Every year, we are seeing the planet of pageantry more diverse across all systems. The Miss Georgia Pageant is making significant strides towards diversity with this year’s class. (Read: Woman with Down Syndrome to Compete for Miss Minnesota USA)
A growing minority
This year’s class of Miss Georgia contestants are the most diverse of a class there has ever been with 30 percent of minority contestants. Out of the 54 young women competing, there are 15 young African-American women and one Hispanic immigrant from Costa Rica vying for the Miss Georgia 2017 title. Over the last 10 years, the percentage of minority contestants has never risen to 25 percent. In fact, in 2012, there was a low of 8 percent of diverse contestants.
The local titleholders are most certainly noticing a difference as well. Miss Cobb County 2017, Chari Guzman said, “From my personal experience, to have so many women of color, it does make you feel more accepted into the program knowing there are more African-American women this year. It’s like, ‘Wow, that is something that more people are becoming a part of and aware of.'”
Miss Georgia has been making strides towards diversity for years now. In 2004, Danica Tisdale was the first African-American woman to win the Miss Georgia title and represent the state at the Miss America pageant. Four years later, Miss Georgia 2008 went on to place 1st Runner-up at the Miss America pageant. (Read: Halle Berry and Other Black Women Who Broke Barriers In the World of Pageantry)
What this means for Miss Georgia
Long time President Mansfield Bias even weighed in on the increased diversity. He said, “We are appealing across all racial lines and all cultural diversity. . . We have all kinds of diversity, not only in skin color but, in the types of talent. It shows me we are getting something right.” (Read: Should You Perform a Traditional or Non-traditional Talent?)
One reporter spoke with the contestants and noted that each young woman’s opinion and view varies significantly from her peers and credits that to their diverse backgrounds. One theory as to the increase in diversity is the amazing opportunity and scholarship money that is afforded to the winners.
We are certainly happy to see our beautiful planet of pageantry becoming more diverse each day. Good luck to all the ladies competing for the Miss Georgia 2017 title!