Pageant Scandals or Publicity Stunts

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Disclaimer (ugh, I hate disclaimers): …ok, background information:
I used to compete in pageants. I don’t think this is a terrible surprise since I’ve talked about it before (http://twitter.com/KOttavio/statuses/3512327971). Pageants are good…pageants (Miss America Organization) (http://www.missamerica.org/) give scholarship money…pageants helped me hone my interview and “stay cool under pressure” skills. Most importantly, I have made some lifelong friends in the pageant system.
That said—pageants are a business. Miss America is a scholarship program…so let’s leave them out of this discussion (don’t even bring up Vanessa Williams or I will…). Miss USA (http://www.missuniverse.com/missusa), on the other hand, is owned by Mr. Donald Trump (along with Miss Teen USA (http://www.missuniverse.com/missteenusa) and Miss Universe) (http://www.missuniverse.com/). And like any business, numbers need to be high and those dollars need to be raked in.
So I can’t be the only one who found it a little disheartening (ok, fishy) when the “pageant scandals” (http://television.aol.com/photos/beauty-pageant-scandals) became more and more prominent. Take the most recognized semi-recent mishap: Tara Conner, Miss USA 2006 “Oh no she didn’t.” The young woman was splattered all over the press for “alleged cocaine use, public kissing sessions with Miss Teen USA and random men were seen emerging from her swanky New York apartment.” And how was this young lady reprimanded? Trump held a press conference and let her keep her crown. I’m sure sparkling jewels look fab in rehab.
Not to draw this out, but there’s also Ashley Harder, Miss N.J. USA 2007 (she got pregnant), Katie Rees, Miss Nevada USA 2007 (naughty nightclub romp with photo evidence), Leona Gage, Miss USA 1957 (lied about her age), Oxana Federova, Miss Universe 2002 (I can’t fault this one…she hardly attended any appearances because they interfered with her studies. Still, it’s press!). Oh yeah and there was that Carrie Prejean girl…
Are these incidences just that? Young human beings, stressed out under the spotlight, making mistakes that we “regular people” just don’t get caught for while they do? Or calculated publicity stunts? I’d like to believe the former. (Tara actually did go to rehab.( http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20005269,00.html)) Perhaps it’s just the genius team at Trump’s office exploiting such happenings into publicity stunts for high viewership numbers, ultimately bringing huge dollar amounts to the organization.
Thoughts? I will donate one dollar for every male who comments (and offers legitimate opinions/insight) on this blog within 24 hours of posting to The Children’s Miracle Network, the official national platform (http://missamerica4kids.com/) of the Miss America Organization. Donation will be capped at $100 (we’re in PR people, not venture capital). [Editor’s Note: In honor of the PRBreakfastClub.com launch we will match this donation — $1 per legitimate male-authored comment to 12for12K (12for12k.org)]
(Insert Picture)
Katie Stam, Miss America 2009

Disclaimer (ugh, I hate disclaimers): …ok, background information:

I used to compete in pageants. I don’t think this is a terrible surprise since I’ve talked about it before. Pageants are good…pageants (Miss America Organization) give scholarship money…pageants helped me hone my interview and “stay cool under pressure” skills. Most importantly, I have made some lifelong friends in the pageant system.

Katie Stam, Miss America 2009
Katie Stam, Miss America 2009

That said—pageants are a business. Miss America is a scholarship program…so let’s leave them out of this discussion (don’t even bring up Vanessa Williams or I will…). Miss USA, on the other hand, is owned by Mr. Donald Trump (along with Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe). And like any business, numbers need to be high and those dollars need to be raked in.

So I can’t be the only one who found it a little disheartening (ok, fishy) when the “pageant scandals” became more and more prominent. Take the most recognized semi-recent mishap: Tara Conner, Miss USA 2006 “Oh no she didn’t.” The young woman was splattered all over the press for “alleged cocaine use, public kissing sessions with Miss Teen USA and random men were seen emerging from her swanky New York apartment.” And how was this young lady reprimanded? Trump held a press conference and let her keep her crown. I’m sure sparkling jewels look fab in rehab.

