Give pageants a chance

THANK YOU for publishing Rose’s column regarding Miss America. I found her honesty quite refreshing. I enjoyed her tongue-in-cheek brand of humor, even if I disagreed with her message.

As someone that isn’t the typical “American Ideal” that many people feel that Miss America looks for, I think I did pretty well for myself in the program. As a result of my competition, I paid for all of my college books and fees (my tuition was covered, courtesy of an academic scholarship). All this from a size 10 (at my thinnest) with a big butt.

The financial aspect wasn’t the best part of my experience, though. The interview and public speaking skills I gained have paid off, far more than the $50,000 grand prize I would have gotten if I would have won Miss America. I have a great career that I owe to learning to express myself in front of an audience. It certainly made job interviews a cake walk!

For anyone that isn’t sure of what the MAO is all about, I’d suggest volunteering with a local program for a year. It’s not about pretty girls in bikinis and fancy dresses, or flawless Italian arias performed on a great big stage. It’s about the blood, sweat and tears that these young women put into learning about who they really are. It’s about the thousands of volunteers that give of their time (and their pocketbook) to see that these young women get the best opportunities available. It’s about my dad that works 70 hours a week at a defense plant, then comes home and builds sets in the garage. It’s about the 23-year-old woman that drags herself out of bed in the morning (after a “girls night out”) to meet with an Adopt-A-School group of inner city kids … just because she promised she’d be there for them. It’s about the families that cry tears of joy when their daughter has the newly found confidence to sing in front of hundreds of people, even if she sucks.

I’d consider Miss Harman to be a great choice of a speaker, one that I’d remember. Hear her out … I bet she’s got much more to say than you think.

Hilary Powers Treptow
office manager

Portland, Ore.