Miss America: youth, brains, beauty, bikinis

Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.

While most 17-year-olds are talking about who they will take to prom or gossiping about their hot Spanish teacher, Teresa Scanlan is winning pageants.

No, she was not just crowned Homecoming Queen or Miss Teen America. Scanlan is 2011’s Miss America.

Representing the state of Nebraska, the home-schooled Christian won the hearts of the judges through her piano performance, swim-suit walk and youthful looks.

Even though the Miss America pageant is not all about the looks, there is a certain underlying sexual factor in the competition.  Isn’t it a little disturbing that a minor won the title of the “most perfect woman in America”?

She is the youngest Miss America in the pageant’s 90 year history to receive the coveted crown.  Not even old enough to vote, Scanlan tackled a question about WikiLeaks and presented her solution to national security.

Her plans for the future are to attend law school and create world peace. Ok, she didn’t say that, but she really does want to become a judge and eventually a politician.

Her highest goal is to become either president or a supreme court justice.

Didn’t Sarah Palin start her political career as a beauty queen?  Scanlan for 2028?

Because she is so young, the “Carrie Underwood look alike” knows what it is like to be a teen in today’s society. Her platform is “Eating Disorders: A Generation at Risk,” and she plans to use her reign to bring awareness and help to children and adults.

When asked about her diet, Scanlan said, “I never passed up a cookie on my journey here.” Think she sells Girl Scout cookies as well?

Although she is very young, her parents have spoken out to the media about her maturity level, saying, “She’s certainly mature beyond her age.”

Her dad told the Lincoln Star Journal that most people mistake her for being at least 6 years older.

The blonde teen told the Associated Press that she plans to register to vote next month and will defer her enrollment at Virginia’s Patrick Henry College to complete her reign.

Imagine moving into your dorm room and realizing that Miss America will be your new bunk mate or sitting next to you in college algebra.

Although the media seems to love Scanlan and is singing her praises, just one mistake from the goody-two-shoes and the whole world will know within mere minutes.

Take Carrie Prejean, former Miss America contestant, for example.  She received nationwide attention over her response to a question about same-sex marriage posed by gay judge, Perez Hilton. By claiming her faith in God and answering that marriage should be between a man and a woman, some say that Prejean lost the crown.

Scanlan may be wise beyond her years, but it is not right to put the responsibility and pressure of ruling the country as Miss America on such a young lady.

Hopefully, Scanlan will learn from the mistakes of those in the past and, with her 17 years of experience, be able to rule a blameless and successful reign.

What 17-year-olds make mistakes?

Author: Lindsay Schaefer

Lindsay Schaefer is a junior Mass Communication, Public Relations major at UMHB. She is the Entertainment Page editor for The Bells Newspaper. Growing up in the small town of Nacogdoches, Texas taught her to enjoy the simple things in life such as local cuisine, an afternoon at grandma’s house, and getting to know her “neighbors”. If she’s not hunting for the latest pair of shoes, she can most likely be found eating chocolate cake with her closest friends. She enjoys making copies for the Bells newspaper and taking on many other random assignments!

Share This Post On


Commenting Policy
We welcome your comments on news and opinions articles, provided that they allowed by our Commenting Policy.