Such a fun night watching Miss America with Coach and KJ while live texting with T-bone during the show! As with football, we are a house divided (KJ did cheer for Hannah Roberts, Miss Mississippi but she was really rooting for Meg, Miss Alabama). Both girls did an amazing job representing their states and for anyone who thinks pageants are dumb or stupid, please read on.
Over the years we have gotten to know a lot of these competing young ladies through dance classes, Buccanettes and even through our lacrosse family and you can't help but be impressed. These young women are all at the top of their class and selflessly give hours and hours of their time and energies to various charities and their own specific personal platforms. While attending Miss Mississippi's crowning this year and last, we are always blown away by some of the contestant's scholastic achievements and personal stories (these girls are battling debilitating diseases, addiction, one contestant was a survivor of rape and one contestant recently underwent a double mastectomy as she is at risk for breast cancer). These young ladies want to make a difference in their local communities and address issues affecting their state ... obesity, teen pregnancy, literacy, disappearing school art programs.
Not only are these young women smart and charitable, they are incredibly talented! We've seen some incredible dancers, baton twirlers, a comedienne, poets and singers (even an American Idol alum!). Hannah's talent at state was incredible and I will admit last night she did sound a little off. Her sweet family sat in front of us at this year's pageant and her uncle mentioned that the humidity affects the violin strings (I've never played an instrument in my life but that makes total sense to me! It rained pretty hard Saturday night delaying the start of the Parade of Shoes).
I understand the contradiction surrounding the swimsuit portion of the pageant ... why are we parading these young ladies around half naked while supposedly celebrating their minds and rewarding scholarships? Is swimsuit antiquated? Probably. Should it be eliminated? Maybe. But it's more of a tradition than anything else. Miss America began as a publicity stunt for the beaches and tourism of Atlantic City. Do the contestants look forward to swimsuit? Most probably do not. But T-bone does weirdly enough. She has always tried to stay healthy through exercise and clean eating and feels the swimsuit portion of the pageant encourages contestants to be the total package. To be women with a healthy mind, a healthy body and a giving heart.
I also fully understand why feminists get up in arms about pageants but to me, being a feminist means supporting my sisters in whatever they decide to do. You want to save lives being a fire-person or cardiac surgeon? Great! You go girl! You want to be Miss America and save lives by encouraging monthly self breast exams for early detection? Terrific! You''re a stay at home mom and want to be the PTA president at your Children's schools? Thank you! It takes a village. Women need to support and encourage other women. Not tear them down.