Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Lutheran chapter.

This past week, the Miss Universe organization crowned a new Miss USA. As a former pageant girl, this is always very exciting for me because I still like watching pageants despite being undecided about participating in any future ones. This year, during the coronation ceremony where they announced the winner, there was a controversy surrounding the reactions of the other contestants. Normally, contestants show good sportsmanship and rush to hug the winner as she has her special crowning moment. This year, however, there was not as much excitement shown towards the winner, and many girls stayed in their places or even left the stage after the coronation. There are many rumors as to why this may have happened, and that is a very different conversation than what I am hoping to start, but I want to address many comments I have seen surrounding this controversy. 

As a former pageant girl, I have experienced my fair share of judgment from others who have preconceived notions about what pageant contestants are like and what goes into various aspects of the competition. Many people tend to assume that we are shallow, stuck-up, and mean, probably because of how we are portrayed in the media. However, this is most often not the case, especially when we are talking about reaching the national level of a very prominent organization. Pageantry requires you to be a well-rounded, successful woman in order to win the crown. The most successful women who make it into this level of competition tend to be the ones who show kindness, gratitude, and determination. Even at the local level, in my experience, the girls who competed with me were all so sweet and helpful and have remained some of my greatest friends even today. The fun thing about pageants is that they connect you to other girls of all ages and walks of life that you probably would not have met otherwise. The other thing that may seem surprising is how helpful everyone is to each other. I have had girls who were my direct competitors let me borrow a necklace for my evening gown outfit or touch up the curls in my hair. 

Pageants have been where I have found some of my closest friends, and hearing people speaking negatively about pageantry as a whole can be difficult. I always remind myself that other people’s opinions about my hobbies do not matter, and that if I find meaning and community while participating in an activity, then that is good enough for me.

Anna Henson

Cal Lutheran '23

Hi! My name is Anna Henson and I am a junior history pedagogy major at California Lutheran University. I love all types of writing including research for my major and fun opinion articles! I am pursuing a teaching credential to help students develop their writing and thinking skills to express themselves clearly and creatively. I also love iced coffee, Tiktok, and the color pink!