More than just a Pretty Face

Ellen Rosson, News & Copy Editor

 Stereotypes buzz around the pageant world, from people’s feelings toward pageants to the way pageant girls are featured in television shows and movies. The movie Miss Congeniality, starring Sandra Bullock, would lead people to believe that contestants are competitive and unwilling to lose.

  However, the airhead, blonde Barbie girl that may come to mind when one thinks of pageants is not the truth. In reality, these confident, driven, poised women impact their communities and countries. Pageant girls are dreamers, entrepreneurs, and are devoted to calling attention to their platforms and causes to help their community. 

Another stereotype about pageantry is that the girls are solely about winning the crown, when in fact the crown holds no real power, unless the titleholder wants it to. 

  Stereotype 4: ¨The only reward for winning or placing at a pageant is a crown and sash,” journalist Sophia Wojdak said. The crown is just an object. But when in the right person’s possession, it becomes a platform to get involved in their communities and find their passions. These women build their platforms after finding something they are passionate about and want to share with the world.

My platform, “Inclusive Club” promotes the importance of respecting one another and the idea that we should include everyone. It was built upon the values of B.R.A.V.E, which stands for building, respect, and values for everyone. It encourages self confidence and reminds students that we are all different, and have our own individual traits that make us unique. So far, I have carried my presentation to many classrooms throughout elementary schools, and will continue to spread my message and make a difference.

  Pageant girls’ efforts can achieve international attention and success as well. Miss International 2019, Robin Towle shared her platform on suicide prevention. She spread her message to eight countries and to many political leaders.

 Wojdak argues that pageant girls, are not “dumb blondes.”  These women are highly motivated and educated. Girls participating in the younger divisions maintain high grade point averages, some as high as 4.45. Some women within the older division go as far as earning PhDs. Miss America 2017, Cara Mund, is a 2016 honors graduate in business, entrepreneurship and organizations from Brown University (Pageant Planet). 

  The last common stereotype held about pageantry is that looks are all that matter. All people see when watching pageants, specifically Miss USA or Miss Universe, are the women modeling elegant gowns and classy swimsuits. What they do not see are the interviews and hard work that take place before their heels hit the stage. Within some systems, the interview is a required field and is where women highlight their accomplishments, personalities, and goals. 

  Pageant girls are more than just a pretty face and many do not fit within the stereotypes society boxes them in. As role models and leaders, their dedication makes positive impacts.