The Reality of Miss Texas

by Joy Donovan on July 7, 2012

Just returned from the Miss Texas Scholarship Pageant. (www.MissTexas.org)

I went to see no one in particular, but I went just because I love the singing, dancing and beautiful clothes. The contestants are allowed to compete more than once, so I also like to see how the contestants tweak things from year to year in hopes of getting that winner’s bouquet of yellow roses. I also like to write about it, here now, but formerly for a certain Fort Worth newspaper.

This year the pageant was held for the first time in Allen. I’m definitely not a fan since I think it’s too far from the center of DFW  or even the center of the state. I think parts of Oklahoma were probably closer to it. I also thought the arena was a difficult place to view the show, and scoring a parking spot was not easy.

All of that is minor in compared to what I thought of the new pageant style with so many elements borrowed from “reality TV.” Cameramen walking on stage while the competitors modeled evening gowns, and backstage interviews with people scurrying about aren’t my idea of a lovely evening of entertainment.

The worst, though, was how the young women were treated. I’ve never competed in anything like a pageant, but I have competed for something I wanted badly and lost. It’s not fun, and the disappointment can be crushing. Now anyone who enters a pageant know the odds are against winning, so you know disappointment easily could be in your future.

But do we have to rub it in peoples’ faces when they lose?

Some of these contestants were given the news that they didn’t make the top 15, then 13 and final five while we stared at them. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, watch as young women wearing bikinis are told which two of them don’t get to move on. If that wasn’t fun enough, let’s ask them on stage dressed and ready to perform their talent,  but–just kidding–all of you won’t be getting to do that. You there in the dance costume, pack it up because you didn’t make the grade.

This is cruel. This is unnecessary. This is not entertainment.

I ask the new regime at the Miss Texas Organization to rethink how the finalists are informed that they won’t be going forward in their quest for the Miss Texas crown. Let’s be kind to the young women who have worked so hard to be on that stage, and let’s not make the audience cringe as they watch what happens on stage.

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