AB - As a Board Member of the Miss Black Ohio USA Scholarship Pageant, Inc. I was alarmed to see your statement. What unethical practices do you speak of? What do you know that I and the other board members do not? Lastly, to wish our contestant, Amy Allen, good luck in the same sentence as "a pageant that has shown unethical practices" is in my opinion very contradictory and unfair to not only Amy but to the beautiful women who gave of their time and talents to compete and the host of volunteers who have served the pageant for the past three years.
Greetings! I can see how my statement could seem hypocritical; I did want Amy to have the best experience possible and I was so excited when your pageant realized her beauty and talent and she was awarded First Runner-up! I support my fellow pageant contestants in whatever they choose to do; one of the women I support is Star Coleman. While I do not know all the details of the situation, it is my understanding that Star won your pageant, but had her title removed because of her weight. To me, that is unethical. If I was misinformed, or if there are further details I would certainly be open to hearing them. Thanks! Abby PS. Your name is so familiar… Mrs. International?
AB, you shoudl have proof of your statements before posting them.
You can call me Abby.I have two very reliable sources from whom I have heard that the crown removal was a direct result of a weigh issue. Blogs are opinion-based publications and it is my opinion that dethroning a woman on such a basis is unethical.Either my readers didn't care that I didn't favorably endorse the pageant, or they already knew about it, as the first comment came weeks after the post. I highly doubt anyone is even reading this dialogue. However, I understand the want to defend the organization. So again, if there are further details, I would be open to them.~Abby
Hi Abby,As a person who doen't read many blogs, the first comment probably came once it was discovered after finding out about the blog as I stumbled upon it through Amy's blog. I'm sure you will be getting a further details soon if you haven't done so already. I hope you post the other side to show your readers the truth.Marie
Hi Maria and Ocipare, I’m sorry I did not reply sooner; my week has not been conducive to blogging, in addition to the fact that I am trying to figure out what the best way is to handle this situation. Ocipare did provide me with further details, but the timeline of her defense does not quite add up to me. Moreover, I have not yet publish her most recent post because it puts someone (one of my “sources”) in a bad light. On one hand, I’d like to talk to this person to try to figure who I believe. On the other hand, this was a difficult issue for them and I don’t know if I want to bring this negativity back in their life. I hope that makes sense. So again, I’m still deciding whether or not to publish Ocipare's comment. I understand my use of the word “unethical” already put the pageant in a bad light, but I am still more inclined to believe and protect my source. I further understand that my blog is well read and I have a responsibility to my readers; nonetheless, blogs are opinion based. I did not post incorrect information, I published an opinion. It seems like even if I choose to contact my source, this may turn into a case of “he said-she said” better suited for a TV court show! Anyway… Marie, I’m still working on it. Ocipare, I did get your comment but haven’t published it yet for the reasons given above. ~Abby (AB is just my profile identification for blogger.)
Abby, you can publish this...I would prefer if you did not publish my previous comments because I do not want to put "your source" and our former contestant in a bad light unlike what has been done to our competition and to my name in regards to this issue. That information was for you to investigate and I definately would like to hear from you in regards to the issue especially since now you state that "my defense does not add up". This again is YOUR OPINION, but YOU are casting an unfavorable negative light on my name and that I do not appreciate. I am a woman of high integrity and character and to speak of me in this manner is unfair to me and what I stand for as a woman. As I said before, I have no reason to lie, but your "source" has many reasons to including protecting her own name.Honestly, I am personally appauled at how this entire situation was handled. Opinion or not, YOU have a responsibility which I feel was taken advantage of because as you said, "I am still more inclined to believe and protect my source" which is not being fair to anyone that is outside of your circle and personal interests.Lastly, I have always looked at your site as positive, unbaised and informative when it comes to pageant blog sites. After this incident and personally witnessing this... you have lost me as a fan!
Hi Abby,I have to admit I do not typically respond but I felt I need too because I was a judge at the pageant in question and know more surrounding the 2007 pageant. I am Kecia Pringle, Mrs. Ohio International 2007. I obvisouly cannot give details but I know that the removal of Star's crown was NOT due to weight. If you have the opportunity I would suggest you (and any others) concerned about the ethics of the pageant ask to see a copy of the tape and then make your decision. Yes different day, different judges, different outcome. The circumstances behind the decision are unfortunate but again did not have any bearing on weight. Yes all blogs are opinion based but out of fairness both sides of a story should be aired and investigated before supporting one side over the other as those sources can be taken as the gospel.
