How Jesus and Pageantry Go Hand in Hand

In Inspiration by Heather SwansonLeave a Comment

IMG_2487Two Sundays ago was the 95th Miss America pageant. I was utterly impressed with the production, the beautiful stage, the star studded quality judges, the awesome co-hosts and most of all the stage presence of the women representing each state.

Every woman who graces the Miss America stage is there for a reason. She has a message to share with the world and has worked incredibly hard to get there! This applies for every girl within pageantry.

I have never competed in the Miss America system but I do have two years of pageant experience. Within those two years I believe I have a pretty good grasp of how the pageant world works. Want to know the real truth the media can never seem to get right? Its not about the crown! Pageantry is solely about learning to become the best version of yourself while serving others above all else. Yes, there are lights and cameras and glitz and glamour.

Pageantry isn’t about winning the crown, its about earning the title and fulfilling the job. Every girl is on that stage living out a dream and striving towards fulfilling her own God given life purpose. Being on that stage after months of hard work and preparation, standing in the most amazing gown of your choice, and feeling beautiful is a proud moment! And it is YOUR moment!

Why is it our country thrives off of sports and entitlement but when it comes to a girl standing on stage in a gown in full hair and make up the nation judges her as antifeminist, insecure, and a disgrace to modern women? Any pageant contestant will tell you they participate in pageants because of the women empowerment, the self confidence gained, and the limitless doors of opportunity.

I believe many women, like myself, compete in pageantry because of the vast ability to serve others through nonprofit and volunteerism. John 13: 14-17 discusses the importance of serving others as Jesus washed the feet of his beloved disciples.

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

I would love to see an article highlighting all of the nonprofit work, the foundations, and platforms represented by the women of the Miss America pageant. Those are some incredibly impressive women! Not to mention the hundreds of women that competed for state titles who also represent amazing platforms. Pageantry is a sisterhood of women empowering women. I believe God uses pageantry for leadership and service, read the story of Esther in the Bible.

As I watched the Miss America pageant I could already see the national media and Internet articles that would be produced shaming these women for whatever they may say or do on stage. Our world is so quick to judge and ridicule. I was not surprised by the attention Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson gained from her talent monologue celebrating the work of a nurse. My mother is a nurse, so you can guess where I stand on the topic.

The View set Twitter on fire after airing a few ignorant comments about Alzheimer’s, nurses, and a “doctor’s stethoscope.” The beauty behind the ignorance is that whether you watched the Miss America pageant or not, you have probably now heard about Miss Colorado’s monologue and the rally of nurses behind her. And more power to her because social media is shining a huge spotlight on the importance of nurses! This clearly was not the intention of Miss Colorado’s talent but it goes to show you how God will bless those who selflessly serve others.

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12

Tonight I watched Disney’s new version of Cinderella with my cousin. I realized Cinderella would have loved pageantry. Not for the perks of pretty gowns but because of the ability to selflessly serve others. I am in love with Cinderella’s quote: “Have courage and be kind. Where there is kindness there is goodness, and where there is goodness there is magic.” What a great life lesson for all little girls with a dream, to every woman with ambition.

Pageantry embodies women with courage and kindness, no matter what the negative media may say. Bottom line: you will never influence the world trying to be like it, you better believe pageant girls are burning their own paths and changing the world.

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