Feminism and Our Top 5 Moments and Dresses from The Miss America 2017 Pageant
Last night was the SuperBowl of the American Fairytale: The Miss America Pageant! I’m a fan of anything that involves competitive sequins, so of course I was glued to the screen.
Some might argue that the Miss America Pageant is just an Atlantic City marketing scheme, and it is. Atlantic City’s economy is also hurting these days, so goddess bless them, I wish them all the (legal) dough bunnies they can rustle up for themselves. Some people might also say that the Miss America Pageant is a dusty Trophy of Oppression doled out by the evil twins Patriarchy and Misogyny, meant to keep women’s bodies hairless and their voices pleasantly modulated.
But I say, a woman’s place is in the spotlight, and a woman that is seen is a woman with power. Furthermore, the Miss America Pageant is a champion for sequins, and a wearing sparkles increases a woman’s visibility by one thousand percent. I also think there is no such thing as having too much news about smart, driven women. Therefore, I’m a fan. I am also a fan who demands that one day soon, a plus-size contestant must strut through the swimsuit competition, in an amazing bikini, preferably designed by GabiFresh. We all know the swimsuit portion is not about fitness, so if the organizers insist on making the contestants’ bodies a key element, I want to see a diversity of bodies. That would be a real fairytale come true.
There are also complaints that the broadcast is boring. It is. The pageant is not The Hunger Games, and it shouldn’t be framed as one. What would make it more interesting is giving the contestants longer than 20 seconds to answer the judge’s questions, and putting more emphasis on showing the impact these woman can have in their communities. Solution: show 20 seconds of bikini time while promoting world peace.
What the Miss America Pageant is really about (after economics and publicity), is dreams. Dreams of success, of victories, of winning scholarship money, of advancing careers, and of being a positive voice in one’s community. That’s why the Miss America pageant is a crucible of fairytale moments: there are stakes, long journeys leading to the defining moment, fabulous gowns, and wild amounts of public accolades.
Here are my favorite fairytale moments from the Miss America 2017 pageant:
Behold, Miss Mississippi, Laura Lee Lewis, serving serious Princess Elsa. I like evening gowns that also hold a hint of “Pick me or I might freeze your little beach town.”
Miss Mississippi in her second fairytale gown. This time, she’s giving echoes of Cinderella. What about her singing? I don’t know. Not because the patriarchy was trying to distract me by telling me to objectify her sequins, but because I got a text.
Singing on the Miss America stage was an incredible experience and a moment I will never forget. A huge thank you to @wkeithpittman and @lastingimpressionsformalwear for helping me create the perfect dress for talent. #missmississippi #MissAmerica
A photo posted by Miss Mississippi (@missamericams) on
Here we have Queen Judge Gabby Douglas and Miss America 2016, Betty Cantrell. Look at these fabulous Spirits of Patriotism! I have two questions: 1) Didn’t Gabby Douglas win Miss America at the Olympics? 2) Who is bringing me a silver platter serving the head of the MAO official who neglected to provide Gabby with her own tiara? Bow before greatness, people!
You know the part in the Princess Bride where Wesley and Buttercup are in the fire swamp fighting Rodents of Unusual Size? That’s how I felt watching Miss California, Jessa Carmack, perform gymnastics for Gabby Douglas. Nerve. Wracking. Thankfully, she nailed her handstand.
Here we have the “moment we’ve all been waiting for,” the celebration at the end of the heroine’s journey: the crowning of Miss America 2017. Congratulations to Savvy Shields, Miss Arkansas, and the rose that looks like it’s wearing a tiara. Or is that a scepter? Oh, I get it. It’s a scepter for smashing the patriarchy. Well played!