Miss America’s Missed Point

It’s a scholarship program, not a beauty contest...”  But why can’t it be both?  Why must yet another time honored tradition fall by the wayside to appease an increasingly over-thinking and over-sensitive society?

For years this pageant has brought the country together, starting with the glitz and glamour of the parade on the Atlantic City Boardwalk where eager onlookers ask the contestants to “show us your shoes!” The lovely state representatives pass in cars, hold up their decoratively donned foot for all to see, and wave the signature Miss America wave. Good, clean, time honored fun for all. The perfect opening of a much anticipated and multifaceted pageant where viewers root for their favorite contestant to win the crown.

If these well rounded, educated women do not mind being judged on the fact that they take pride in their appearance as well as their minds, then what exactly is the problem? Is not the point of the movement to empower women to say as they feel, dress as they like and be who they dare? Epic fail and huge contradiction here…

There obviously already exists a myriad of scholarship programs based on academic, social, and athletic achievement or need.  No one is forced to compete in this contest, and there are ample other avenues for which one can seek scholarship money and recognition if this pageant is not their cup of tea. Leave Miss America for those able-bodied intelligent women who vie for the honor of competing and showing off not only their sensibilities and talents, but yes, also their beauty.  The Miss America “pageant” has been around since 1921 and is steeped in tradition and success stories and hasn’t fooled anyone into ever thinking it wasn’t, in part at least, a beauty pageant.  And, in my opinion, it has not been lewd or inappropriate in doing so.

Why has it become taboo to refer to the contest as not only a scholarship based one, but also one about beauty?  Why is that wrong, shameful or inappropriate? If we can put the star-athlete on a pedestal, pay them millions of dollars and bow to their social agendas simply because they can toss a ball like no other, then why can’t we acknowledge a woman for being beautiful on top of being smart and talented?  Again, no one is forced to compete for this.

And yes, I hear the argument that the ‘platform’ Miss America takes on during her tenure, and the doors that are opened for that platform as a result of winning the crown, shouldn’t be based on her looks…. it’s the inside that counts…. beauty is skin deep…. yadda yadda – But you should not have to negate one of those God given attributes, in order to highlight the other.  You can actually be both smart and beautiful, and there is no harm in having a contest that applauds the pair.

People sit around watching award shows and television programs riddled with half naked women all the time, yet no one complains. Why? Because those women are part of ‘the movement,’ and are choosing to exercise their rights as women to dress as they want and share their ‘art.’  Hello?! Miss America contestants are doing the same thing, only in a much classier and dignified manner that leads to promotion of a social platform.  Why is this frowned upon, but daily indiscretions in the name of pure entertainment are not?

If you are removing the swimsuit portion of the Miss America pageant because “it’s a scholarship contest, not a beauty contest” then let’s just remove the talent portion and take if off TV entirely. Why not simply have the women write an essay for the scholarship? The final 10 can then have a phone-in interview for their on-the-spot question while they sport pajamas and a messy ponytail. Then, after careful deliberation, the deserving winner can be decided upon, sight-unseen.  The news media can then reveal the lucky state’s faceless winner of the coveted title.  And this way, up to that point, no one will have ever seen her face or physique and we can wholeheartedly say that she was crowned “Miss America” for her brains only.

I for one will be on pins and needles with anticipation waiting to hear the results of the Scholarship contest!  As a nation, we can all then collectively lay our eyes upon America’s winner at the same exact moment when the woman is finally revealed in all her glory…. I must say, since this is no longer a beauty contest, I do hope the winner is one of those lovely ladies I’ve seen in those awesome Walmart memes, for they too are now finally awarded the same opportunity as those awful intelligent, well kept, beautiful women who used to hog the crown …. “Hey Miss America, show us your slippers!”