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Is it Ethical to Jump States to Compete in Pageantry?

Some contestants will “jump states” or move to another state to compete in the pageant circuit there. While this may be possible for some, is it actually ethical? (Read: How Staying Consistent In Pageantry Can Help You Win)

About recent news

This past week, Toneata Morgan was crowned Miss Oregon USA 2018. Just a few days after the pageant, a few contestants have started to question Morgan’s residency and eligibility to compete in Oregon. It came to the attention of a few contestants that Morgan had competed four times in the Miss California USA pageant and might be a resident of California.

Photo: Jerry and Lois Photography
Photo: Jerry and Lois Photography

While Morgan acknowledged that she previously lived in and competed in California, she now lives with her grandparents in Oregon and has been living there for over a year. NW Productions, the company that produces the Miss Oregon USA pageant, verified that Morgan was eligible to compete in the Miss Oregon USA 2018 pageant. Morgan had met the residency requirements by providing two documents showing her residency in Oregon, said co-executive producer of NW Productions Maureen Francisco.

Many fellow contestants are still calling for an investigation into Morgan’s residency. One contestant, Stephanie Matheson said, “I think it’s important that we all feel validated that it was a fair competition.” There has been no response as to whether NW Productions plans to further investigate the claims that Morgan may not be an Oregon resident. (Read: How to be Sure You’re Eligible for a Pageant With a Contract)

About the ethics

While moving to another state just for the chance to win in the same system is potentially possible for some, is it practical or ethical? There are many people on both sides of the argument for the benefits of competing in a different state and for the potential ethics implicated in doing so. (Read: How to Market Yourself Before a Pageant)

Some believe that there are not any ethical implications in moving to compete in a pageant. Because pageantry is a sport, it may be good to “shop around” to find a state that fits best with your personality. It also allows a girl to find a state director she works best with.

Some believe that “shopping around” is not fair to contestants that live full time in the state you are competing in. Girls who practice in “more competitive states” and then move to a “less competitive state” may have an advantage over girls who have not experienced other state competitions.

What do you think about “shopping around” for a state to compete in? Let us know below!

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9 thoughts on “Is it Ethical to Jump States to Compete in Pageantry?

  1. It seems to happen a lot in Nevada. Since Nia Sanchez, our Miss Nevada USA winners have all previously competed in California USA, giving our local Nevada girls no fair chance in their home state.

  2. Every contestant has the same rules. As long as they are followed it is ethical and fair.
    The idea that a contestant that is more skilled and came from another state previously is unfair is ridiculous. Every girl can compete more often to gain experience, move to a tougher state to learn their way of doing things, volunteer at other events to gain knowledge and hire a coach. If you can’t win against CA you need to up your game, not try to keep the more qualified competitors away.
    May the best girl win!

  3. I think the question we should focus on is how can we implement better residency requirements? I believe that people should be able to change states they compete for if they have truly moved to that state or attend college there. A lot of girls have an opportunity to win scholarships and receive modeling contracts etc. By “jumping” states you are taking money from local (state) businesses who think their money and donations are benefiting a state native. I think if you go to school full time or work 20 hours or more in a state for 6 months you should qualify. I also believe that if you are not attending college in a state but work 20 hours or more, you should be filing your taxes in the state your competing. I also strongly think you should not be allowed to compete in more than 1 state in a competition year. If you claim residency in one state, that is the only state you should be allowed to compete in that year. It seems that in Oregon this gets abused. In the Miss America system they had a teen use school as her residency in one state and her parents address for residency in another state for the same competitive year (Just months apart). From my understanding Miss Oregon USA competed as golden hills in California and then competed in Oregon in the same competitive year. In both these instances I believe it is a learning opportunity to focus and restrict residency more effectively. I hope this encourages all systems to take into consideration their sponsors and their native state residents.

  4. With regards to the Oregon situation-how anyone can believe she is actually residing in a very small coastal town (2.5 hours from a commercial airport)while attending Loyola-Marymont College full-time and working regularly as a model (including supporting Club42, a SoCal baseball org) & on TV has a better imagination than I do

    1. Right!!!!

  5. I think the proposal that one cannot compete in multiple states in the same competition or calendar year has merit.

    1. That’s a really good point. I like that.

  6. I agree that it’s hard to believe that a young woman would be living with her grandparents in a small town while also working as a model and going to school in CA. It’s easy to provide two pieces of mail. I’ve faked my residence to get a drivers license. It’s not proof, just shows you can change your mailing address. It is too obvious that she hopped states and that’s not fair especially when I feel she was not the strongest competitor either. Aren’t these women supposed to be role models? If she actually moved to Oregon it would be fine, but she clearly has not.

  7. It needs to be one or the other. Either don’t have residency requirements and have all the states open for anyone to compete in or else demand stricter residency requirements that show a legal legit residency across the board. It doesn’t seem to be the issue of ability to compete well so much as it is the transparency of really representing who you are. If where you actually live doesn’t matter, then that opportunity needs to be given to all the contestants, not just the ones who are calculating enough to hunt down loop holes.

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