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Has The Time Come To Discontinue The Miss America Pageant?

SheSpeaksTeam By SheSpeaksTeam 09.09.14
Has The Time Come To Discontinue The Miss America Pageant?
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"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


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  • ambersjax By ambersjax

    I enjoy watching it and believe it should be continued

  • Shraddha27 By Shraddha27

    I dont think this should be ended

  • rinaliana27 By rinaliana27

    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.

  • ReviewZals By ReviewZals

    I guess it's okay that she was supported.

  • buddy692 By buddy692

    To me it isnt any different the reality stuff already on tv. Plus it is tradition.

  • Tiffanie By Tiffanie

    Yes. It is time we teach our young women that they are ALL beautiful regardless of size and looks beauty on the INSIDE is more important treat ALL people with RESPECT!

  • jegrover By jegrover

    I dont' know anyone who pays attention to this anymore, I just don't find it relevant and not sure why it even is on tv in prime time. But, that being said, it certainly doesn't hurt me that it continues and if some women earn scholarships through it, then more power to them.

  • spark5 By spark5

    I think it should be continued but perhaps evolve. Change some of the categories to be more applicable to today. Perhaps not have as many celebrity judges.

  • kuchick By kuchick

    I feel if people still want it it's ok but I choose not to watch them. My daughters may want to sometime but I don't need to watch them until they want to. Not because they are bad but just boring.

  • BeckyMarstella By BeckyMarstella

    I see the good and the bad, but essentially I believe for our younger generation, mostly our daughters, it's not what they need to see. Every women in this world should not have to believe that they should have to look this way in order to be/feel beautiful. It breaks my heart when my daughter tells me she isn't pretty and she wished she was skinnier and look like Taylor Swift. It's just sad and pathetic, what it is doing to our youth and in turn creating a world of women who think this is the norm. Every girl/women should NOT have to feel this way because society tells us this is how we should look to be beautiful.

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