Letter to the Editor: Is Anyone Else Bothered By Rochester Queen's Pageant?
In such tough times it is irresponsible for our community to invest so much money and time into this type of event.
For the past few days I'd been wondering if I'm the only person in the Rochester area who is really bothered by hearing about the “1st Annual Rochester Queens Pageant.”
Today when I started talking about it with others in our community I found that many of us are bothered. Seriously, who is starting a pageant in 2011 in the middle of an economic crisis? Did you totally miss the Women’s Liberation Movement? Don't we want our young girls to build self-esteem in ways that aren't about competing to see who is the prettiest and most talented?
Does it bother you that only young women with access to significant money (through their families or business sponsorships they acquire) are able to participate in this opportunity?
The winners receive scholarships (1st place is $1,000 which after the cost of entering and dressing up will leave just about enough money to buy a three-ring binder at college). This also sounds a lot like something that would be created in Rochester just because somebody’s daughter on the planning team wants to win.
I have nothing at all against the teen girls who participate and I'm sure that some people have had great experiences with pageants, but in such tough times it is irresponsible for our community to invest so much money and time into this type of event. When we have so many families struggling to put food on the table, I'm sad that individuals and businesses here would use their limited charitable donations to sponsor a pageant. You could even use the money to create a job for a nice deserving person who is out of work in this economy. This new "tradition" doesn't say anything good about our community, only that we sound shallow, elitist and, frankly, clueless.
Teen Girls: You don't need a contest to tell you that you are beautiful, talented, and have strong character! Just be yourself, work hard in school, and after high school you’ll realize that you are the only judge that matters!
Parents: Love your teen girls and let them know how great they are! If they need some poise and self-esteem connect them to sports, music, drama or community service.
Businesses: In case no one has told you yet, sponsoring a pageant really makes you look bad (icky, dirty old man-ish) to many of us in the community. Genisys Credit Union won’t be getting any of my business because of what this sponsorship says to me about their company. If you need suggestions for charitable donations that will make a bigger local impact and give you positive press, please contact me and I am happy to connect you with some genuine local community needs.
Pageant organizers: Do you realize that the name "MISS ROCHESTER QUEENS PAGEANT" sounds like it's a drag show? If it is a drag show, I'll be there. If it’s just a pageant, I’m disappointed that you aren’t finding ways to contribute to community projects that get more bang for the buck.
Amanda Itliong, Rochester Hills
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