Hi Kecia and anyone else actually reading this series of comments, I did decide to contact my main source, Star Coleman, and have heard from "both sides" in the matter. I now need to clarify what each side wants published. To that end, Ocipare, I need your email address (mine is posted in the sidebar). I have been busy during the day and unable to call you, besides, I am not a phone person. ~Abby
Hi Abby,I have been monitoring these postings since Ocipare McKinley made me aware of your blog and have said nothing as I do not normally post to or read blogs, but feel a need to do so.I am Vanessa King and I an the President & Executive Director of the Miss Black Ohio USA Scholarship Pageant. I have been the licensed state director for Ohio now for three years. I am the one who handled all the dealings with Star Coleman and I can tell you that her loosing her title was not due to her weight the practices of my organization has never been in any way "unethical." I have built this organization on a foundation of of honesty, truth and integrity. And for someone to attempt to mar these qualities of the pageant is an insult to my character, as the Miss Black Ohio USA Scholarship Pageant is operated on th basis of my personal character, which includes the above qualities and my willing ness to do whatever I can to help others.Ocipare will be contacting you what we want published in regard to our side of the story. We in no way want to cause any embarrassment to anyone, but just want the truth to be known.~ Vanessa King
Okay, so here is where this stands - there were power outages in Ohio due to left over hurricane weather... Once everyone is back online I look forward to resolving this situation! :)I respect the Miss Black Ohio USA officials for wanting to uphold and protect their name and image. However, an issue that seems black and white to one person might be interpreted differently to the next person. I believe that is the case here. It's no different than politics or religion - factual information is argued in two different directions all the time!I feel like Judge Judy, having heard both sides, my mental gavel has been pounded. But my opinion really doesn't matter. I am but one washed up beauty queen with a lap top! It's almost flattering that my little 'ol blog would ignite such a frenzy. Yes, I'm making light of it, but again, I understand why my original verbiage is disliked. So, in the coming days I'll post facts given to me by both parties involved and anyone who actually reads this can then draw their own conclusions.Until then...~AbbyP.S. I can't help but note, there's no shame in commenting on a blog. You often read "I don't normally come here..." Or "I don't normally post..." on message boards. That's because message boards have horribly negative reputations, but that's not the case with blogs. Leaving comments is not big deal; in fact, I used to like getting them. :)
Thank you Abby for understanding and recognizing that you should hear both sides before posting!Ocipare did get access to a computer at the library today, so she may have time to respond.~ Vanessa
Let me start by again saying it is clear that Miss Black Ohio USA officials take a great deal of pride in their organization, however, when pageant titles are removed or relinquished there are always multiple interpretations of what happened and why. By not siding with the organization I know I’m losing some readers, but so be it; when I stopped competing in pageants I also stopped walking on egg shells on this blog. It is my interpretation and opinion that Star Coleman was bullied out of her title. There was a comment from Ocipare McKinley that I did not post, because at that time I did not know whether or not I wanted to drag Star into this. I did contact her, and will now share the following: According to Star, her win was not met with a warm reception; first she was told she had won outright, then later that she had tied. Further, she was not given much confidence that she would do well at the national competition, because she was plus-sized. One of the judges that scored her very well was called into question, although the judges were supposedly prescreened and this particular judge was a minister, it was argued this judge was partial and had rigged the scores. The judge in question was also a plus sized woman and the only one to give Star a 10 in Fitness Wear. (In every phase of competition except Fitness, she had at least two 10s.) It is my understanding that after the national office upheld the judgment and Star’s win, that her complete medical records were requested. Although I fail to understand how or why this is necessary, nothing in her medical history is embarrassing to her. She now uses her past experience with depression as her MAO platform. The fact that she has diabetes, however, was used against her as a concern, since the national pageant was supposed to be held in the hot climate of Gambia, West Africa. Note, the prior national winner’s platform was Diabetes and the pageant was instead held in an air conditioned hotel in Las Vegas. Star could have fought the issue further, but she felt the classiest way to handle things was to move on with her life; it is her belief that whatever is meant to be, God will bless her with, and with all the grief surrounding this title, this clearly was not it. Ocipare McKinley sent me the following via email, as the organizations statement: “Due to personal reasons, Starkeisha Coleman on her own recognizance resigned the title of Miss Black Ohio USA 2008 and the title was awarded to the 1st Runner-Up, Ashlee Ponder. In addition, we do not want to divulge any of her personal information in order to protect her from any embarrasment, but we stand that her resignation had absolutely nothing to do with her size or weight. Miss Coleman has requested from the national office on three occasions to run for the Ohio title again. Even though she has not called us and we have not spoken to her directly on the subject, she has our full support and permission to run for the Ohio title again if she so chooses. In conclusion, I believe that our organization has suffered a blow by this blog that so many people read and admire. We at MBOUSA requests an apology for the lack of foresight in the words that were believed and posted without any research thereof on the subject at hand. To hear both sides is always important even in a opinion based blog setting and if none of the sources prior to the defamation of our organization came from our side of the fence; then the opinion was one-sided, biased and can be viewed as slanderous. At this time we do not choose to take legal action in this matter because of Abby's willingness to hear and post both sides, but do know that it has been and is still being considered to protect the integrity of the competition that we love and took time to build over the past three years. We look forward to a response.” In response to the Miss Black Ohio USA organization, it is odd to me that you would finally make a statement about this issue in the comments of a blog. As I have stated before, I believe the amount of people reading these comments are slim to none. This issue has taken up far too much of everyone’s time. I know Star Coleman because she sought me out while I was the Face of FOX Toledo; she scheduled a time to meet with me to learn about the job and what to expect when she auditioned for it. That told me a great deal about her character and motivation. Further, she previously held a national pageant title, thus I can not believe she wouldn’t have done everything in her power to retain a state title she had earned. Based on what I know of the situation, I simply could not endorse the pageant while wishing someone in it good luck. Again, my endorsement or lack there of, as the case may be, is my opinion. I was more than willing to let both sides be voiced, but I will not alter my original blog entry or issue an apology. I fear this issue could go on and on; I am a blogger not a moderator, thus I reserve the right to not publish any more detailed comments left under this post. If either side in this matter feels the need to share more, refute or clarify, you may do so by merely leaving your contact information for people to reach you on their own to hear more. ~Abby
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