Local Focus: Amelia Sherman, the “Gothic Girl”, Is a Source of Inspiration


The reality TV series Gowns and Geysers followed the contestants of the recent Miss Rotorua beauty pageant.

Rotorua teenager Amelia Sherman stars in the TVNZ OnDemand reality series, Gowns and Geysers, which followed the ups and downs of the Miss Rotorua beauty pageant.

Sherman became known as the Goth Girl and away from the camera she grappled with the complexities of living on the ADHD spectrum.

“The appeal of the spectrum is that it goes from zero to a hundred,” Sherman says.

“Everyone has something a little weird about them, it just depends on how many you actually have.”

Sherman was diagnosed with ADHD at 17 and can occasionally have tics.

She says it’s okay and it’s okay to be different.

“You don’t have to hide it. I’ve stopped hiding it with all my friends and they just kind of look at me and ignore me.

“It’s a normal thing. It’s not something wrong with you. It’s the way your brain is wired. Your brain is wired differently.

“You were born like this. It’s not something you can change or fix and you won’t get away with it – you’ll have it forever.”

Sherman says that while ADHD can be difficult, it also means she can do some things other people can’t. She writes her own music and can play several instruments.

“I started playing the piano at 11.

“I was in and out of it and quit for a bit, but then I got back into it and just started relearning all these songs and relearning how to read music.

“It just went from there and I started writing songs on the piano.

“It’s just a way for me to calm down.”

Sherman was one of the youngest contestants on the show, and her authenticity won the hearts of viewers.

Producer Ngahuia Wade says it was inspiring to watch.

“I love Amelia’s journey,” Wade says.

“She has a lot of angst about not being liked – she’s never been told she’s beautiful.

“She actually says that on TV and then realizes at the end that in fact she’s beautiful and she nailed her waiata, even though she had to change it at the eleventh hour.”

The author of the article, Delilah Whaitiri, was a contestant.

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