Indian Princess pageant shallow, destructive

by Caitlyn Van Orden

Like cattle in an auction, girls will stand onstage Sept. 21 at the Performing Arts Centre hoping to be crowned the 2007 EC Indian Princess in a shallow, unnecessary, and quite expensive beauty contest.

Unlike the America's Junior Miss program, which offers scholarships to Coweta County juniors based on talent, scholastics and an interview, the ECHS Indian Princess pageant is based on looks alone. With the exception of the Miss Congeniality award, which is voted on by the contestants themselves, all of the awards involve appearances.

When teenage girls are competing to be the "most beautiful," the bonding experience that pageant sponsor Kelli Williams expects seems impossible. The girls have little to bond over, besides maybe sharing their makeup while getting ready for this fiasco. Girls of all grades will be competing against each other, but it doesn't seem quite fair to have freshmen competing against seniors.

I foresee tears being shed as girls are left standing onstage uncrowned, a sight similar to what I saw when I participated in Junior Miss last year. I can only imagine what participants' reactions will be at this pageant. They won't be told someone else is more talented, articulate, or studious than they; they will be told someone else is more beautiful.

A Public School should not sponsor a Beauty Contest

In an age of eating disorders and stick-thin celebrities, a public school should not sponsor a beauty contest. Judging who is the most beautiful in our school certainly does not contribute to our education. Students already know which girls are the prettiest and most popular and which are not. Walk into the cafeteria at any high school and it is painfully obvious.

By hosting a beauty pageant, we are adding on to the hierarchy of high school, one that starts with the homecoming court and ends with the prom queen.

The pageant is also going to be quite costly for both participants and spectators. Contestants pay $30 to enter the pageant and compete for formal and casual wear awards. They also have the option of paying $10 more to submit a picture to win "most photogenic" and $5 per category for "most beautiful" and "best smile." If a girl wishes to participate in every category, she will spend a total of $50, not including the purchase of a formal gown and other clothing and accessories. Let us also think of the $7 each person in the audience will pay for admission, as well as the $1 audience members will pay each time they cast a vote for the People's Choice award. When the costs are totaled, the pageant becomes one expensive event.

Still, the glitz and glamour of being in a pageant will lure girls into competing. Since this is the first year EC has held the pageant, only time will tell how it will end. I only hope that those participating will ponder their reasons for entering in the first place and consider that they may be investing a large chunk of cash and time only to come up empty-handed and embarrassed.

Published with the permission of Caitlyn Vanorden

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Note from ACPA Editor - The preceding article was originally published by the author in the student opinion column of her High School newspaper, Smoke Signals. This prompted the school's principal to seize 500 undistributed copies and create a newspaper advisory board to monitor future content. This decision generated a lot of duscussion on the issues of Free-Speech, Schools and Censorship. The contrast between an intelligently written article generating more fuss than a shallow pageant was also noted. The school is located in east Coweta (EC) County, Georgia.