Put away the pageants

Staff ~ The Journal Pioneer
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Part of the tradition on Prince Edward Island is the summer festival with its antiquated activities that recall the past. The potato sack races, the horse pulls and the beauty pageants.

Part of the tradition on Prince Edward Island is the summer festival with its antiquated activities that recall the past. The potato sack races, the horse pulls and the beauty pageants.
While some communities have dispensed with the parade of young women in evening gowns, many have clung to the outdated tradition of putting the region's beauties on display.
Now Kensington - which still runs the Miss Community Gardens pageant - is looking to take the spectacle a step further.
The Kensington and Area Recreation Association is involved in bringing back the Miss Teen P.E.I. International pageant.
The Miss Teen Canada people claim their event is different from the Miss Universe and Miss U.S.A. contests that come under attack from feminists around the world.
Miss Teen Canada is a scholarship pageant where there is no swimsuit component. The entrants represent a charity and they take part in scholastic tests.
Miss Teen P.E.I. International revivalist Ryan Simmonds asserts, "What sold me on it, honestly, was the scholarship."
It's conceivable that young women enter these contests to raise money for school, just as there are exotic dancers who use their tips for tuition. The difference is, the strippers don't pretend their audience is interested in their minds.
How are Island residents supposed to buy the idea that this pageant would celebrate women's intellect when a quick look at the Miss Teen Canada International website photo gallery shows only attractive young women? It may not be a "beauty" pageant, but don't bother completing your entry form if your waist measurement is higher than a model's.
If Kensington wants an event that will empower the teens in the community and earn them money for school, the town might look at an actual scholarship that young people of both genders and all shapes and sizes can vie for. A debate, a spelling bee, an essay contest or a talent show would be much more laudable.
Let's find a new way to celebrate our young people and finally put the pageants away with the hoop skirts.

Organizations: Area Recreation Association, Miss Teen Canada International

Geographic location: Kensington, Canada, Prince Edward Island Miss Community Gardens

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Recent comments

  • Paige
    June 21, 2010 - 19:07

    I wonder who is writing these comments? I bet it is jealous girls who never got asked to be in a pagent. They didn't have the figure to be on stage in swimwear. Come on folks get a life, if people choose to enter these contests and people choose to go and watch, so be it. If you aren't interested stay home it's a simple as that.

    I have had the fortune to have been in numerous pagents and I have found them all to be a learning and very rewarding experience. They have all helped my self confidence tremendously.

    I think it all comes down to jealously! What little girl doesn't want to get all dressed up and wear a crown and banner that says Miss........ Many of the anti pagent people are just those that never got the chance cause no one would ask them. I know you are jealous of me and will make nasty comments, but the self confidence I have gained from the pagents I have entered will give me the strength to laugh at you. Walk a mile in my heels and evening gown!

  • Hey Beaver....
    June 21, 2010 - 19:07

    No offence intended, but you should read Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery'--it may help with perspective.

  • Beaver
    June 21, 2010 - 19:06

    Yes do away with those terrible pageants that ridicule and demorilize woman. Yes they should be replaced with intellect events like a debate, a spelling bee or an essay contest. But wait dont bother completing your entry form if your IQ is not 120 or higher.
    Perhaps we should look at money prizes (not everyone goes to university) that young people of both genders and all shapes and sizes can vie for, knitting, carpentry or mechanical skills, cake baking or even a ring toss. Can't people just leave tradition alone, if you don't like it don't attend!

  • Brian
    June 21, 2010 - 19:03

    I couldn't agree more with the editorial . Adding categories to these pageants to try make them into a talent contest is lame and patronizing . I don't see why a female would lower herself to participate in one , or why anyone would bother to attend such an archaic event . Of course nobody has to attend . Nobody attends public floggings anymore either . It's time drop the quaint Island way of life garbage and join the rest of western society .

  • just_me
    June 21, 2010 - 19:02

    I can think of much more productive and respectable ways of setting up scholarship funds or competitions, why should they be given to someone based on looks, great hair and good smiles?? pagents are a thing of the past. Lets start a Kensington's got talent week for Harvest Festival time and really give back to someone who has something more than great looks in a puffy gown. Give a scholarship to someone who works hard, practices and earns it through dedication and involvement!