Not to draw this out, but there’s also Ashley Harder, Miss N.J. USA 2007 (she got pregnant), Katie Rees, Miss Nevada USA 2007 (naughty nightclub romp with photo evidence), Leona Gage, Miss USA 1957 (lied about her age), Oxana Federova, Miss Universe 2002 (I can’t fault this one…she hardly attended any appearances because they interfered with her studies. Still, it’s press!). Oh yeah and there was that Carrie Prejean girl…

Are these incidences just that? Young human beings, stressed out under the spotlight, making mistakes that we “regular people” just don’t get caught for while they do? Or calculated publicity stunts? I’d like to believe the former. (Tara actually did go to rehab.) Perhaps it’s just the genius team at Trump’s office exploiting such happenings into publicity stunts for high viewership numbers, ultimately bringing huge dollar amounts to the organization.

Thoughts? I will donate one dollar for every male who comments (and offers legitimate opinions/insight) on this blog within 24 hours of posting to The Children’s Miracle Network, the official national platform of the Miss America Organization. Donation will be capped at $100 (we’re in PR people, not venture capital). [Editor’s Note: In honor of the PRBreakfastClub.com launch we will match this donation — $1 per legitimate male-authored comment to 12for12K.]

Update: Prejean to sue Miss California USA officials
From CNN.com: LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — Carrie Prejean will file a lawsuit against Miss California USA officials for stripping her of the title earlier this year, her attorney announced Monday.

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  • http://tj.dietderich.com/ TJ Dietderich

    Kate, I know I’m not a dude but I just had to comment. Maybe I’m just not the target market for these sorts of televised pageants (understatement: I made one) but it seems to me like the basic premise of these events are, well, boring. I mean, unless someone really effs up on stage (a la the Iraq and such, and so on, for example), then why would I watch it at all? So as much as I’d like to believe these snafus are just unfortunate missteps on the part of these young women…come on. No one’s THAT terrible. Right?

    • Kate

      Ha! TJ, I love it…and appreciate your comment, you fellow, PRBC member, you. (Such a team player!) you brought up “Such-As-Gate” too. Haha! Anyways, I have to embarrass myself here and say I watch each televised pageant on the edge of my seat. Huge nerd! But, for someone who has not competed before, no matter what sex…there are male pageants too, I can imagine it’s pretty boring. Seriously, we watched “Such-As-Gate” and Miss USA (TWO YEARS IN A ROW) fall on her butt at Miss Universe in evening gown on YouTube a million times. We never watched a brilliant on-stage answer on YouTube the day after. Right?

  • http://tj.dietderich.com TJ Dietderich

    Kate, I know I’m not a dude but I just had to comment. Maybe I’m just not the target market for these sorts of televised pageants (understatement: I made one) but it seems to me like the basic premise of these events are, well, boring. I mean, unless someone really effs up on stage (a la the Iraq and such, and so on, for example), then why would I watch it at all? So as much as I’d like to believe these snafus are just unfortunate missteps on the part of these young women…come on. No one’s THAT terrible. Right?

    • Kate

      Ha! TJ, I love it…and appreciate your comment, you fellow, PRBC member, you. (Such a team player!) you brought up “Such-As-Gate” too. Haha! Anyways, I have to embarrass myself here and say I watch each televised pageant on the edge of my seat. Huge nerd! But, for someone who has not competed before, no matter what sex…there are male pageants too, I can imagine it’s pretty boring. Seriously, we watched “Such-As-Gate” and Miss USA (TWO YEARS IN A ROW) fall on her butt at Miss Universe in evening gown on YouTube a million times. We never watched a brilliant on-stage answer on YouTube the day after. Right?

  • http://www.andrewhelms.blogspot.com/ Andrew

    As a man ($1), I find the whole concept of beauty pageants to be antiquated and ridiculous. Yes, they are enjoyable to watch, but at their essence, rather than reshaping the image of women as strong and capable individuals equal to men, they are simply reinforcing the stereotype of women as sex objects, who may or may not have something interesting to say (ie. the one pageant queen unable to offer two sentences on the Iraq, Southern Africa, and Sudan, or something of that sort).

    I would assume there are many more productive ways for young women to receive training in answering under pressure and maintaining one’s cool.

    • Kate

      Thank you for your comment, Andrew. Ahh, you made me shiver bringing up the “uh, such as, and in Iraq, such as, and maps…” or as I’d like to call it “Such-As-Gate.” Ha!

      I appreciate your view! Glad to donate $1 for your comment.

  • http://www.andrewhelms.blogspot.com Andrew

    As a man ($1), I find the whole concept of beauty pageants to be antiquated and ridiculous. Yes, they are enjoyable to watch, but at their essence, rather than reshaping the image of women as strong and capable individuals equal to men, they are simply reinforcing the stereotype of women as sex objects, who may or may not have something interesting to say (ie. the one pageant queen unable to offer two sentences on the Iraq, Southern Africa, and Sudan, or something of that sort).

