Opinion The Tattoo

A worthwhile event

Miss America pageant, 1923.

Winner of Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists’ 1999 award for opinion writing.

Most little girls dream about being crowned Miss America when they grow up. Some girls even participate in beauty pageants from the time they’re in diapers.

I have always watched Miss America on television.

It’s an entertaining three hours a year where I get to learn from women who are meant to be role models for teenage girls like me.

I like to learn the various majors of these college girls. And I can hear them sing or watch them dance.

However, I do not see the point in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions.

It’s sad now that we’re reaching the new millennium that this ridiculous part of the competition where women flaunt their assets is a deciding factor in choosing a young woman to represent the nation.

Am I supposed to look up to a beautiful, skinny woman who can pick out great clothes?

The question and answer portion, along with contestants’ and platforms, are the most important categories.

That’s where you can discover a person’s beauty on the inside. The latter is where you can see their cause, and what they can do for America.

I wanted to find out for myself what it was actually like competing in a pageant, so I participated in the 1998 Miss Chrysanthemum Pageant recently. This pageant is open to any
Bristol area girl ages 14 to 16.

My mom saw the application in the press and told me to sign up. No way, I thought. I like to watch pageants, but I’m not the kind of person to compete in them.

Then I read that there were no swimsuit, evening gown, or talent competitions. I thought, great, I guess I’ll try it. Friends had told me it was a lot of fun. Rehearsals were few.

It was a great experience. Through this pageant I met some nice people and I got to have fun without spending any money.

Although I didn’t win a title, I can’t say I didn’t try.

If the Miss Mum pageant doesn’t have a swimsuit, evening gown, or talent competition, I wonder, why isn’t there a Mr. Chrysanthemum pageant?

Hila Yosafi is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

Also see see this counterpart piece by Amanda Lehmert and Joe Wilbur.

Here’s how this piece looked in print:

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