Miss Science was my way of winning a competition with myself. Unlike Camille Schrier the newly crowned Miss America, I was not confident enough to pursue Science as a career. It wasn’t until becoming a teacher and then developing my career as a Science Educator that I gained my confidence. Miss Science became my platform to inspire young girls (and boys) to find the passion for science that I had lacked when I was younger.
Long before I created Miss Science, I wanted to be Miss America. The evening gowns, talent competition and glamour of it all spoke to the eight-year-old me. Watching the Miss America competition in awe I would dance around the living room on our white, shag rug singing at the top of my lungs. SPOILER ALERT…I was never crowned Miss America!
Today when I mention Miss America I get a variety of reactions, many which are negative. It was very apparent last night that the Miss America competition is continuing to take on a new look as it works to rebrand its image towards that of a modern woman. The Miss America website states, “Miss America has evolved in society as women in society have evolved.”
I have to be honest… prior to seeing Camille Schrier win the title of Miss Virginia for using a chemistry demonstration as her talent I hadn’t really channeled the love for Miss America that I had as a young girl. It was Camille that lead me on a journey to see exactly what Miss America 2.0 is about.
Last night’s competition went beyond gowns, swimwear, glitz and glamour to identify how the 51 contestants can create positive change in our world. The women I saw are (or are on their way to becoming) educators, scientists, construction managers and entrepreneurs. They are bright, beautiful and ready to take on the world! I’m so inspired by the girl power and brains behind so many women who competed last night! Here’s a link to all of their profiles.
I’ve read a lot of criticism about how the Miss America Organization is steering away from tradition and I say good for them! Looking at their history, change is not new. They are just pushing at a faster pace to catch up with what should have been happening decades ago. There’s also been lots of chatter in the Twittersphere and several recent posts that are talking about how the Miss America Organization silenced Miss DC (Katelynne Cox) and kept her from talking about her platform Silence Is Not Compliance because it would make people uncomfortable. I’ve done a little research and the social media links from her website no longer exist so I wasn’t able to find her original post. Silence is Not Compliance was Katelynne’s Social Impact Initaitve so I’m very confused as to why in a time where the MAO has preached empowerment that they pull the plug on something that means so much to so many.
Each woman that competed last night has a voice and a mission to make this world a better place through the empowerment of women. They are far beyond where I was at their age. They are women who aren’t afraid to show that they are brainy, beautiful, outspoken and impactful. And in my book, that’s AWESOME because SMART is Cool!