Last night, Betty Cantrell, Miss Georgia, was crowned Miss America. As I do every year, I was watching it when Chris surprised me by coming up to bed early. When he walked in, it was on a commercial, so he asked what I was watching. As I expected, he chuckled, but I kept watching. The thing is, I truly enjoy the Miss America pageant.
I’ve been watching the Miss America pageant for a looking as I can remember. I started by watching it with my mom – after all, I was a little girl who loved fancy dresses. I would wait the entire show just for the evening gown portion. Let me tell you – they know what they’re doing there in putting it at the end. That’s how you get a kid to watch all the other stuff.
Now I know that some people see Miss America as just a beauty pageant, a pretty girl thing. I can see where they’re coming from with that – after all, most of the women competing are gorgeous, but they’re not just pretty girls. They’re smart women, talented women. Women with thoughts and opinions and careers. Women with dreams, women that have worked hard for those dreams. These are women that see this as their opportunity to better themselves, to make their mark.
Miss America isn’t just about beauty, but also about all the other things that are part of you. It’s about confidence. That bathing suit competition? I’m sure it’s tough for all of them. We all have our own fears and insecurities about our bodies, no matter how they look to others. The talent? Some of these women are so incredibly naturally talented at music and dance. Some have a different kind of talent – like Miss Colorado (Kelley Johnson), a nurse who did a monologue about nursing as her talent, something I’d never seen before and admired. Talent is everywhere, not just in the performing arts.
Those evening gowns? Think of the poise it takes to wear them well, to walk easily and without tripping over the length (a talent in itself to me) . Finally, there’s the questions, where they have to show strength of conviction and the ability to think on their feet to answer a question quickly, respectfully, and clearly. It’s not easy, and they only get 20 seconds to do it.
So I keep watching, year after year, because these women inspire me. They are intelligent, driven, beautiful women, all trying to make a difference any way they can. They give all of themselves to what they do, and they are always trying to be better.
That’s how I want to be. Inspired.
I still watch it because I literally dgaf what people think. Yes, I’m a feminist, and I am a conscious consumer of these programs, but I just like it!
It’s so fun, isn’t it?
I have a lot of mixed feelings about Miss America, and beauty pageants in general. In high school, a friend of mine had a tough home life and had to find a way to pay for college. She started participating in beauty pageants to try for scholarship money. She had the “look” – i.e. she was thin and blond and pretty, but what she didn’t have was money to spend on the extras critical to being a viable contestant. She came in last or next to last every time because she could not afford the spray tans, hairdresser, multiple outfits, teeth whitening, and did not have a mom who could take time off of work (or who didn’t work at all) to help her out. So yes, these ladies are talented and ambitious and deserving of the scholarship money & prizes, but they have also spent a small fortune getting to Miss America, money that could have gone elsewhere in their efforts to achieve their dreams beyond the pageant world.
Wow – I never thought of it that way! Those are all things to think about, since we as viewers only see the “finished” look – there’s a lot more that goes into it that we don’t think of.
Love this! I feel the same, I’ve been watching Miss America since I was a little girl and I don’t see me stopping anytime soon. It’s inspiring to see strong, talented, poised women putting themselves out there like that.
It is, isn’t it! I love watching it!
I haven’t watched it in many years, but I don’t have a problem with it at all! I think ANYTHING that inspires you is a good thing!
I think so too!
I think that the society labels gorgeous women unfairly. One of my best friends is BEAUTIFUL. Tall, thin, blonde and gorgeous. But she is also a top level accountant at a firm people would die to get a job with. Judging a book by it’s cover is never good. Same goes for ladies in pageants.
I watched this year as well. I was really impressed with Miss Georgia!
She wasn’t my favorite, but I think she’ll do a good job!