    I would assume there are many more productive ways for young women to receive training in answering under pressure and maintaining one’s cool.

    • Kate

      Thank you for your comment, Andrew. Ahh, you made me shiver bringing up the “uh, such as, and in Iraq, such as, and maps…” or as I’d like to call it “Such-As-Gate.” Ha!

      I appreciate your view! Glad to donate $1 for your comment.

  • http://jeffesposito.com/ Jeff Esposito

    For the most part, I think that these incidents can be chalked up to young people behaving badly. They are simply highlighted by the fact that everyone wants to see “famous” people screwing up.

    I wouldn’t run the Donald angle out there, because he’s a thankless self promoter and would do anything to make a buck. Sex sells and his main competition is reality TV so it may be an angle worth investigating, if you are inclined to.

    • Kate

      Thanks for your input, Jeff! There is a tabloid element of people liking to watch a train wreck.

      Happy to donate $1 for your comment. :)

  • http://jeffesposito.com Jeff Esposito

    For the most part, I think that these incidents can be chalked up to young people behaving badly. They are simply highlighted by the fact that everyone wants to see “famous” people screwing up.

    I wouldn’t run the Donald angle out there, because he’s a thankless self promoter and would do anything to make a buck. Sex sells and his main competition is reality TV so it may be an angle worth investigating, if you are inclined to.

    • Kate

      Thanks for your input, Jeff! There is a tabloid element of people liking to watch a train wreck.

      Happy to donate $1 for your comment. :)

  • http://dannybrown.me/ Danny Brown

    Hi Kate,

    I’ll admit, coming from the UK originally (now living in Canada), I could never get my head around pageants. Seeing 5-year old girls in make-up and cocktail dresses just seemed wrong. But…

    With regards the points you raise here, half of me wants to believe it is the crazy pressure we put on these girls, while the other half does wonder if it’s more than meets the eye. Especially when you see some of the players involved.

    You have to tailor in that these are still kids learning about the world. I recall (vaguely!) when I was 18, and I was a headstrong little tyke! Took me a while to learn that not everything is meant to drop into my lap.

    Whatever the real story here is, my main hope is that the kids involved do get any help they need, and we don’t hold back their growth by continued publicity glare.

    And kudos to both you and PRBC for the charitable donations!

    • Kate

      Hi Danny,

      I’m honored to have a comment on this blog post by you (first things first)!

      I totally agree with you that little girl pageants are a bit unnerving. I truly believe there is a heinous amount of stress put on these young women. I, like you, hope they get the help they need when their world “crumbles” (like Tara’s).

      Ok, Danny, I’ll throw in $10 for your comment since the editor is matching for your organization!

  • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

    Hi Kate,

    I’ll admit, coming from the UK originally (now living in Canada), I could never get my head around pageants. Seeing 5-year old girls in make-up and cocktail dresses just seemed wrong. But…

    With regards the points you raise here, half of me wants to believe it is the crazy pressure we put on these girls, while the other half does wonder if it’s more than meets the eye. Especially when you see some of the players involved.

    You have to tailor in that these are still kids learning about the world. I recall (vaguely!) when I was 18, and I was a headstrong little tyke! Took me a while to learn that not everything is meant to drop into my lap.

    Whatever the real story here is, my main hope is that the kids involved do get any help they need, and we don’t hold back their growth by continued publicity glare.

    And kudos to both you and PRBC for the charitable donations!

    • Kate

      Hi Danny,

      I’m honored to have a comment on this blog post by you (first things first)!

      I totally agree with you that little girl pageants are a bit unnerving. I truly believe there is a heinous amount of stress put on these young women. I, like you, hope they get the help they need when their world “crumbles” (like Tara’s).

      Ok, Danny, I’ll throw in $10 for your comment since the editor is matching for your organization!

  • Shawn

    As another man (+$1) in business, it would seem to me that the troubles here are what many young people go through (maybe more so skewed to privileged young people, but I digress). The attention paid to it, much like that of celebrities, is not needed and serves to only make us feel better about ourselves by judging others. All this said, no doubt when these issues happen they are capitalized on by the business people. Especially with the pageants suffering in the ratings, they have to do what they can to gain notoriety.

    • Kate

      Thanks for your comment, Shawn! Very appreciative that you answered the question I posed from a business and ratings perspective.

      Glad to donate $1 for your comment!

