Pageantry takes a lot of heat in today’s society for being what critics say is outdated and irrelevant. While most former and current titleholders ignore the criticism and continue the good work they do in their communities, occasionally one pageant girl will speak up about pageantry. (Read: Miss United States Fires Back Against Anti-Pageantry Article)
About Miss America 2011’s Facebook post
Following every major pageant, there is undoubtedly bound to be a slew of hateful comments on every form of social media available. From criticizing individual contestants’ appearance and intelligence to flinging insults at the entire pageant industry, there are always people who do their best to tear these accomplished young women down. After seeing the range of negative comments, Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan decided to comment on her experience in pageantry and as Miss America.
Scanlan wrote about the popularity of some television shows that focus on modeling, talent, intelligence, dating and even reality tv shows and the irony of the Miss America critics. She wrote, “But all of a sudden, when you have a competition that is based on talent, modeling, AND interview/public speaking… NOW WE HAVE A PROBLEM! Suddenly it’s objectifying women! Suddenly it’s outdated and irrelevant!” (Read: How Pageantry Has Changed to be More than Just Outer Beauty)
She goes into mini-discussion about the ridiculousness of criticizing a pageant that focuses on empowering women before thanking the Miss America Organization, “for refusing to buy into the stereotype that women can only be one way or the other. Thank you for refusing to put women in a box. Thank you for recognizing well-rounded women and diversity.” Before closing her post, she mentions the fact that Cara Mund, Miss America 2018 is not only a Brown University graduate but also an award-winning dancer. (Read: Miss America 2018 is Miss North Dakota)
About critiques of pageantry
Although Scanlan may have added just a touch of sass to her Facebook post, her commentary is no less accurate. The fact that 51 accomplished, brave, talented and intelligent women stood on the famed stage in Broadwalk Hall to compete for the opportunity to serve her country for a year is a testament to what pageantry is really about. Those 51 women are a representation of millions of pageant contestants, past and present titleholders, directors, coaches and families across the globe that fight each day to make the world a better place.
Women in pageantry as recognized for the hours of community service they complete, the 4.0 grade point averages they achieve and the countless hours they put into mastering their talents. They should be celebrated for the phenomenal communication skills evidenced not only during competition but with every heart they touch at each event they attend. These women display unparalleled dedication to their platforms and preparations. They are some of the most amazing and supportive women on this planet. (Read: How Pageantry Can Help You Develop as a Woman)
This courageous community continues to believe that they can change the world one rhinestone at a time, and we are committed to helping them do it. Each day at Pageant Planet, we work to inspire our readers to be better competitors, individuals, titleholders, directors, volunteers, advocates and public speakers. We will continue to promote the incredible men and women that help to build up and empower one another. And taking our leads from honest and amazing role models like Teresa Scanlan will help us do just that! (Read: Why Sisterhood is Important in Pageantry and How to Create It)
From all of us in the pageant community, thank you, Teresa Scanlan, for pointing out that pageantry is all about empowering diverse women and men to change the world.