Miss America: The Brains Behind the Beauty

This year’s Miss America is already taking the world by storm and inspiring young girls each day.
With the conclusion of the Miss America competition, everyone is excited to see new and important changes to the world by 2024 Miss America winner Madison Marsh.
With the conclusion of the Miss America competition, everyone is excited to see new and important changes to the world by 2024 Miss America winner Madison Marsh.
Photography, Caden Green

You may be asking: what is Miss America? Miss America is an annual competition for women from the United States from ages 18 to 28. They are judged for qualities such as beauty, grace, intelligence, and refinement. 


It originated in 1921 as a ‘bathing beauty revue,’ which essentially means a performance for beauty,  but now, has been redefined to fit modern society. 


They are judged using a series of competition segments with score percentages. Those percentages are private interviews for 30%, stage questions for 10%, talent or HERstory for 20%, health and fitness for 20%, and a final 20% for evening gown. 


After changing the “swimsuit” competition and other outdated systems, the competition is less controversial, hopefully consisting of less body shaming, racism, and psychological warfare. 


The most recent Miss America, Miss America 2024, and the 96th installment is 22-year-old Madison Marsh from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was crowned on January 14th, 2024 after her 90-second speech/HER story.


On top of winning $60,000 for her education, she is also the first active-duty armed force member to ever be crowned Miss America.


83.8 percent of interviewed students believe Madison Marsh was a great pick for this title, especially with her Air Force background.  


As shown, pageants are not just fashion shows like they used to be; pageants are now used as scholarship opportunities and ways for women and girls to gain important skills such as public speaking and interviewing skills.


Alayna Jarvis (12), a frequent pageant contestant, believes that interviews and talent portions not only strengthen skills a contestant could need but also “get the judges to know you as a contestant better.”


Pageants also give women and girls the opportunity to have encouraging role models who take an active stance within their communities and the world.


Madison Marsh, for example, started the Whitney Marsh Foundation after losing her mother to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer.


Meadow Lerner (10) thinks Madison Marsh is a spectacular role model who emphasizes that “not all pageants are glitz and glam.”


She also mentions how “a huge part of the competition is the interview and on-stage question, so really, it is about more of the brains than beauty.”


While Madison Marsh is the reigning Miss America, everyone has a Miss America or female role model in their life. Whether it is someone who pushes their loved ones to become great people or incites change in their community, Miss America can be used as a general term for a strong person in someone’s life.


Based on the survey conducted, most people believe their mothers or other motherly family members incite the same qualities in them that Miss America does nationally.


Miss America is not just a title for a pageant; it is a title for strong women who are changing the world with one crown at a time.

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