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?!
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.
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?)
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!