Saturday, January 26, 2008

MODESTY:You Are My Ms. America


I am very troubled right now. Let me explain...

A few nights ago I caught some of the show Miss America Reality Check and did what I always do, looked for Miss Utah. Not only am I anxious to see who is representing a state that I love, I am always hoping she is going to be a representative of modesty as well. I was not disappointed when I saw Jill Stevens, a Soldier in the National Guard, who seemed unchanged by the pageantry, comparisons, and decorations of such a parade of women. She kept it real and stuck with her standards. She wore sleeves, was quirky, waved with two hands, did push ups, and refused to change herself and image just to please the judges. She was exactly what I would hope for Miss Utah and Miss America.

So the actual pageant "scholarship program" begins and I DVR the event for the sole purpose of seeing Miss Utah and hoping she might win. At the very beginning they select their 15 finalists and she is not one of them. Disappointed, we decide to turn off the show until the MC yells out "wait wait...we're doing things different this year" and then proceeds to tells us that their is one more contestant that has been selected because of the voting online.

Yep, you got it. She's back. Miss, -I'm so excited that other people in America appreciate her- Utah!

Here's where I begin to get frustrated. The first "competition" for these 16 ladies is the swimsuit competition. Don't get me started on this one. Not only do they need to just get rid of this excuse of a round, but to put it as the first eliminator? Basically saying, "this matters more than your talent, question answering abilities, and even how good you look in a gown (what's with the gown competition anyway, really). But here's the best part, the MC introduces it by saying
"Of course today we know the swimsuits are here, but they're just one part of the competition that's meant to highlight the importance of health and fitness"


Oh...Okay, now that makes sense. I thought it was just a tradition to check out cute girls in hardly any clothing, but if it has deeper meaning and significance...

Just not buyin it. Shouldn't their actually be a physical fitness competition then, like who can lift more weights, run longer, I don't know, something more centered on physical fitness and health instead of physical appearance.

I could hardly watch, I'm so embarrassed by the whole thing, but I fast forwarded until I saw her. Wait for it...YES!!! YOU GO MISS UTAH!! A one piece! Of course the only one wearing a one piece bathing suit, very much making a statement, that I knew from previous record, (including last year when Miss Utah was eliminated and later told "she must've been trying to hide something" by needing to wear a one piece)this is not really looked well upon. And although her lip was quivering and she didn't flaunt around like the others, I had high hopes.

To no avail. Her name was called and she was eliminated. I totally expected it though. The exact same things as last year with Miss Utah. The one girl, in the one piece. Not enough.

But in defeat this awesome gal, dropped to the floor with some of the other remaining contenders, and began doing push ups. Needless to say, she definitely had the best push ups. She got up smiling, so classy. Waved big, hugged and high fived the remaining contestants, and made me proud. But, I understand... the girl who has run a total of 12 marathons, including the first ever held in Afghanistan, earned the highest fitness award during Army basic training, was chosen as one of four “Women of Strength” featured in “Muscle and Fitness Hers” magazine- didn't cut it in the competition to "highlight fitness and health".

Can we call for a re vote? I mean the title is "Miss America". As in our Miss. America's Miss. Yours and mine, not just eight celebrity judges choice. Shouldn't we have some say in it? I wish. (For your info the actual winner, Miss Michigan, Kirsten Haglund, -who is probably deserving in other ways, happens to be the contestant who won the lifestyle and fitness competition.)

So tonight, amid my frustration, I give a shout out to MODESTY! To the women of sleeves everywhere! For the choices you make every day to be different. To decide that your unique bodies and features remain most beautiful to the world when they are respected by clothing (or for our husbands..wink wink). That what you give and how you live, truly show YOU off. That your outward display need not distract from the goodness of your soul. Here's to all the Jill Stevens. You are my Ms's America. And what a miracle your modesty is... in a world so desperately needing it. Carry on!

11 comments:

Rachel said...

Too funny. I seriously just an hour or so ago programmed my dvr to record those shows out of curiousity! Too too funny.
Amen Sista! I may make my daughters tune in to Miss Utah as an example to them. Good for her.

Lakes are Great said...

LOVE the post. Matt and I were watching for the same reason and I couldn't believe she got voted off so soon! So sad. I heard that the other girls totally thought she was going to win based on that reality show they were on. I was irritated. AND the girl that won looks like my 1984 ice skating barbi...yikes. Not a fan. Cut out sequin dresses should be an automatic elimination. Love ya.

Clean Cut said...

I'm with you Babe. Swimsuit competition shows off "health and fitness"? Yeah right. And to put the question to rest forever, she proved the point in a poignant way by doing all those push-ups after being eliminated. Not only was she no doubt the most fit, but also the most fun--the most real. So how ironic that the "judges" couldn't remember what they were really judging and couldn't see past a one-piece swimsuit--again. It was obvious throughout the competition why Jill was "America's choice". If they really want to gain validity, maybe America should be allowed to decide who their "Miss America" will be-not an x number of biased judges.

JAMIE COOK~ said...

I guess we are the only NON DVR people huh? mom, "I have NEVER seen a commercial."
I missed it, and I am not sure if I am sad or happy that I did. That is so typical, which I guess makes me happy I missed it. Steve would have watched it with me and that would have been kind of weird having him next to me watching other women( and I have no right to get mad cause it would have been my idea right?)
I am glad you feel the way you do...Too bad the world does not agree...that doesn't mean we can't change the world though...right?

Brianne and Jarod Stewart said...

Oh Sara...don't even get me started on this!! I was very very disappointed and annoyed by the whole competition....Ugh!

David, Kinzie, & Kiera Fae: said...

I believe I said some of your exact words to my husband- Go Miss Utah for being herself and living her standards dispite America's standards! Bravo Miss Utah!

Bowles Family said...

I love your post! I have a good friend who was Miss Utah 4 years ago and she is such a great girl and sweet and dedicated and modest. The world just doesn't get the importance of it anymore. Sad day. Oh well, it would be extremely surprising to see a Miss Utah win any pageant that includes a swimsuit competition these days. Way to make all us modesty advocates stand up and cheer! :)

Amanda said...

LOVE IT, Sara! There was a news feature here about Jill. A member of the Miss America Pageant Committee, (or whatever the official name is), said that they're trying to change the face of Miss America and that Jill fit what they were looking for, "but [they] would have to see what the judges thought." Are you kidding me? If you want to change the face of Miss America, change the judges AND the criteria and we'll see what happens. YAY for Jill for standing up for modesty!!

RaeLynn said...

I can't decide if I'm happy or sad that I missed this. Jill sounds like a one-of-a-kind. It really is pathetic that she can be eliminated from the competition just because she was wearing a one piece. Good old Hollywood thinks they know what's up. They really don't have a clue.

truebluejae said...

I totally agree, Sara. I watched (Jamie, we don't have DVR either) and was so impressed that she stuck to her standards and wore a one piece suit and that she was 'America's choice'--the whole comment from the MC about how all the previous judging was out the window and it was a 'new contest' with those 16 contestants was a joke! They already had their minds made up if you ask me...anyway, I could do a long soapbox about it. I'm glad they brought back the talent competition, even though they really have downplayed it. K, I'm done;)

val said...

I love you Sara. Great post.