This is also the issue surrounding the “goofy” photo of visiting titleholders at Miss Mansfield posted below. It was copied and pasted on the anonymous Miss Ohio message board where someone incorrectly thought one of the ladies was throwing a gang sign and that they were not acting classy enough, considering some of them were wearing their crowns.
The content of my blog has been questioned in the past. In this particular case, I find the allegation that the "goofy" Miss Mansfield photo is inappropriate is absurd! Contestants are not robots, they have personalities!
I would like to share two of my favorite photos from my Miss Ohio years:
[Above, contestants have lunch at Long John Silver's; we later wore the paper pirate hats onstage during rehearsal. The photo below is also at rehearsal. We had a production number to a Madonna song, so we were all inspired by her "cone years!" I don't remember whose idea it was, but we all taped on pointy-bottomed water cups while practicing the number.
This is one of my fondest Miss Ohio memories!]
Below is the response I posted on the message board:
First, I maintain that I use extreme discretion when deciding what information and photos to share on my blog. You should see what I have access to on Facebook and the unflattering shots I take myself that I do NOT publish! Nor do I share everything I know. ;) As for the photo in question, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with titleholders looking and acting like real people, as opposed to plastic Barbie dolls, which brings me to point two…
* I * asked these women to do something fun. Do not berate them for not acting classy with their crowns on- they were complying with a single, short request. Had they told me “no,” someone who may have overheard them would be on this board complaining about their lack of personality, I guarantee it! Titleholders are damned if they do and damned if they don’t! If you are truly offended and disappointed by this photo, it is your right to have that opinion. I am relieved that opinion does not seem to be the majority! As I captioned this photo on my blog, I was tired of the same pretty picture and boring pose we see over and over… Yes, titleholders should be held to a certain standard, but I do not feel this photograph undermines that standard and there are no gang signs being thrown! All of them had either their E.D. or parent with them, and no one jumped in to say “don’t do that” or “Abby, don’t post that!”
Third, some people have commented on the physical condition of these contestants. This seems like common sense to me, but I guess I need to point out that clothing and camera angles make that a moot point. You can not tell in this photo, but two of these contestants seem to be in noticeably better shape than when they won their local, and ALL of them looked nice.
Finally, I want to apologize to these contestants; this was never meant to cause such drama, but this is what you inevitably deal with when you put yourself in the public eye. Thank you to those of you who have defended me. To those who are horribly offended, I highly suggest you take a look at the new era of a real and relatable Miss America.