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Some Interesting fact about Miss America Pageant

By Afsana Khatoon, 19 September 2017


Originally, Miss America pageant started in the 1920s as a "bathing beauty revue", which was a strategy to bring business to Boardwalk. The event was then called the Fall Frolic. Since then the pageant has undergone many changes. It is now an annual scholarship pageant, held for the American women between the age group of 17 to 24.The contestants are judged on the basis of their talents, performances, interviews, and physique. As a ritual the winner is always crowned by the former year's Miss America.

1Historical Landmarks

The pageant became the target of several protests, in the 1960s. It was the time when civil rights movement and second-wave feminism was on the rise. The pageant was compared to a county fair where livestock cattle were judged. Protestors destroyed several feminine products like artificial eyelashes, cosmetics, high-heels, corsets, girdles and lingerie. Symbolically, they crowned a sheep as Miss America. In the 1971 pageant, the Women's Liberation Front demonstrated the new design. Miss Iowa, Cheryl Browne was the first African-American contestant in the history of the pageant. Vanessa Williams was the first African-American to be crowned Miss America 1984. In 2016, Miss Missouri, Erin O'Flaherty became the first lesbian to participate in the pageant. 

The pageant became the target of several protests

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2Eligibility Criteria

The most controversial eligibility criteria for the pageant had been Rule No.7. Until 1940, it stated that "Contestants must be of good health and of the white race." In the later years, the pageant was rightly condemned to be shallow and sexist but also racist. To meet the No.7 criteria, the expecting contestants traced their ancestry and race back through generations. Darkly amusing, isn't it?! The only Jewish and the first one to become Miss America in 1945, was Bess Myerson.

The most controversial eligibility criteria for the pageant

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3Miss America 2017 &'18


11th September 2016 was the 90th pageant held at the Boardwalk Hall in New Jersey. Savvy Shields, Miss Arkansas 2016 was crowned Miss America 2017. Miss America 2018 was the 97th one held on 10th September. This time it was a risky and bold move to go on with the pageant as the United States are trying to brace against the Hurricane Irma. The contestants were worried about their family and their home states but still went on with the event. Miss Florida said, “No matter what happens, we are strong and we can do it; we can get through anything together.” 

Miss America 2017

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