Rethinking Miss America

Each year millions gather around the TV to watch the “Miss America Pageant”, a production run by the Miss America Organization, in which each contestant chooses an issue that is meaningful to her. Each contestant must score well in the following categories, lifestyle and fitness (in a swimsuit), evening wear, talent, a private interview, and lastly the on stage question. Ironically the on stage question concerning their philanthropy is only 5% of their final score, whereas the fitness is 15% and the evening wear is 20%. Once the winner is chosen, she is rewarded with 50,000 dollars to donate to her cause, and a full year of luxury living paid by the pageant. In addition to that she also is considered a celebrity, so many designers donate free stuff to the winner to help market their brand. The newly crowned “Miss America” makes appearances in various locations regarding the platform she has chosen. However, is a “perfect” girl with a spray tan, dressed in sparkly clothes with a well-rehearsed speech who we want to represent America? And, is that whole performance really necessary to help out a cause? My opinion is no.

UnknownMost people, myself included, get sucked into to all the excitement of watching who will be crowned Miss America. However, we need to step back and really think about what we are buying into. The pageant aims to make the program appealing to viewers by using special effects and building a large stage, plus tons of employees to help make this possible. This results in huge expenses, completely contradicting the basis of the Miss America organization. Why spend all that money on making an exciting production when it could go straight to the charity itself?  Once the contestant, based off of her looks is chosen, she travels around the country making appearances to raise awareness for her cause. Is it really necessary to spend more money flying all around the country, or is it for press purposes to make it appear as if she is making an impact?

In addition to spending needless money on pointless appearances and productions, lets consider if a woman who wears glamorous dresses and knows how to walk gracefully around on stage in her bikini, is really who we want to be named “Miss America.”  It appears to me that the winner of the pageant isn’t chosen on her charity, but primarily because of her looks. My opinion is that this production demeans the heart-felt work that millions of other women are doing without any celebrity status. While I’m sure that some of the women in the pageant truly care about their charity work, others appear to be doing it as a requirement to enter. Most of the contestants have been competing in beauty pageants since they were little children, succeeding off of their looks. However, once they are ready to continue their career in pageants, Miss America is the nextstep. While I love a sparkly dresses much as the next girl, my point in saying this is that never before have many of the contestants done pageants for the charity but instead as a prize of beauty.

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