The Miss America We Need

The Miss America We Need

Fun Fact: The largest supporter of women's education in scholarships is a beauty pageant.
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She is nothing shy of impressive; graduated with honors from Brown University, was recognized for her charitable involvement by President Obama, and even trained for four years with the Radio City Rockettes. Some may say she is unbelievable, but most just call her Miss America.

It's 2018 and Cara Mund is every little girl's role model. Smart, talented, and beautiful. In fact, all the Miss America contestants usually prove to be very impressive. But, this annual pageant nevertheless, has its institutional flaws.

For one thing, the fact that we still hold pageants is a little surprising. If holding these annual competitions were actually such a good idea we would do the same for men, right? But for some just the thought of making them strut in lavish outfits, solve the world's problems in 20 seconds, and give a talent show for a panel of judges, is odd.

In this decade you would think by now we would have at least gotten rid of the swimsuit competition. But no, I don't think this pageant organization will have to give up their supply of adhesive spray any time soon. Might I add that during this pageant the swimsuit portion accounts for 10% of your overall score and 'Composure', 25%? More than a third of the competition still prioritizes 'beauty' over all else.

They claim they are the "leading advocate for women's education and the largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women in the United States." And if this is true, that means that the number one supporter of women's education and mobility are pageants that most American women could never see themselves participating in.

Women are underrepresented in almost every field. I'm talking about women in STEM, women in politics, women in journalism, women in publishing, etc. Even Cara Mund wants to become the first elected Governor of North Dakota. But she isn't getting a scholarship for trying to break the glass ceiling, she is getting a scholarship because she was the best women "in good health", under the age of 24, who has never had children or married, and could actually afford to pay the costs of participating in pageants.

We need to show women around the country that there are a lot fewer hurdles to being successful. Women should be encouraged to take leaps without having to worry about their body image and whether they can be "smart, pretty, and talented". The truth is that there are a million forms of beauty that aren't presented by these pageants anyways.

We do not need a role model like Miss America to inspire our little girls. We need the ladies who voiced their opinions at the Women's March, the ladies who are dominating at gendered engineering schools, the girls getting things done in the White House. There are not enough spotlights to shine on our everyday female idols.

So, I would like to propose a new 'pageant' and I'll call it 'Lady America'. There is no one winner because I believe there is no limit to the success our women are capable of. There is no long list of prerequisites to compete, just the determination to do so. Because there is no kidding that we have to fight. It's 2018, there is still a wage gap and let me reiterate that we have had 45 male presidents run this country and 0 female. Taking on the role of a 'Lady America' means you have to own up to your potential and make every attempt to succeed in your passions. When you wear your crown of confidence you'll symbolize a strong American woman, a role model inspiring new generations of innovators, artists, leaders, and thinkers.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.

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It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

www.youtube.com

Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

www.flickr.com

Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central

Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes

6. VEEP (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)

Showtime

Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)

Amazon

Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

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