  • Shawn

    As another man (+$1) in business, it would seem to me that the troubles here are what many young people go through (maybe more so skewed to privileged young people, but I digress). The attention paid to it, much like that of celebrities, is not needed and serves to only make us feel better about ourselves by judging others. All this said, no doubt when these issues happen they are capitalized on by the business people. Especially with the pageants suffering in the ratings, they have to do what they can to gain notoriety.

    • Kate

      Thanks for your comment, Shawn! Very appreciative that you answered the question I posed from a business and ratings perspective.

      Glad to donate $1 for your comment!

  • Charles

    I won’t pretend to know very much about the pageant community nor the type of people who get involved in it, but I know a little about human nature in general, so I can speculate. (And for the sake of $1 to a good cause, I will.) Let’s leave aside the question of drugs and focus on the scandals involving sexual promiscuity.

    What keeps people _out_ of potentially scandalous sexual liasons? Generally one of two things: (1) strength of character, and/or (2) lack of opportunity.

    What does it take to succeed in pageants? Among other things: (1) beauty, (2) charm, and (3) some freedom to travel. Given those three attributes, we’ve removed “lack of opportunity” from the factors that protect these young women. And strength of character probably isn’t as common as we like to believe—especially as the frequency and quality of the opportunities to misbehave get higher and higher.

    • Kate

      A very welcome comment from you, Charles! Thanks so much. I agree that strength of character is at the top of my list when I think of role models.

      Happy to donate $1!

  • Charles

    I won’t pretend to know very much about the pageant community nor the type of people who get involved in it, but I know a little about human nature in general, so I can speculate. (And for the sake of $1 to a good cause, I will.) Let’s leave aside the question of drugs and focus on the scandals involving sexual promiscuity.

    What keeps people _out_ of potentially scandalous sexual liasons? Generally one of two things: (1) strength of character, and/or (2) lack of opportunity.

    What does it take to succeed in pageants? Among other things: (1) beauty, (2) charm, and (3) some freedom to travel. Given those three attributes, we’ve removed “lack of opportunity” from the factors that protect these young women. And strength of character probably isn’t as common as we like to believe—especially as the frequency and quality of the opportunities to misbehave get higher and higher.

    • Kate

      A very welcome comment from you, Charles! Thanks so much. I agree that strength of character is at the top of my list when I think of role models.

      Happy to donate $1!

  • http://marketingpartners.ca Jon Aston

    Personally (and with no offense inteded) I think you’re asking the wrong questions.

    Who really benefits from beauty pageants?

    Aren’t scholarships and the other supposed “benefits” the real publicity stunt?

    What other ways could we find for girls and young women to learn poise, confidence, and grace under pressure – without exploiting them by the thousands and perpetuating the beauty myth?

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment – and for your support of a worthy cause.

    • Kate

      No offense taken. I think you pose a very legitimate question. I have to disagree that scholarships are the real publicity stunt though.

      Other ways for girls to learn poise, confidence and grace? Dance, theater, horseback riding, piano lessons, learning another langue, science fairs, heck I played rugby once and that taught me how to keep my cool when necessary…the opportunities are endless for us females to stretch our brains and show off our intellect. Pageants have been around for a long time though and I don’t foresee them disappearing. Women, (and let me state that I am the first person to get fired up about a woman’s rights ((Gloria Steinem is a genius in my book)), have been placed into this mold of how we should act, talk, think…please tell me if I am off my rocker here. I think what we need to do is quit perpetuating the “pretty and stupid” stereotype and allow women with a cause and a brain who just so happen to have a team for makeup and hair (not me!) be heard.

      Thank you for your great comment. Happy to make a $1 donation!!

  • http://twitter.com/jonaston Jon Aston

    Personally (and with no offense inteded) I think you’re asking the wrong questions.

    Who really benefits from beauty pageants?

    Aren’t scholarships and the other supposed “benefits” the real publicity stunt?

    What other ways could we find for girls and young women to learn poise, confidence, and grace under pressure – without exploiting them by the thousands and perpetuating the beauty myth?

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment – and for your support of a worthy cause.

    • Kate

      No offense taken. I think you pose a very legitimate question. I have to disagree that scholarships are the real publicity stunt though.

