The Miss America Organization, created in 1921, has become a national phenomenon for young women looking to make a difference in the world. Contestants compete in Interview, Swimsuit, Talent, and Evening Gown/Onstage Question to gain the judges’ attention to ultimately be crowned the next titleholder. In addition to winning the crown, a contestant is awarded scholarship money to continue pursuing her wildest dreams, as well as the opportunity of a lifetime to become the best version of herself she can be. Amongst the commonly untrue stereotypes of pageant girls being ditzy and conceited, here are five more surprising elements about Miss America that people do not realize….
1. The crown is NOT just a sparkly accessory:
The local, state, and national crowns given to the winners in the Miss America Organization actually have very special meaning behind them. The four points of the crown: Service, Style, Scholarship, and Success, allow the titleholders to embody well rounded lifestyles on a daily basis. Titleholders are in charge of promoting a personal platform, or a cause or organization they feel passionate about and would like to raise awareness for. They are also in charge of being excellent representatives of the Organization by marketing the positive attributes of Miss America to the public. Finally, they devote time to spreading attention to the Organization’s national platform: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, where Miss America serves as the National Goodwill Ambassador. Titleholders use their crowns as megaphones to advocate their causes to their communities.
2. Butt glue….it IS a thing:
How would you feel strutting around a stage in front of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people during the live telecast of the Miss America pageant?! Not too many women between the ages of 17 and 24 feel confident enough to perform such a task. The women in the Miss America Organization have real guts displaying their bodies to the judges’ panel; the last thing they need is for their swimsuit to ride up during their walk! Butt Glue is a spray-on glue that helps secure bathing suit bottoms to the skin to prevent over-exposure. Trust me, it really works! Contestants often leave a bottle backstage and take turns spraying each other to ensure complete coverage.
3. Pageant girls do NOT starve themselves a week before to look good:
The swimsuit competition is meant to display the contestants’ healthy lifestyle and hard work they put into their bodies year round, not just crash dieting a week before the pageant. Ab definition does not happen overnight, people! Titleholders spend months preparing workout regiments with personal trainers, creating balanced diet plans, and establishing self confidence to ensure that they are having a great time onstage. Remember, other people cannot have confidence in you if you do not have confidence in yourself!
4. Contestants are friends…NOT food:
Surprisingly, many Miss America contestants say that their favorite part of the pageant is the everlasting friendships they gain through the experience. It is incredibly true! When you stand in a semi-circle waiting for the emcee to announce the winner of the pageant, it is like every single contestant wins because they are truly happy for their new queen. Contestants borrow make up, shoes, bobby pins, sometimes even gowns, because they genuinely care about helping each and every woman put her best foot forward on stage. Fellow titleholders attend one another’s platform fundraisers, hold speaking engagements and interview practices together, and take their relationships developed in the pageant outside of the pageant world. Often, pageant queens see their fellow sisters in each other’s bridal parties, supporting one another in times of need, and traveling the country to hold reunions! Those silly stereotypes of women messing with each other’s personal belongings before the pageant is a myth.
5. Pageant queens do NOT just win the crown and go home:
Local titleholders in the Miss America Organization are committed to an entire year of service, making it impossible for them to compete in another local pageant throughout their reign unless they resign their current title. State titleholders often times delay their college experiences in order to fulfill their duties. The national titleholder, Miss America, travels approximately 20,000 miles a month appearing in a countless number of events nationwide (and sometimes internationally.) Every titleholder in the Organization, no matter the level, is in charge of becoming a role model for her community and promoting the importance of being comfortable in her own heels (I mean shoes!)
Next time you make assumptions about the devoted women competing in Miss America, just remember these are the individuals making a difference in the world you live in. Although they experience backlash and negative connotation, they continue to pursue their passions for the betterment of others. They are the real super heroes and role models. They are our nation’s future.