Pageant organiser and prominent modeling agency owner Ivan Gaffiero has urged authorities to take heed of how the mental health of youths is being impacted after he was forced to cancel a long-awaited modelling show due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In an impassioned video, Gaffiero announced that the Locality Stars pageant which was scheduled for 6th June had to be tentatively postponed to the beginning of July as a result of an ongoing ban on all kinds of events.
“It was originally scheduled for March and was then pushed to June, but I’ve now been informed it can’t be held in June either,” he said. “I’m speaking in the name of all the models who are truly disappointed. Some of them entered this competition to escape the pain and depression they’re feeling but unfortunately nothing can happen.”
Gaffiero Productions represent a swathe of Maltese youths who aspire to work in the modeling industry.
Besides the psychological impact on the contestants, Gaffiero also noted that pageants leave an economic ripple – from hairdressers and clothes shops to make-up artists and organisers.
He argued that his pageant for 150 people cannot be considered a mass event and would have been located in a large venue, with everyone seated and wearing masks.
“Unfortunately, youths are being forgotten – it can’t be that they just study, watch TV and play PlayStation. Please care about us; it’s true that fashion, as well as people starting out their careers, isn’t appreciated in Malta.”
“This isn’t about politics; we must all pull the same rope to ensure things like this don’t take place. People are suffering psychologically because we aren’t taking care of them and continuing to insist that we must stay indoors.”
Health Minister Chris Fearne recently announced that Malta had reached herd immunity against COVID-19 after over 70% of the population received the vaccine.
However, restrictions are being removed cautiously and there’s no set date on when events can return, although Fearne said they could start in July. Several event organisers and artists have pleaded to the authorities to give them a reopening plan, and a parliamentary petition in this regard has been signed over 5,500 times.
Cover photo: Right: A pageant organised by Gaffiero Productions (Photo: Gaffiero Productions)