Miss Opinionated: Pageant Perspective

Cadyn Qualls and Brianna Lambert

Brianna Lambert:

The Miss America Pageant is a massive extravaganza that attracts over 20 million suspenseful viewers to find out just who the next Miss America is. Among theses viewers are many young girls, watching closely at every move the contestants make.


Many of the girls here at BIC annually watch the pageant also, rooting for their favorite contestant. Those here know how expensive pageants can be. While there is not an entry fee for the Miss America pageant, there are many other costly things the girls have to cover. For instance, there are the dresses, outfits used for the other categories, the hair and makeup supplies, spray tans, and travel expenses. Not to mention, some contestants also pay for a pageant coach, which can cost anywhere from $30-$150 an hour.


Although the girls spend a large sum of money, they win a lot more. This year, the prize for the Miss America pageant was a $50,000 college scholarship. The queen isn’t the only one who wins a scholarship, though. Scholarships are awarded to each level of participants, no matter their place in the competition.


But while many enjoy pageants, some hate them. Pageants, I believe, are demeaning. Girls are parading themselves around to be judged, which is something we need to avoid in today’s society. Everyone complains about being judged constantly, but turn right around and judge those around them. This is all a pageant is- judging girls who are there to have fun and compete with their friends.


Sure, pageants can be fun when you win, but there is only one queen. For the queen’s fellow contestants, who put just as much effort into the competition as them, it crushes their self-esteem when they lose. Each and every girl out there goes through the same process as the girl next to them. They pick out the perfect dress, spray pounds of hairspray into their hair until it’s the perfect style, then do their makeup to perfection; all just to lose in the end.


Sometimes pageants are good for boosting a girl’s self-esteem. When they’re getting pampered and feeling like a princess before they go out on stage, their self-esteem begins to raise and then when someone else’s name is called as queen, they feel horrible about themselves. They begin to wonder why they weren’t good enough.


Even those who get titles such as ‘Runner-Up’ feel bad. They ask themselves why they were almost good enough, but didn’t quite meet the judge’s standards. Girls shouldn’t have to go parade themselves around in dresses, makeup and heels just for the sake of raising their self-esteem. Their friends should help them, or their parents. I believe that pageants are just a way to make you feel great about yourself for a little while, and then make you want to change your whole existence if you lose.


Cadyn Qualls:


Since the first variations of pageants were introduced during the medieval era, the contests for women have caused great amounts of controversy. For generations, people have described these competitions as degrading to women and sexist – basing a woman’s worth on her physical appearance. While many would argue this stance against pageant supporters, this outside observance is often exaggerated and based on false assumptions.


From a realistic perspective, the worldwide phenomenon is based on competition. In comparison, it does not differ greatly from the idea of sports competitions. Sports involve not only practiced skill, but natural talent as well. A majority of the time, being a successful participant requires also good genetics. This idea of an inheritance of physical attributes that are advantageous in competition are very similar to that of pageants.


Though pageants were originally based on outward appearance, many systems have evolved into requiring a much more broad judging criteria. The Miss America system, for example, is based on attributes such as physical health and wellness, elegance, self poise and respect, and personal talent. The pageant also consists of an interview and onstage questions – portions that allows the women to express their personal stances and opinions on current events and issues.


The annual face of Miss America has become so much more than a face. It establishes a woman as a leader and provides a year’s worth of opportunities to serve others, make a difference, and present their own opinions to the public. Each contestant is required to present a platform. Using this platform, they are expected to make a positive impact – one that they are particularly passionate about. Each contestant can make an impact with the platform of their choice by spreading awareness and raising money, but once a title has been granted to a woman, their opportunities are expanded.


Title holders are also invited to take part in many charitable events and encouraged to help in all aspects of global issues. Many, however, aren’t in need of being prodded to do so anyway. Holding a title is a daily job and honorable position to hold, and those who compete are initially aware of the duty. Those who strive for such honorable titles are gifted women. Many are compassionate, intelligent, and driven. These women strive to make a positive impact everywhere they go and are accustomed to devoting their all into the success of themselves and others.


Among competitors are medical students, law students, accomplished athletes, and so many more ambitious women. These women are very mindful of the importance of their education. The Miss America system offers thousands of dollars in scholarships a year to competitors and title holders. Other pageants systems offer scholarships as well, but the Miss America Organization is known for distributing some of the most impressive amounts. This provides a furthering of education that may not have been obtainable without.


Most pageants, such as those within the Miss America system, are motivated to benefit women and provide a positive image to the public in regards to how influential a woman can be. Contrary to popular belief, it is not to judge the women like objects. Instead, it is meant to empower them. Confidence is gained with a simple glide across a stage – allowing the women to feel beautiful and worthy of being admired.


Underneath a crown holds so much more than a societal standard of beauty. Underneath a crown holds so much more than a proportional face and striking features. Underneath a crown lies a strong willed woman, confident in the inward beauty she possesses and powered by her own ambition and the well being of others. Though the crown may capture the eye with its glimmer and shine, the true shining comes from the exceptional individual underneath it.