The student news site of Summerville High School.

The Misinterpreted: Why pageant girls matter

December 3, 2015

Last year, I wrote an article entitled ‘The Pageantry Prism’ that covered the scholastic and spiritual benefits of participating in a pageant, and broke past misconceptions on the negative image associated with pageantry. I likened the activity to glass prisms in regards to their complexive aspects and the varying shades of light they projected. Today, I still stand by the validity of those comparisons. Here again I find myself reporting the Miss Green Wave pageant (which will take place on Jan. 16, 2016), only now I am posed with a much more perplexing question: what significant contribution does pageantry make to society, if any? And furthermore, how does the Miss Green Wave pageant affect us students? Those varying shades of light from before now reflect both seen and unseen colors on the people, and it would seem that deeper misconceptions beg to be shattered.

It all starts in the core of a pageant girl. I myself couldn’t tell you what it feels like to participate in a pageant, but Ellen Guilford, a sophomore competing in this year’s Miss Green Wave pageant, can.

When asked about the intrinsic effects of competing, Guilford answered, “for me, so far, I’ve only done a few things for the pageant but it’s made me appreciate my community and charity, and it’s actually made me a better person and actually opened my eyes to…how it can affect other people, how it can affect you, because it makes you feel amazing when you help other people.”

See, like every other pageant girl, competitors in the Miss Green Wave pageant are required to complete community service so as to both assist in the gradual betterment of society, and more interestingly, assist in the flourishment of personal intrinsic warmth. This greater intrinsic warmth directly contributes to an improvement in character, and an improvement in character translates to a purer moral persona.

Then there are the areas of competition itself: formal wear, swimsuit wear, talent, and the interview. These sub-competitions project differing aspects of the competitors to the audience, but have one singular effect on the competitors: confidence. As she participates in the sub-competitions, the pageant girl both absorbs and exudes confidence. The funny thing about confidence is, it straightens spines, levels gaits, strengthens speech, enunciates words and casts these brilliant radiances around people who have it. It can turn anyone into an awe-inspiring figure with the power to command attention and glisten with importance. Pageant girls may be physically attractive, but confidence is the layer of beauty that really captivates the audience.

Elevated moral personas and skin shimmering with confidence combined makes impressively exemplary people out of pageant girls, and with their contribution of good works in the community, they appear to morph into these rare creatures of perfection. I mean it too, the ideal pageant girl is a beacon of inner and outer goodness. And it is this supposed image of goodness, this image of perfection, that is the theoretical service to the people. From a technical point, pageant girls are meant to be looked up to as examples of human morality in it’s purest form; they are society’s guides to a noble existence.

And yet, the public has a brutish tendency to toss the pageant girls from their sky-high pedestals into a muddy sea of disapproval. Declarations of vanity, stupidity, selfishness, and hypocrisy fly like bullets and puncture the golden reputations of the starry-souled queens.

Why?

Because at face value, they all, to some degree, deserve it.

No one, not even the precious pageant girl can achieve that fabled status of perfection. That pure, altruistic energy rumored to course through the veins of the world’s darlings is infected with the disease of human nature; speckled and flawed like the lives we have and always will live. As disappointing a thought as it is, a number of the scandals and rumors that orbit and dizzy the heads of these girls ring with truth.

So wouldn’t that make this whole “pageant” operation a fraudulent scheme?

To imply that these girls are so perfect, that they reside in a kingdom of clouds as ethereal goddesses is utter madness. They are simply human, and for that, they must be, they beg to be, victims of scorn.

Re-read that last paragraph.

Punished for being human by a people even more imperfect and hypocritical than they are?

We are that people. We are the malicious sharks who disavow the girls that more accurately symbolize goodness and morality than we ever will, regardless of their natural imperfection.

But even in the face of our unjust disapproval and our attempts to defame them, the (successful) pageant girls continue to sparkle with nobility, they continue to serve the public, they continue to spread their influence. They deflect the sword of hate which we brandish, and march on, the truly remarkable ones unscratched, through life. They exemplify the ultimate fulfillment of humanity’s mission: to overcome all obstacles that stand in the path of a gratifying existence. For that, pageant girls are misinterpreted examples. They are not meant to be images of perfection, they are meant to be guides on living.

Remember that as you sit in the audience of this year’s Miss Green Wave pageant.

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