      Other ways for girls to learn poise, confidence and grace? Dance, theater, horseback riding, piano lessons, learning another langue, science fairs, heck I played rugby once and that taught me how to keep my cool when necessary…the opportunities are endless for us females to stretch our brains and show off our intellect. Pageants have been around for a long time though and I don’t foresee them disappearing. Women, (and let me state that I am the first person to get fired up about a woman’s rights ((Gloria Steinem is a genius in my book)), have been placed into this mold of how we should act, talk, think…please tell me if I am off my rocker here. I think what we need to do is quit perpetuating the “pretty and stupid” stereotype and allow women with a cause and a brain who just so happen to have a team for makeup and hair (not me!) be heard.

      Thank you for your great comment. Happy to make a $1 donation!!

  • Derrick

    As a man (+$1)…

    At the very least these are very well calculated media stunts, because they are set up the same way one constructs the perfect lie. The perfect lie needs three things: to be plausible, embarrassing when admitted, and somewhat removed from the liar.

    • Kate

      Thank you, Derrick! Very insightful point. Plus $1 it is! I appreciate it.

  • Derrick

    As a man (+$1)…

    At the very least these are very well calculated media stunts, because they are set up the same way one constructs the perfect lie. The perfect lie needs three things: to be plausible, embarrassing when admitted, and somewhat removed from the liar.

    • Kate

      Thank you, Derrick! Very insightful point. Plus $1 it is! I appreciate it.

  • http://mattcrouch.com/ Matt C

    I personally feel that any kind of celebrity or attention like that at a young age is bad for kids. Girls or Boys. Kids need a stable, “normal”, well-balanced childhood so they are raised with a proper world perspective. These events seem to just warp kids minds by bringing on unnatural stress, focus on looks, talents, etc. Unfortunately I think its the parents who are the messed up ones, which continue the corroded gene pool by messing up the children.

    • Kate

      I hear you, Matt. As I had mentioned on Twitter, I didn’t start competing in pageants until I was 16…I wasn’t allowed until then. My mom, the ultimate anti-stage-mom, didn’t even come to some of my pageants because she didn’t want to/didn’t/still doesn’t love the idea. But some of us drama queens have to express our energy somewhere! Ha! Kidding. :)

      Thanks you again, Matt. I’m very happy to make a $1 donation for your comment.

  • http://mattcrouch.com Matt C

    I personally feel that any kind of celebrity or attention like that at a young age is bad for kids. Girls or Boys. Kids need a stable, “normal”, well-balanced childhood so they are raised with a proper world perspective. These events seem to just warp kids minds by bringing on unnatural stress, focus on looks, talents, etc. Unfortunately I think its the parents who are the messed up ones, which continue the corroded gene pool by messing up the children.

    • Kate

      I hear you, Matt. As I had mentioned on Twitter, I didn’t start competing in pageants until I was 16…I wasn’t allowed until then. My mom, the ultimate anti-stage-mom, didn’t even come to some of my pageants because she didn’t want to/didn’t/still doesn’t love the idea. But some of us drama queens have to express our energy somewhere! Ha! Kidding. :)

      Thanks you again, Matt. I’m very happy to make a $1 donation for your comment.

  • http://www.whatsyour20inc.com/ Sherri Haymond

    i think a lot of what goes on in the pageant world – scandal wise – is similar to the reality tv effect. most of the contestants are there for the reasons you were, kate – for the scholarship money and to hone your personal PR skills (etiquette, interviewing, etc…). but some are attracted to the field simply for the publicity (which is vastly different from PR) – the “reality tv effect.” it’s these people who end up in the tabloids, and who end up giving pageant contestants generally a bad rap. them and the parents who agree to be followed by reality tv shows featuring their 5 year old pageant queens whom they spray tan and hair dye and face paint. add all of this to the business that is pageants today and the original, (mainly) pure message gets lost. would love to hear what you think about this part….

    • Kate

      Love your input, Sherri! Thank you. I agree there is a glamorous lifestyle to be bought into with the flash and show of pageantry just like reality TV. Gosh, Miss America even did a reality series this past year leading up to the televised competition. On the side of child pageants, I stand opposed. I’m a bit of a hypocrite because I participated in dance competitions at a young age…was wearing heavy makeup and hairspray when I was seven. Child pageants are a bit disturbing…they focus on “beauty” (please, how good-looking are you at five?), poise, etc. And I’ll add that Miss America was actually started as a tourist attraction in New Jersey to keep the tourists around after the summer season (i.e. it was all about legs, beauty, etc.). But nowadays, contestants (in any pageant) are grilled with questions from judges (dang, some of them are tough too!), they must have a charitable platform they commit their time and celebrity to, and simply be all-around stand-up role-models. Ahh, it’s refreshing how times have changed. :)

