Thursday, January 10, 2013

Miss America vs Miss USA

Hello loves,

Today I plan on doing absolutely nothing besides staying in bed. Seriously.. I may leave to shower and obviously to use the bathroom if I must, but other than that, this girl is bed ridden. Stupid. Sickness.

Today, while on Twitter I came across a very interesting article regarding pageants. As you know by now, I am obsessed, so it's only like me to write a post about this.

We are in the midst of Miss America week going on right now in Las Vegas. My girl Sloane is representing Arkansas and I have no doubt she will go far. She was born to be Miss Arkansas, a true role-model and I've really enjoyed keeping up with her events throughout this week. I remember the first time I met her, I was 17 years old and representing Benton County at the AR State Fair Pageant in October of 2006. She was competing in the talent portion of the fair and ended up winning grand champion. She was 14. Now she is all grown up, beautiful and vying for the prestigious title of Miss America.

The article I came across today by Robin Leach in the Las Vegas Sun came off offensive to many. It was talking about the distinction between the Miss America Organization and The Miss USA (or Miss Universe) Organization.

Found on the Miss America website - "Developed by the Miss America Organization, the Miss America program exists to provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community."
The contestants have to work with a personal platform and compete in personal interview, swimsuit, evening gown, onstage question, and talent. One has to win a preliminary title to qualify for the state pageant. Miss America's national platform is Children's Miracle Network.

Found on the Miss USA website - "The titleholders of the Miss Universe Organization personify the combination of beauty and intelligence that defines the 21st Century."
The contestants compete in personal interview, swimsuit, evening gown, and onstage question. Miss USA works with several organizations.

Honestly, to say one is better than the other is strictly personal opinion - NOT FACT.

Now, ever since my intro into the pageant world as a senior in high school, I've always favored the Miss America (MAO) system. I relied on the scholarship (it's the largest scholarship provider for women in the entire world) to have the opportunity to attend college. The only college I have been through has been paid for by pageant scholarship money I have won by competing. Another reason I loved MAO was because of the performance aspect. It holds a talent portion, and I loved being able to be on stage singing my heart out. 

Miss Arkansas 2008

I was always told I should give the Miss USA (MUO) system a try. Looking back now, I wish I would've while still living in Arkansas. I did however, give it a shot here in Hawaii and although I didn't favor the actual pageant, or it's officials, I did enjoy the beauty and fashion empowerment it gave me.

Miss Hawaii USA 2011

To me the difference is simple. MAO is based mainly on school. It provides an opportunity for women specifically to better their education, by paying for it and making it easier to get it done, while opening doors in the career paths they choose. MUO is based mainly on the entertainment aspect, beauty, glamour, and really opens doors for women specifically in that industry. Both are amazing organizations, just in different ways.

In the article I read today, a staff member of MAO had said, "They only go to the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants when they find out they can’t do what it takes to be Miss America. It’s the truth; it is tough to be Miss America. These young women have to have their community service platforms, they have to work on their talent, and they have to be in school. The Miss USA program doesn’t require any of that. Miss America is more relevant today because it’s not about pretend glamour, made-up glamour, but finding women who can help lead this country into a better place."

I can see how people take that offensive...

Honestly, I've done both systems now. And I love each one for specific reasons. I love the glitz, glamour, and fashion that goes along with MUO. It's not pretend. These women end up having careers in modeling, film/TV, and the entertainment industry as a whole; a lot of these women ALSO have careers in medicine, politics, and education as well. Don't just think they are a pretty face. 

With that said, Miss America contestants are JUST as beautiful and also go into several different career paths and being in the system has helped open those doors.

And for the record, SO many ladies do BOTH systems. I know personally in Arkansas, several MAO girls have won the title of Miss Arkansas USA in the past several years. Miss Georgia a few years back competed for both Miss America and Miss USA back to back years. Currently Miss District of Columbia also competed for Miss USA 2012 as Miss Maryland USA. So why is there an issue?

I absolutely can't stand the rivalry between the two systems. Both empower beauty, intelligence, and talent in women. Both offer opportunities for personal growth and future careers. Both offer glitz and glamour - I mean, have you seen those crowns!?

I know a lot of you are thinking this whole post is absolutely silly - talking beauty/scholarship pageants. But it really has made a difference in my life, as well as SO many other young women. It gives us a chance to better our education, it opens doors for us we never would have had before, it gives us the confidence to public speak and carry ourselves with poise and integrity. 

So many past title holders of both Miss America and Miss USA have gone on to do amazing, wonderful, and community oriented things with their lives. And having that title on their resume helped, I'm sure. So please, let's all support each other as pageant girls together - no matter what system, Miss America, Miss USA, Miss International, Miss United States, Miss WHATEVER! It takes guts to get up in front of a large crowd and panel of judges to show what you're made of. I applaud anyone who dares to grace any pageant stage :)

I know I am a more well-rounded woman as a whole. I am no longer afraid to sing in front of a crowd, I am no longer afraid to answer questions I may not know the answer to. It has made me realize more about myself than so many other aspects of life. And just to be clear - I would give ANYTHING to have the opportunity to compete for the Miss USA title. I have had my go for Miss America and realize school is just not for me right now but am so thankful for everything I gained from that organization and will cherish the memories for the rest of my life. 

Now that my two cents was put in, time to go catch up on the doings of Miss America 2013 to see how the beautiful Sloane is doing. Don't forget to tune in THIS Saturday at 9pm EST on ABC to see who the next Miss America is!



ty said...

It seems so sad to me that both organizations do a world of good for young women, and instead of focusing on what great, strong, well-rounded beautiful women they BOTH churn, they choose to make it a popularity contest over which organization is "better." Both should be proud of what they are doing, and they should be patting the other on the back for contributing amazing ladies to the word.

Kelsey Eaton said...

Loved hearing your perspective! I always thought Miss America was more fun to watch. I love watching the talent portions!!

Helene said...

this is really interesting. i really didn't know the difference of either- to be honest. I do think it's great what it is supporting despite what others say.

Megan said...

I didn't know the difference so thanks for sharing that. I enjoy watching the talent part. I didn't know you could sing. That's awesome!

Shane Prather said...

I didn't know there was a difference! Very interesting!

Erin Heydt said...

Dude, you just totally answered a question I've had since I was little! Btw, you look stunning.

Beth Mayberry said...

sooo.... I thought it was all the same thing. I didn't know there were two competitions! Man, I am a little behind on the times! BUT I love what you said and I love how involved you are in them! I can tell you are passionate about this. I love it.

Timmy Zula said...

Like anice post.
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