Last week many commented on the annual Miss America Pageant. It was held in Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey like it was at its genesis. As always, the competition consisted of swimwear, gown, some talents (thank God) and interview. Historically, there is always some controversy and this year was no exception. The drama was spawned from our own precious Miss South Carolina, Brooke Mosteller who would not hurt a fly. Brooke introduced herself with words written for her. A firestorm of controversy led to Tweets and other postings on social media that highlighted how uneducated the most educated are about pageant competition. It also prompted me to write about Miss America and social media cowards.
One of my first appearances as Miss South Carolina was at the Upper State Fair. I was so excited and humbled to meet and speak to folks on the Fairway. One woman approached me and handed me a small plaque that read, “It is nice to be important, but more important to be nice.” Ah, come on, why would she assume that I am not a nice person? I thanked her and was gracious with her gift but inside I wanted to yell, “HEY, I AM A NICE PERSON, CHICK!” But that would have negated being nice. I realized now that was my first encounter with “social media”. It was an opinion by someone who assumed something just because they could. It’s like that old expression, “Why do dogs lick?” The answer is, “Because they can.”
I can honestly say that the Miss America Pageant helped me evolve into the person I wanted to become. My daddy was a farmer who struggled year after year. I had dreams of attending college and doing great things in life. My pageant experience paid for Graduate School and propelled me into a career as a humorist, professional singer, and author. My humor is on Sirius XM Radio and my third humorous book will be out November 17 entitled, “Bury Me with My Pearls.”
This is all small potatoes when you look at what competing in the Miss America Pageant did for Nancy Humphries or you may know her as Nancy O’Dell. Nancy credits the Miss America program for helping her develop the wonderful voice as the host of Entertainment Tonight. As Miss South Carolina, Nancy was given speech lessons before the Miss America Pageant. How about our lovely, Dawn Smith Jordan whose sister Sheri was murdered? Dawn has an amazing ministry and voice to match. Dawn has inspired tens of thousands of people with her story. Former Miss South Carolina, Bree Boyce lost 125 pounds and has been an inspiration to many. Bree begins her new career as a FOX anchor in Columbia. For every one of these stories there are many more.
I am so proud of how Brooke handled her remarks. She took responsibility along with stating the facts leading up to her remarks. Did I also mention that she raised $79,000 for hospitals in South Carolina and was voted Miss Congeniality? If anything, Brooke took responsibility which seems to be lacking in our culture.
Let me end this article by saying, I would rather be a product of the Miss America Program and help to make a positive difference in this world than to sit in front of a computer and slam those who do.