Miss Un-America?

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It was always a dream of mine to do a pageant…take ballet classes, do gymnastics…you know, anything girly because that’s what I was. A girly girl. That’s what I still am. When I had the opportunity to do one my freshman year of college, I jumped right into it and I actually won! I got to meet Ms. Teen NJ and Miss New Jersey – they even asked me if I ever done pageants before! *Gushing* I loved every single minute of it and it just made me love the whole shebang even more. So whenever Miss America comes on, guess who’s watching?!

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Source: EOnline

Guiliana Rancic (LOVE HER and her style!!!) cohosted but unfortunately, this year, I only was able to watch an hour of the live broadcast because my father, brother and I were fighting over the big screen. WHO AIRS THE BASKETBALL GAME DURING MISS AMERICA?! HOW UNAMERICAN IS THAT?!

Sorry, guys. I lost my grip there. I was kinda upset lol *tucks hair behind ear*…but anyway. Speaking of American pride, Miss America represents the ideal American woman – according to missamerica.org“Miss America represents the highest ideals. She is a real combination of beauty, grace, and intelligence, artistic and refined. She is a type which the American Girl might well emulate.”

It used to be more about the American woman that was beautiful, talented and had a great bod. That was a huge problem. Let’s go back a couple decades… The Miss America pageant used to be solely a beauty pageant. The New York Radical Women organized a huge protest of the 1968 Miss America beauty pageant that catapulted Women’s Liberation into the public sphere. Image

They threw away hair supplies, high heels, girdles, bras, Playboy mags as well as other female torture devices (what they called it). About 400 women were a part of the demonstration on the AC boardwalk, standing against what they called enslavement. Of what, you ask? They felt women were imprisoned to looking, dressing and acting a certain way for men. In other words, they felt women were being objectified. (2 Fun facts: 1. If you didn’t know, this is how feminists got known as the “bra burners”. It’s actually a myth! Women initially projected to scorch all these symbols of oppression. 2. At the crowning, a few members of the group achieved to hang a sign over the balcony and yelled “Women’s Liberation”. Bold, huh?)Image

Even Pepsi took note of their efforts and steered clear from the pageant. They no longer sponsor Miss America so I guess in a few ways, the protestors won. Besides this and the bra burning myth, this is one of the most known points of the movement in that time.

There hasn’t been much protest about the pageant probably due to the fact that the contestants started to adopt a fresh understanding of a woman’s duty rather than “settle” on being a housewife and mother. These days, there’s more of a focus on professional goals. The contestants must do community service, have a talent and be in college. The Miss America org gives thousands of dollars away in college scholarships. And the protestors probably also laid off the pageant since they’ve got bigger fish to fry (such as women in music, media etc).

I am grateful for their efforts which made the Miss America pageant more about substance. However, when you think pageants…you think beauty, don’t you?! It’s not one or the other. It’s beauty or both. People can’t get mad at how society is if our traditional ideals is what made it happen in the first place. You guys can obviously see that I’m pro-pageants especially the Miss America one (although I disagree with the bathing suit category) but I just wanted to teach a little history lesson and get your stance! What do you think about the Miss America pageants? Do you feel that the women are being objectified or glorified?

Watch below for the crowning of Miss Nevada! Congrats!

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EOnline

Sources: RedStockingMs. Magazine, EOnline, YouTube, Tumblr

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21 thoughts on “Miss Un-America?

  1. Angela says:

    I don’t like pageants much…I think they have become more ‘well-rounded’ over the years, but there is still too much emphasis on physical beauty. You could lessen that just by having the interview portion of the show go on longer, have the contestants answer two questions each instead of one. Anyway, I really, really did not like Miss Nevada’s answer to her question about college sexual assault. There was not a single word in there about teaching boys about consent/how to not rape; it was putting all the onus on girls to not get raped. Utterly shameful.

  2. carascliche says:

    I love this post and you talking about a different side to pageants. I would be lying if I said I don’t cringe a bit when toddlers and tiaras comes on. I do love this for the women who truly seek it though!

    xx Cara

  3. ajarzens says:

    I love pageants, especially as a former competitor in the Miss America Organization! It’s an absolutely wonderful organization that promotes the well-rounded woman. I love that shed light on the history of the Miss America Organization!

    Just so you are aware, the pageant that took place this past weekend was the Miss USA pageant. This is a completely different pageant organization than Miss America. I love both but dislike how the two are confused so easily as they are different for a variety of reasons (the easiest difference is that Miss America competes in talent and wins scholarship money, Miss USA does not).

    I’m not commenting to be rude or anything so I hope you don’t take it that way! Just informing! :] Great post otherwise!

    • tarahsaint says:

      I actually did know that but it made my post sound better haha! Didn’t know so many got it confused. I don’t find them synonymous! I’ll be sure to include this tidbit when I get the chance! Thanks for reading! I appreciate the comment

  4. Rachel Holliday says:

    Loved this post! Personally, I don’t think that the women are being objectified in that they put themselves into the pageants and many of them use their beauty and talents to draw awareness to bigger causes. Saying that, unfortunately many women still associate beauty and overt femininity with being unfeminist. Women should support each other in their causes and pageants are no exception.

    Rachel xxx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.blogspot.com

  5. My Fashion S/ash Life says:

    I must admit, as much as I love fashion and women doing their thang, I loathe pageants in every shape and form. No matter how ‘intelligent’ the girls seems now, I always just see fake tans, teeth that are too white, answers that too practiced and contrived… But having said all that, it was great to learn about th history of pageants, that was very interesting indeed!

  6. Akaleistar says:

    Great post! I grew up watching pageants and have competed in a handful. I have mixed feelings about pageants because on one hand they can help a girl feel confident as well as pay her way to school, but on the other hand, I feel like pageants focus on one type of look…

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