Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:September 5th, 2006 18:06 EST
Miss America Contestants at the Head of the Class

Miss America Contestants at the Head of the Class

By Amanda Hess

The Miss America Pageant has received much criticism beginning almost from the day it began. Some opponents of the pageant believe that women parading around scantily clad were challenging certain morals and expectations that our country was built upon. There are those fans that live by and enjoy watching pageants, and on the other hand, there are others who sit back, shake their heads, and think, “What is this world coming to?” The Miss America Pageant, and those similar, are not simply about beautiful looking women on the exterior; these women have talents and are extremely intelligent human beings.

This year’s pageant is scheduled to air in January in Las Vegas. Since 1921, the Miss American Pageant had been in Atlantic City, New Jersey. After ABC dropped the airing of the show in 2001, CMT picked it up I am one of those people that love watching the pageant. Even as a young girl, I remember going to a slumber party and choosing which contestant I wanted to be. (In the end, I only made it to the runner-up position.) But it wasn’t even that all of the girls were drop-dead gorgeous, although very few weren’t. Those girls had class, style, and brains. People shouldn’t be so worried about girls wanting to be in the pageant because they have so many of the qualities that are highly regarded. I am not arguing that all pageants are healthy. There are actually many that are not and there are even parents that make them that way.   

Being seen as a beautiful person on the outside simply does not make a woman an “airhead.” Women that are “airheads” usually are not seen twirling a baton to perfection or dancing with the poise of a Broadway star. These are women that have been involved in dance classes since they were able to walk, and to think that while they are catching batons behind their backs, they are being criticized.

Women competing in the Miss America Pageant are extremely intelligent individuals, contrary to belief. For example, the winner of the pageant in 2004, Miss Alabama, Deidre Downs, attended Stanford University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in history. What an airhead! Women that are involved in the pageant are given scholarships to continue their education.

The pageant actually gave out $45 million in the form of college scholarships last year, according to the official website.

In our day in age, society thinks that there is something wrong with being beautiful and smart, which I don’t agree with at all. Being beautiful doesn’t have to mean that a person has loose morals or that they cannot formulate an intelligent thought.

Women who participate in the Miss America Pageant are strong individuals with talent and intelligence. If still wary about the pageant’s motives, watch the pageant. The winners are not all blonde, blue-eyed, and anorexic. Maybe all that we need to do as a society is sit back and watch. I bet that you’ll hear more than, “I wish for world peace!”