I recently read a rebuttal to your tweet where you voiced your opinion on "Beauty Pageants". In this rebuttal you were criticized for your "lack of fame" and even your fur coats. Although I disagree with your statement, it is not fair of anyone to attack you for simply not understanding the world of pageantry. That in and of its self is BULLYING. And you are not alone, Sarah, in your misunderstanding of pageants. So let me take this moment to educate not only you, but all those pageant nay sayers.
I will admit that I once scoffed at the idea of beauty pageants and had you asked me three years ago if I would ever compete in pageants I would have laughed in your face. However, after being pushed to give it a try I have found a world that is beyond anything I could have imagined! First of all, these are not "Beauty pageants" but "SCHOLARSHIP pageants". Millions of dollars are handed out every year to exceedingly bright, talented and accomplished women. Scores are not dictated on who is the most beautiful or who looks best in their bikini, but based on who they are as a person. Winners are often well educated, well spoken, poised, confident, talented as well as beautiful.
And beyond that, women who compete in pageants are quite often kind and caring individuals who spend hours donating their time and energy doing volunteer work and raising money for charities. Having been deemed a "pageant girl" and spent two years now in the wondrous world of pageants I have found there to be an incredible sense of unity and support amongst the ladies adoring their crowns.
Pageants help shape young women into world changers! I know that I have personally grown leaps and bounds these past two years that I have been competing. Being involved with Miss America has taught me more about confidence, poise, community, and selflessness then I could have ever thought possible. Beyond that I have gained opportunities, scholarship money, and friendships.
Still not convinced? Here are some fun facts that might do the trick!
- Miss America is the #1 Scholarship Organization for women in the WORLD.
- Prior to onstage modeling, there is a grilling 10 minute interview that counts for 25-35% of your score.
- Miss Kansas 2013 graced the Miss America stage whilst bearing ALL of her fabulous tattoos. (She was also a soldier in the national guard and sang opera!)
- All contestants are required to adopt a platform to promote during their service. Platforms range from child abuse prevention to promoting STEM research.
- Contestants are also required to raise money for Children's Miracle Network hospitals for each pageant.
- The talent portion of the competition counts for more then both the swim suit and evening gown portion. Talents range from ballet on point to ventriloquism!
- Jean Bartel, Miss America 1943, went so far as to use her celebrity in the war effort. She was credited with selling more Series E war bonds than anyone else in the United States - $2.5 million worth of them
- Today, Miss America travels approximately 20,000 miles a month, changing her location every 18 to 36 hours
- At the 2014 Miss America pageant, a contestant competed in Life Style and Fitness while proudly adorning her insulin pump.