By: Brittney Schering, Regular Contributor
Image from carlermatt.com
Dear everyone who’s anyone who’s bashing Miss Utah right now, please enlighten me with your perfection so much as to have never answered a question wrongly, or made a mistake, or been so nervous and had those nerves get the best of you when you least expected it. Please recall the last time you won something so honorable as to represent your home state in a national competition aired for all to see.
This young woman, Marissa Powell, better known now as Miss Utah, finished THIRD in the competition despite her ONE blunder of a response. Third out of 51 young, female contestants.
You know what else? She is getting more media attention than the winner of Miss USA, and it’s not all negative. She appeared on Inside Edition, The Today Show, as well as Jimmy Kimmel Live after each of these shows reached out to her directly. According to ABC News, New York Publicist Nancy Schuster “praised Powel for turning a national taunt into positive publicity.” Go. Girl.
Miss Utah is a successful singer, model, and actress, having been involved in runway, film, and print as well as featured in Fitness Magazine. She has been a volunteer for Primary Children’s Hospital for the last five years, and she hopes to help promote their programs and serve as an ambassador for Healing Hands for Haiti International Foundation. She also studied at Westminster College and Brigham Young University.
Oh, and she’s 20 years old.
How much did you accomplish when you were just 20 years old?
If we want to delve deeper into the context of her question which she so “wrongfully answered,” perhaps we should take a look at the Miss USA pageant in general, where all contestants dress in similar gowns paired with stilettos. They all walk the floor for the world to judge their bodies in bikinis. Yeah, America still has a long way to go in regards to feminism and paying women and men equally.
Perhaps it can start with the realization that “woman” is not synonymous with “Barbie” just as “man” is not synonymous with “G.I. Joe.” Perhaps the competition will one day grace contestants with the freedom to wear whatever they want to (albeit tastefully) for those runway walks, and perhaps they’ll even go so far as to let them choose sneakers over stilettos.
The problem is not girls like Miss Utah, who are human, who may fumble.
News flash: WE ALL DO.
The problem is the sick mass of US citizens responding in hateful absurdities to this one girl. Luckily, this one girl is strong enough and smart enough to laugh it off. And laugh she will, quite longer than you.
Please join me in applauding Miss Utah as she will certainly own rights to the last laugh after all of this subsides. Her true colors will shine, and her name will be remembered as belonging to a person who endured such rotten behavior and survived it. This is all nothing more than another instance of hate. Another instance of bullying. Another example of why America has so much growing up to do. And another reason why children who witness this very example will shy away from raising their hands to answer questions in classrooms, scared for their lives that they’ll answer wrongly and receive hateful bashing the way that they see here and now.
Here’s hoping those young children who do see will also notice the way that Marissa Powell handles these blows: with calm, elegance, and full of grace, not allowing the meaningless meanness to let her strength waver.
About Brittney: Brittney Schering is a writer and full-time nanny in LA. She contributes to multiple publications and maintains two blogs; one personal, the other on life as a nanny. Schering is passionate about compassion, positivity, creativity, and children's best interests. She holds a Bachelor's degree in professional writing.