  • http://www.whatsyour20inc.com Sherri Haymond

    i think a lot of what goes on in the pageant world – scandal wise – is similar to the reality tv effect. most of the contestants are there for the reasons you were, kate – for the scholarship money and to hone your personal PR skills (etiquette, interviewing, etc…). but some are attracted to the field simply for the publicity (which is vastly different from PR) – the “reality tv effect.” it’s these people who end up in the tabloids, and who end up giving pageant contestants generally a bad rap. them and the parents who agree to be followed by reality tv shows featuring their 5 year old pageant queens whom they spray tan and hair dye and face paint. add all of this to the business that is pageants today and the original, (mainly) pure message gets lost. would love to hear what you think about this part….

    • Kate

      Love your input, Sherri! Thank you. I agree there is a glamorous lifestyle to be bought into with the flash and show of pageantry just like reality TV. Gosh, Miss America even did a reality series this past year leading up to the televised competition. On the side of child pageants, I stand opposed. I’m a bit of a hypocrite because I participated in dance competitions at a young age…was wearing heavy makeup and hairspray when I was seven. Child pageants are a bit disturbing…they focus on “beauty” (please, how good-looking are you at five?), poise, etc. And I’ll add that Miss America was actually started as a tourist attraction in New Jersey to keep the tourists around after the summer season (i.e. it was all about legs, beauty, etc.). But nowadays, contestants (in any pageant) are grilled with questions from judges (dang, some of them are tough too!), they must have a charitable platform they commit their time and celebrity to, and simply be all-around stand-up role-models. Ahh, it’s refreshing how times have changed. :)

  • Kevin A.

    Being naughty at a nightclub… accidentally getting pregnant…public kissing sessions…even experimenting with drugs: heck, isn’t it just part of being a young woman?

    Sure, the above examples are mistakes (and some irresponsible ones at that) but isn’t growing up just one sequential mistake after another? Male or female, crown or no crown– growing up is a process of living and learning.

    To some the actions of pageant-winners and young celebrities (i.e. Lindsay Lohan) are the symbols of teenage train-wrecks. But in reality, weren’t we all train-wrecks at one point? Imagine if YOU had a camera following you around at your after-prom party in high school. Would you want it on TMZ?

    Don’t let yourself believe for one moment I’m saying its OK for pageant-winners or even Lindsay Lohan to be train-wrecks. Oh no. They’re role models. They have limits.

    All I am saying is step-back. Their actions? Normal. Their roles? Anything but normal.

    • Kate

      I couldn’t agree more, Kevin. No one is perfect. Part of growing up is making those major mistakes. I guess I hold those in the public light (pageant winners or even participants included) to a higher standard of behavior as they willingly enter (or if they are at teen level, their parents should be closely guiding them) these competitions. My examination was of the Miss USA pageant and their almost “highlighted” scandals, while with Miss America, mishaps aren’t as prominent, don’t happen as often or they’ve got great crisis PR people.

      I appreciate your input and am happy to donate $1 for your comment! Thank you!

  • Kevin A.

    Being naughty at a nightclub… accidentally getting pregnant…public kissing sessions…even experimenting with drugs: heck, isn’t it just part of being a young woman?

    Sure, the above examples are mistakes (and some irresponsible ones at that) but isn’t growing up just one sequential mistake after another? Male or female, crown or no crown– growing up is a process of living and learning.

    To some the actions of pageant-winners and young celebrities (i.e. Lindsay Lohan) are the symbols of teenage train-wrecks. But in reality, weren’t we all train-wrecks at one point? Imagine if YOU had a camera following you around at your after-prom party in high school. Would you want it on TMZ?

    Don’t let yourself believe for one moment I’m saying its OK for pageant-winners or even Lindsay Lohan to be train-wrecks. Oh no. They’re role models. They have limits.

    All I am saying is step-back. Their actions? Normal. Their roles? Anything but normal.

    • Kate

      I couldn’t agree more, Kevin. No one is perfect. Part of growing up is making those major mistakes. I guess I hold those in the public light (pageant winners or even participants included) to a higher standard of behavior as they willingly enter (or if they are at teen level, their parents should be closely guiding them) these competitions. My examination was of the Miss USA pageant and their almost “highlighted” scandals, while with Miss America, mishaps aren’t as prominent, don’t happen as often or they’ve got great crisis PR people.

      I appreciate your input and am happy to donate $1 for your comment! Thank you!

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