The Instagram account of Jennifer Hawkins tells quite a story.
We had a gander at her account, following stories about Myer’s latest fashion launch. Jen is the face of Myer.
As we wrote on Friday, the Myer fashion event happened in an underground car park in Melbourne.
That was a tad weird. But that’s OK. We don’t mind weirdness.
We also noticed something a tad weird on Jen’s Instagram account.
Perhaps weird is the wrong word. A better word might be unusual or inconsistent.
You see, there’s plenty of photos of Jen looking good, promoting various products and living a glamorous life, along with the odd wise quote.
But there’s one recent post that stood out as very different to all the rest. It was posted around Christmas last year. It’s a photo of the war in Syria, in which a man walks with two children through rubble, down a street that has been destroyed.
Jen, who grew up in Holmesville and was a Newcastle Knights cheerleader before she became Miss Universe in 2004 and hit the big time, wrote this: “I just cannot believe what is happening in the world right now.
“It's heartbreaking. My thoughts are with the people affected. You can also donate to the International Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.”
She added a link for donations. Guess this shows our Jen has a bit of substance, as well as style.
We like this side of Jen. We wonder if this was a one-off moment. We wonder whether she might do more posts like this, every now and then.
In reply, an Instagram user named peaceful83 wrote: “Bless you Jen, my background is Syrian and believe me Syria was the most beautiful country, third safest in the world. We were self sufficient, without the need to import anything and without debt, and most importantly respected all faiths. Many countries, all serving their own agendas, sent in these extremists for the past six years and destroyed so many lives and my home.”
Syria aside, there are some things that Jen isn’t too keen to discuss when it comes to current affairs. Like Donald Trump.
Trump was co-owner of Miss Universe when Jen took the crown. A video came out last October of Trump ridiculing her, and using sexual innuendo, during a corporate speech in Sydney some years back.
She was asked last Thursday about Trump on Channel Nine’s Today, amid Myer’s promotional push.
“To be honest, I just find that I don’t want to be the headline. And I don’t want people thinking that I’m constantly talking about it [Trump]. So I kinda try to avoid it because I don’t want to disrespect anything or anyone. Believe it or not, I like a quiet life,” she said.
Topics reckons that’s fair enough. But we can’t help but wonder whether Trump used any of his “charm” on her during their time on the Miss Universe pageant.
A university education is expensive, right? That’s why some girls (and boys too, we suppose – we don’t want to discriminate) need a sugar daddy, apparently.
“This year, the University of Newcastle is the ninth fastest growing ‘sugar baby’ school on SeekingArrangement.com’s annual list,” a press release from the website said.
The website claimed 59 students from Newcastle Uni joined the “sugar daddy” dating site last year, creating a total of 282 registered “sugar baby scholars”.
Sugar baby students receive an average of $2700 in monthly allowances, said Brandon Wade, the founder and chief executive of SeekingArrangement.com.
Brandon said this meant sugar babies earned “$1400 more per month than a student working part-time at the national minimum wage, without having to dedicate precious study hours to a job”.
“Some see this as a controversial solution. However, SeekingArrangement.com has helped facilitate hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of arrangements that have helped students graduate debt-free,” Mr Wade said.
We’re not sure if those figures are accurate, but this sugar baby stuff does sound a bit like the world’s oldest profession.
Reader Tony Ryan asks this: Why do most Newcastle cafes close at 3pm, right on coffee-o'clock?