The Miss America pageant, started in 1921 as an annual beauty contest in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has changed dramatically throughout its history. The most recent competition took place on Sept. 10.
Today, Miss America has turned into a scholarship open to women in the U.S between the ages of 17 and 24.
This year a panel of celebrity judges asked questions to the contestants concerning the Charlottesville attack, climate change, the Trump Administration’s problems with Russia, and Confederate War monuments.
After being questioned on President Donald Trump’s response to blame “many sides” for the Charlottesville attack, Miss Texas stated, “I think that the white supremacists issue…it was very obvious it was a terrorist attack. And I think that President Donald Trump should have made a statement earlier addressing the fact, making sure all Americans feel safe in this country,” she said.
Over social media, thousands of people were unhappy with the political questions given to the candidates. The same people pointed out that Trump is the person that funds the competitions, and their answer should’ve been more appropriate. I mostly noticed hundreds of angry moms on twitter arguing how they tuned in hoping for a family friendly night of classic American television.
“I am so sick of this. It was just so disgusting, but at least I had another chance to tell my daughter how liberalism is a huge mental disorder,” said mother Alicia Jones.
“Sadly, the 2017 Miss America pageant was like a jazzed-up version of a Nasty Woman March. Instead of hemp sweaters and Mexican man shoes, the girls were wearing evening gowns and lip gloss,” wrote journalist Todd Starnes from Fox News wrote.
I believe that we should hear the contestants’ views on life and politics. Politics has always been intertwined in the competition throughout its history. In the original 1921 Miss America, personality played a large role in the voting as masses of people surrounded each contestant to get to know her better and throw questions at her throughout the event.
In 1969, The “No More Miss America” protest was attended by about 500 feminists and civil rights advocates. The protest included tossing a collection of symbolic feminine products pots, false eyelashes, mops, and other items into a “freedom trash can.” They also burned hundreds of bras on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Some of their slogans called the pageant a cattle auction, for parading women to walk around and be judged off their looks, just how men judge their cattle for their worth. The is solely because the Miss America contestants are often only recognized by society’s impossible standards of beauty and the expectations of being innocent and pretty.
More importantly, there was blatant inequality in encouraging girls to become Miss America. The standard line was that boys could become President of the United States. Why not women? What about their role in politics? Where are their hard working jobs?
In today’s society the Miss America Foundation strives to change lives and influence young women across the country. Although there are still bathing suit and beauty contests, Miss America has changed throughout the years to give out scholarships to intelligent girls to provide direction for their future. I believe from the start of the competition in the 1920s, there are a couple of things that have stayed the same: the contestant’s personalities, ideals, and beliefs of the world we live in today.