"There She Is" ... but what for?
Is The Miss America Pageant just another reality TV competition as profound as an episode of The Bachelorette? Is it a charming but harmless nod to a piece of Americana, or a harmful and patronizing objectification of women?
Is it hard to understand, at a time when women outnumber men in universities, and the average woman is a size 14 – why bikini-clad stick figures are strutting around on stages to get scholarship money? Or is there a real-world link to success that contestants gain by competing in this arena?
Hardly anyone would categorize today’s Miss America contestants as unintelligent, inarticulate, apolitical, or detached. Most have attended prestigious universities, earned professional degrees, have exceptional communication skills, maintain a healthy lifestyle and are involved in their communities. What’s not to like about that? And aren’t impressionable teens who have seen the latest Music Awards Shows or celebrity selfies - likely to be unfazed by the pageant’s swimsuit competition?
As a cultural institution, the Miss America Pageant has come a long way since its 1920’s beginnings as a tourist attraction in Atlantic City. Its historical influence in defining our perception of beauty has been prodded along by 3 memorable Miss New Yorks – namely, Bess Myerson, the first Jewish Miss America in 1945, Vanessa Williams, the first African-American Miss America in 1984, and 30 years later to the day, Nina Davuluri, the first Miss America of Indian heritage. The manner in which each of these women rose above the backlash that followed their historic wins, is perhaps the most effective silencer of pageant critics to date.
But is that really enough to justify continuance?
Should new categories of scored competition such as Problem-Solving, Creativity, Diplomacy, Athleticism or Technology – be added to things like Swimsuit, Talent and Social Platform in order to crown a more relevant ideal? Why do we need a Miss America?
We'd love to hear your opinion - Should the Miss America Pageant be continued or discontinued?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below and you’ll be entered to win a $75 Visa Gift Card.*
*This giveaway is open through Sept. 23rd to USA residents over 18 years of age. One entry per person. No purchase necessary.
Congratulations to Winner: Khalessifan
Since Donald Trump made some very biased comments about Mexican Americans and the networks say they aren't going to air the pageant.........it's the best time to stop.
Miss America Pageant should stop. I think it objectifies women by focusing too much on the physical aspect.
I believe it should still continue. It is a great opportunity for these young ladies to share their platforms and win scholarship money. These women are not about the beauty aspect. They are active in their communities and support the homeless, veterans, animal shelters etc. I don't see anything wrong with that.
They should stop it. It mainly shows women as sex objects.
I think it would be okay to drop it. At the very least, drop the swimsuit competition, and focus more on the talents, and community services aspect.
I think that people should have the option to progress in the things they like to do. I don't see harm in giving these individuals a chance to accomplish at something they love. An added bonus to it all is they get funding for schools and a chance to be something in life. I would hate to be in love with doing something and then it was just taken away. Some of these girls are grown up around these pageants and it is passed down from generation. I see no harm and think you should continue giving these individuals the chance to do the things they love to do!
Both the swimsuit & talent competition have got to go! Didn't watch it this year, but heard only bad things about it.
It is no more offensive than any goofy reality show where women compete for a man's attention. I have memories of watching with my mom, cracking jokes. I think if people still watch it, it is not a big deal
I like that they have a talent portion, but otherwise, I think it's a just of time.
I don't mind competition for things like scholarships and sponsorships, but competition based on what? Are these sponsors seeking a spokesperson with particular attributes, or are we relying on a necessarily subjective panel of judges to define the ultimate qualities we should all look for? That's what troubles me. Emphasis is placed on the wrong things, on conforming to a very biased idea of perfection, and totally disregarding any other awesome attributes a contestant may have instead.
I enjoy watching it and believe it should be continued
I dont think this should be ended
I think its a way to show girls that you can be beautiful and smart. Not just one or the other. These amazing women aren't just trying to land a husband. They are doctors and engineers. Do I think that they should strut around in a bathing suit, not really but to each there own.
I guess it's okay that she was supported.
To me it isnt any different the reality stuff already on tv. Plus it is tradition.