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Even Beauty Queens Make Mistakes

Sally Lybrand
Commentary Editor

   If you follow beauty pageants, or to be more politically correct, scholarship organizations, then you have no doubt heard of the scandals revolving around the girls of Miss USA.  Though with the onslaught of media attention, you do not have to follow the pageant to have a small clue of what is happening in Trump Land. 

   So, yes, Donald Trump has his hands pretty full this time with three, no, four queens in trouble that double-stick tape and hairspray cannot fix. The fourth queen comes from none other than his lucrative Miss Teen USA system. Even the teens are jumping on the public scandal bandwagon.   

   The three Miss USA contestants either faced dethronement as in the case of Miss USA Tara Connor, or were completely revoked of their tiaras and titles in the cases of 20-year-old Miss New Jersey Ashley Harder and 22-year-old Miss Nevada Katie Rees.   

   Trump took it relatively easy on Connor, ordering her to undergo rehab and drug testing after she admitted to partying and drinking with Miss Teen USA Katie Blair; while underage, she is still allowed to retain her title. The others were less fortunate, or more likely, had state directors with a lower scandal tolerance than The Donald.   

   State directors from Nevada dethroned Rees for explicit photographs that appeared on the Internet. Did she not think that would happen? Katie, you cannot trust sober people with cameras taking pictures of you during your drunken escapades. I can see it, “Sure Katie, I’ll buy you another drink. Say cheese!” 

   Harder just announced her pregnancy and resignation before both incidents had time to come and go in our already swimming minds. Relinquishing the crown for being pregnant but not for living with her boyfriend prior the pregnancy seems strange. I don’t think it is strange on her part, I think it is strange on the behalf of the Miss USA organization that co-habitation is condoned but being pregnant is taboo.  

   But pageants in general are all about double standards. You must be beautiful on the outside, but please, make a point to tell people that it is not important to be pretty and skinny. Deep down, you wish you were not so darn beautiful because looks do not matter in a beauty pageant. Now, excuse yourself because you are late to your liposuction appointment.   

   I have to wonder, though, why these ladies have engaged in such disappointing behavior.  Are they under so much pressure to be spotless role models that their collapse is inevitable? Mistakes happen and I certainly cannot judge someone for making one, no matter the scope of the mistake. I really think, however, the blame for disappointment lies in those of us who are disappointed. We put too much trust and admiration in fragile people like ourselves. We expect too much from people who in the end, are only human and will make mistakes.

   A tiara, banner and a dozen roses protect no one from rash actions and poor judgment. If anything, the emotional weight of the tiara creates a stumbling block for many young women who are not ready for the public scrutiny the position carries.

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ŠThe Voice 2007
01/13/2008 03:27:11 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/4_13/commentary.htm