Are pageants still relevant…? And my own words at end.

“Reading negative comments about the Miss America pageant always makes me laugh.

🎥 We can have modeling competitions on tv (America’s Next Top Model, She’s Got the Look, etc.)

🎥 We can have talent competitions on tv (America’s Got Talent, The Voice, American Idol, and more)

🎥 We can have competitions based on knowledge and intellect (Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, Jeopardy, etc.)

🎥 We can even have dating shows (Bachelor/Bachelorette and many others) where a certain body type is really the only type of contestant

🎥 And we can have random reality tv competitions of all flavors (Big Brother, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Biggest Loser, etc. etc.)

But all of the sudden, when you have a competition that is based on talent, modeling, AND interview/public speaking… NOW WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

Suddenly it’s objectifying women! Suddenly it’s outdated and irrelevant!


So wait… is it really just the fact that it’s multiple things COMBINED? If we separated them out into individual shows, it seems no one would mind. Yet just because they’re all part of one competition, everyone loses their mind.

A lot of people seem to like calling Miss America sexist and objectifying, yet they seem to have no issues with modeling competitions, fitness competitions, bodybuilding competitions, or other such shows.

So perhaps the REAL sexism lies in the fact that we can’t possibly celebrate women who are both beautiful AND intelligent.

No, it simply MUST be one or the other.

It’s as though we seem to say:

“If we want to judge women on their beauty or body, fine. If we want to judge women based on their intellect, fine. But don’t you dare try to say that women can be both! The minute you do, it’s degrading and objectifying; it’s irrelevant and outdated; and most of all, it’s somehow sexist.”

Sorry pageant-haters, I’m just not buying it. I earned over $62,000 in scholarships when I won Miss Nebraska and Miss America. I love public speaking, public policy, and volunteer service, AND I also love modeling, performing arts, and fashion and beauty.

So thank you, Miss America Organization, for refusing to buy into the stereotype that women can only be one way or the other. Thank you for refusing to put women in a box. Thank you for recognizing well-rounded women and diversity. Thank you for being based on style, success, scholarship, AND service…not just one. And thank you for giving women like me (and the new Miss America, who is both beautiful and a Harvard graduate) a chance to display all of our various facets and talents in life. “

I celebrate the fact that I (Stacy) used all of my scholarship money to attend Law School debt free, majored in Political Science, love theatre arts, performing, music, and at 45, the Miss America program gave me motivation to be somebody and skills to do it.

I would love for pageant supporters to share this and then write your own words about how it helped you.

Courtesy of: Stacy Mayo – Miss Texas 2001, MAO

Emissary Pageants International Congress

Where Unshakeable Confidence, Sisterhood, Service, and Leadership come together!