02 January 2012

To beauty pageant or not to beauty pageant? That is the question at hand.

Ok, so the title is sort of off since I've already made up my mind, but I thought it sounded catchy...

I remember the first beauty pageant I ever watched. I was 9 years old and my parents had gone to Europe. My dad had a business trip to England and my mom went with him and they took some time to go sightseeing over the course of a couple of weeks after the work portion of the trip was over. My brother and I stayed with a family we knew from church. They had two little boys so I was pretty bored most of the time. One night, however, Miss Nancy had the tv on and the Miss America pageant was on. I was captivated. The glitter, the hair, everything... I held my breath hoping that Miss Georgia would win, but alas: it was not to be. Miss South Carolina won instead.

I still love to watch pageants but my focus has shifted from being solely on "Wow, what a pretty dress" to "What platforms are they promoting? What issues are they tackling?". Beauty pageant contestants have the opportunity to shed light on the issues that are important to them; a few recent Miss America platforms that stand out to me include Miss America 2000 (Heather French) speaking up about the plight of homeless veterans, Miss America 2005 (Deidre Downs) raising awareness about pediatric cancer, and Miss America 2011 (Teresa Scanlan) whose platform is Eating Disorders: A Generation At Risk.[1]

With this in mind, I've decided that it's time to take my advocacy for PPMD awareness and education in a new direction. If I can find sponsors to cover my fees, I will be entering the Mrs. California pageant (the state competition on the path to the nationally televised Mrs. America pageant). My goal is specifically to have a new and bigger venue in which to speak up about PPMD. I want to make people aware of the myths, combat the stigma, encourage people to speak up, and highlight the need for more facilities, clinics, and providers that specialize in treating/helping women and their families who are dealing with PPMD. I would especially love to get mental health professionals on board as sponsors.

So, that's my new project for the year. If anyone has any helpful advice or tips, I'd love to hear them. I'll keep you posted. :)

[1] Information about the Miss America platforms was found at the Miss America website under the section Our Miss Americas -> Miss America History & Updates .

1 comment:

  1. You go, Girl! I think that is a wonderful idea!!