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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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  • mlk777 By mlk777

    I don't think they should stop it. I think there are a lot of people that like watching it and it makes them feel good to watch it. My mom is 87 and loves watching it. I know it has probably changed over the years but it still has a good purpose. They promote different charities and give scholarships. I think it should continue because it it classic.

  • Xiaotufufu By Xiaotufufu

    I don't really think that it's got much value as a spectacle, but given the scholarship, service opportunities, and soft power and all that I don't think it has to end either

  • basilandcatnip By basilandcatnip

    One of the young ladies I volunteer with is a state pageant winner, she invited me to go with her behind stage and to sit in the audience at some of her competitions. Most of the ladies are well rounded and are so much more than what the "image" is portrayed as, much of that character building is done behind scenes in the prep. But a few do spoil it, has become too much about marketing, sensation to get viewers, and much has been lost as those things become the emphasis.

  • sharon3377 By sharon3377


  • anais43 By anais43

    I think it should be can still be used as a platform to educate young women.

  • khnasko By khnasko

    Yes, I think nowadays there is too much scandal & controversy in the pageant world. Shortly after winning, the crowned beauty queen always seems to be dragged through the mud for past transgressions that surface by a third party with intentions to blackmail.

  • mommy3sons By mommy3sons

    I definitely think Miss America pageant should continue. I watched with my Mom growing up & continue to watch every year. I love the evening gowns & the talent they portray, the swimsuit competition is something that I wouldn't mind if they discontinued. But overall I thoroughly enjoy the show.

  • beetea By beetea

    Discontinued. It has outlived its usefulness.

  • Preggo_Mama By Preggo_Mama

    I think it should continue as it is or maybe have an additional scoring criteria. Why not preserve our American culture and traditions, why does everything need to be changed?

  • VinVinPhilly By VinVinPhilly

    Time for it to stop it is a relic from the last century! Anything Donald Trump is involved in is cheap and gimmicky!

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