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Despite cultured platform, Miss America contestants still seem to be just babes in bikinis

As Miss New York Mallory Hytes Hagan was crowned Miss America 2013 Saturday, the only thought that ran across my mind as she was gripping those horribly long-stemmed roses was I can’t even pinpoint her platform. I could, however, tell you what contestant looked best and worst in a bikini and who had the cutest gown.
Such a shame that after tuning into the two-hour competition, the only thing I could remember from it was the exaggerated sex appeal of the contestants, not-so-subtle subliminal advertisements from hosts Chris Harrison and Brooke Burke-Charvet and gruesome talent competition.
Given that the preliminaries aren’t aired on TV, which is assumedly because that’s when the boring interviews take place and the girls’ personalities are actually revealed, viewers are only left to see the side of the contestants flaunting themselves down the catwalk, making them more of a sex object than role model.
This isn’t what the competition is meant to embody though.
According to its website, “The Miss America program exists to provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community.”
But from what viewers get to see, it seems the only thing the young women promote are their bodies.
In order to make the girls’ platforms known and to allow their personalities to shine, the competition should air in its entirety, putting more emphasis on their voices instead of their looks and the entertainment value of its airtime – entertainment which in most cases puts the girls in an embarrassing light instead of a respectable one.
The cheesiness that comes with airing the competition on TV set in at the very beginning of its runtime.
The girls were dancing to club music at various locations and introducing themselves with horrible references to their states, including mentions of Honey Boo Boo, Tootsie Pops and even Sasquatch.
Once the contestants took the stage dancing to One Direction, right off the bat the top 15 were weeded out and viewers didn’t even know why one girl was chosen over another because we didn’t get to see the preliminaries.
The worst portrayal of the contestants is in the swimsuit competition, during which the girls strangely seemed to strut themselves down the catwalk with more confidence than when wearing their evening wear.
This is baffling because it’d be more appropriate for the girls to feel more confident in a respectable dress rather than impersonating a stripper wearing heels and little clothing.
But the show must go on, clothing or not.
Then there was the talent competition, which included the stereotypical tap dancing routines galore, baton twirling, piano playing and, of course, singing. I found myself crossing my fingers that we’d get some comedic relief with a Gracie Lou Freebush playing wine glasses or something original.
The singing was the most painful of all. But the thought of what judge McKayla Maroney’s face was doing when Miss Tennessee sang Adele was quite entertaining to me.
One should know not to try to mimic the vocals of that Grammy-winning-powerhouse. It would have been safer for Tennessee to go with a song sung by someone with less of a reputation, such as Selena Gomez.
Miss Maryland’s rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables wasn’t too bad. But it sure didn’t match Anne Hathaway’s performance in the movie.
Miss New York did well with her tap dancing routine though, dancing to James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing.” It became clear she was a frontrunner, however, when she answered her interview question regarding gun control attempts in schools as a response the Newtown, Conn., shooting.
Perhaps this was also because she had the most serious question of all asked. Other questions centered on topics such as reality TV, which alluded to more Honey Boo Boo references, and ESPN broadcaster Brent Musberger’s comments about University of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron’s girlfriend Katherine Webb.
Apparently questions were aimed to be as trashy as the portrayal of the contestants. An exception to this could be made for evening wear though, with disregard to a few too-high slits and some see-through fabric.
Most girls donned white gowns and a former queen said this was because of a superstition that you have to wear white to win. That superstition seemed to strike true this year as runner-up Miss South Carolina and New York were in white as they awaited the announcement of who would be crowned Miss America.
What a shame their attire is all I can remember about them.

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