• Courtney Phillips

When pageant drama is taken public


Recently, there have been several instances of titleholders and/or directors taking their issues with each other public on social media and then sometimes even through media outlets. The most famous one being Miss America 2018 Cara Mund.


People across the pageant world – including myself – applauded her honesty and supported her in her journey for a voice and outreach for a chance to actually reign as Miss America. There have been others not as famous as well, and one recently that brought my attention to this topic again. One was just this week.


This one was very aggressive in my opinion. I was scrolling through Facebook and realized a director had posted rules and regulations, correspondence and a long summary of why a titleholder had been disqualified from the national competition and asked to return her crown and sash. (She had posted political posts on her titleholder page.) Initially, I thought wow this is completely inappropriate to air their dirty laundry, but my attention was peaked regardless.


So, you know me, I did a search for said titleholder, because I wanted to see what she posted! Well, let’s just say it was a bit extreme, regardless of your political leanings, I feel like you could find something offensive on this page. And there was nothing related to the pageant or her community service. Her most recent post was a video addressing the issues with the national director and the system in which she smeared the director and admitted that she had not been taking the directors feedback on the page or her phone calls!


Girl, this is public drama! I mean I was definitely entertained, but I understood immediately why the director had to protect her reputation and that of her pageant by asking the individual to step down as a state titleholder.


Should pageant drama be public

This should NEVER have been out there for me to see. First of all, I do not know these people. How did I even stumble onto any of this? Because it got shared and reshared until there you go Facebook algorithm served it to me on a silver platter. And I loved every second of it! Lol!


There should have been one joint statement saying that she would no longer hold said title and would not be competing in the national competition. Any further commentary should happen in private messages and honestly, we all know in the comments because that’s how the world works today, unfortunately.


As a titleholder, you sign a contract with a director and system to follow the rules of the system. You are a public figure for your community and state – and if you win that competition a national public figure. Should you really be making political statements of any kind? In my opinion, no! I have very strong political opinions, and I never share them and often soften them when speaking in private because people know me as a titleholder – a representative of the system I'm a part of.


I know celebrities often take their platforms as a chance to be activists and raise their political flags, but as titleholders you only have the “celebrity,” because of a system or that director and you have to abide by the rules to stay within those confines. If a celebrity states something that an advertiser disagrees with, then they could get dropped just as easily as a titleholder losing her crown.


Even though in this instance I think the titleholder was wrong in the first place and in the Miss America instance I think Cara was right, I think both situations should have been handled the same: no one should have said anything until after their reigns – or in this situation, a short joint statement with not airing of grievances. None of this belongs in public. Let's keep our business just that business and let social media remain for our public relations purposes.

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