The newest Miss USA was crowned on Sunday night. 21-year-old Alyssa Campanella from Los Angeles, California won the competition and will represent the United States in the Miss Universe pageant in September.
ABC News reports the competition has had a change in tone in the wake of the controversy surrounding pageant winners like Carrie Prejean, who was stripped of her crown in 2007 due to an alleged breach in contract. Keith Lewis, the director of state pageants, told Fox News, "The girls are scared to death. They witnessed with Carrie Prejean how a firestorm can create a road kill, and nobody wants to be part of a situation like that again."
Prejean faced a media blitz after speaking out against gay marriage during the Q&A portion of the pageant in 2007. This year’s Miss USA competition also focused on current events. Facing questions on evolution and the legalization of marijuana, self-proclaimed "huge science geek," Campanella had a strong performance in the Q&A section of the pageant.
What do you think about beauty pageants?
Do you think the candidates should be asked to weigh in on current events?
I think beauty pageants contain very old fashioned views of women. They encourage the objectification of women. These days, things have changed and women have more rights. Maybe beauty pageants could focus more on the inner beauty and less outer beauty.
As a kid, watching Miss America seemed sweet. Then you grow up and realize that its a horrid objectification of women. Can't believe its still on!