Miss America: good or bad?

The National “Miss America” beauty pageant was held on Sunday, September 14 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The winner was Miss New York, Kira Kazantsev. Kazantsev is New York’s third-straight winner for the annual contest.

The Miss America program has been running in the United States since 1921. It is not the same thing as the Miss USA pageant, though the two are often confused with one another. The Miss USA pageant and Miss Universe pageants are famous for just judging contestans based on beauty; however, I do not believe this is the case for the Miss America pageant.

Miss America is more than just a beauty pageant. It is a way to help fyoung women be heard and get their opinions on important issues out where they may be seen. The Miss America Organization, believe it or not, is a large provider of scholarships to women in the world. Every contestant is offered a scholarship, and the scholarships can add up to over forty million dollars worth of valuable education if they are all combined.

Many people believe the winner is chosen just on beauty. This is not true. In fact, only 35% of the final score in the preliminary rounds consists of physical appearance; the other 65% are concerned with talent, private interview, and on-stage questions. This means that contestants can not win if they are just traditionally “beautiful,” they must also be charismatic and intelligent young woman. Georgia’s own contestant, Maggie Bridges, is even on Dean’s List at the Georgia Institute of Technology, meaning she had an academic average higher than 3.0.

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The winner of the pageant, Kira Kazantsev, attends Hoffstra University and has been invited to enroll to both Notre Dame Law School and Fordham Law School. Kazantsev is obviously not just another pretty face. She is also a women’s rights activist who dazzled the judges with her domestic violence platform. Kazantsev was in an abusive relationship herself, and told National Public Radio in an interview, “I definitely had friends that saw this and tried to help and didn’t know what to do. And at that point I isolated myself. I was completely isolated from any help they were offering me. The main goal is to get people talking about it. If people are willing to talk about it, they’re not scared of it, it’s not taboo.”

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