, but Brooklyn has just as many, you know, financial gurus that live there as well. It’s interesting, but I think it’s really hard to sum up an entire burrow that has 3.2 million people in it with 4 girls."

Fair enough, but what about girls around that age? That's who Dunham and crew are speaking for - not Banker Jones living in a Brooklyn brownstone. Hagan is a 24 year old girl who has kicked it in Brooklyn since she was the age of the what about that age demographic?

"Let’s put it this way. I don’t personally identify with any of those girls," said Hagan "I do know people who would probably identify with them...there’s definitely a stereotype of people who live [in Williamsburg] that pretend that they have nothing when really they come from a lot. I think that that’s funny and that’s portrayed. It’s a funny show, but it’s as realistic as Sex and the City. How about that? Everyone loves Sex and the City, but it doesn’t mean it’s real."

Well that I understand. Sorry Carrie Bradshaw, no  column writer has an addiction to Manolo Blahniks without also spending their nights as a high-end escort.

Being from Brooklyn gives Hagan some interesting insight on Girls and it also gave her the opportunity to do one of the most dreaded past times in America, singing the National Anthem live in front of sports fans. If you mess up the Anthem it will be forever canonized on YouTube.

The Brooklyn Nets asked her to sing the Anthem at a game against the Miami Heat shortly after she was crown Miss America. Hagan told me that she wasn't really concerned because she didn't think that people really paid that much attention to the person singing the Anthem at sporting games (so clearly she does not know about YouTube canonization).

"They were playing my favorite team, which was the Heat," said Hagan "So I get out there and they turn down all the lights and there was a spotlight and it’s just me and there was Lebron James. Literally I locked eyes with Lebron James and I was like I’m going to die...Lebron James looked at me. LEBRON JAMES."

She went on to say that it was the most nerve wracking moment of her entire reign as Miss America, but not because of the singing, but because of Lebron James. She also said she had a fan girl moment with Beyonce during a media event around the Superbowl. Now that I understand. More-so because I am pretty sure the Carters have ninjas that follow them around in secret and kill anyone that does anything not pleasing to B and J.

...But that is a theory for another time.

Miss America and crew were in town during the Calgary Stampede so one would think that she would be going to see the show, but Hagan informed me that her short visit was going to be mainly dedicated to going to the Women's Emergency Shelter in Calgary to meet with people and drop off clothing. I mean, that is some 'All I want is world peace' Miss America stuff in action.

I mean, personally I am not that generous with my time and would have went for the deep fried bubble gum instead, but she made the right choice. Tried it - nasty stuff.


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