I admit to not watching the Miss America pageant. I did however watch the following clip that was all over my Facebook feed the next morning.
I applauded this woman, who showed that beauty is more than skin deep. That she gave a two minute oral presentation, without cue cards or fanfare about her talent amazed me. My first thought was, YES! This is what a 21st century Miss America pageant should be promoting. Brains and beauty.
Listening to Miss Colorado’s talent made me remember how lucky we have been in Bridget’s life. The nurses who have shown her love, affection and comfort. The nurses who alerted the doctor (who was at home asleep) that Bridget was in distress. The nurse who held me as I broke in the NICU (and many times after that). The nurse who explained in terms I understood what was going on after Bridget’s surgery (when the doctor had left with her stethoscope) and how to care for my child whose spinal chord had just been operated on. The nurse who told me (each and every time) that no question/concern was trivial.
Then The View happened. First they mocked Miss Colorado for “reading her e-mails” and wearing a doctor’s stethoscope. Anyone who works in healthcare knows that a physician never has a stethoscope. If you see one around a doctor’s neck the most likely explanation is he
stole borrowed it from a nurse. Second, instead of giving an apology to Miss Colorado (and nurses as a whole) their “apology” was that their comments were misconstrued.
Here is where the View went wrong: instead of making a joke they should have used that moment to encourage women everywhere to be more than a pretty face. The hosts should have highlighted Miss Colorado’s performance to demonstrate that other talents are cool (I for one would love to be able to play the violin) but those talents may not change society. Miss Colorado’s talent has immediate impact on the world around us. Little beauty queens may decide to take up one of the noblest professions. Girls at home saw a gorgeous woman who was more the the pageant. Miss Colorado showed young women how a true professional looks: not only can she rock a bathing suit she can save a life.
Both are important. Self-confidence, just like beauty, comes from within. Miss Colorado showed young women everywhere not to judge a person’s worth by first look. As the mom of a tween I look for women, strong women, who I can point out as role models. Not the Disney pop-tarts, not the child stars that grow up and forget their true fan base. I look for women who are changing the world; with their voice, their determination and their willingness to be different. I want her to see women who are not conforming to the standard, but challenging it.
Maybe the View could learn something from her, if only they did more than look.