More Than a Pretty Face
January 12 will mark the end of the current Miss America, Teresa Scanlan’s reign. It’s hard to believe the Miss American Pageant has been a fixture in our nation’s culture for nearly ninety-one years. That’s a lot of smiles, tears, bathing suits, and crowns. Something that helped to make the Miss America Pageant more than just a beauty contest was the arrival of contestant platforms. Until then Miss America winners were not much more than a pretty face selling consumer products. The social issue platform in which each contestant supports a particular cause upon becoming Miss America became a requirement in eighty-nine. The years following have seen winners promoting worthwhile causes ranging from diabetes to character education. Nebraska’s Teresa Scanlan has been one of the few, if not only Miss America to promote the importance of food and farming. Granted, her original platform was eating disorders awareness, but she soon morphed that into promoting agriculture. Reaching consumers of all ages, Scanlan has had the opportunity to educate consumers about healthy foods and the farmers and ranchers who produce them.