Acceptance and Tolerance

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After a long evening of judging beautiful elegant gowns, gorgeous stylish swimsuits, and charming sophisticated interviews, the panel of judges selected the top five women for the Miss USA pageant of 2012: Jazz Wilkins of Georgia, Jade Kelsall of Nevada, Audrey Bolte of Ohio, Nana Meriwether of Maryland, and Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island. These women competed in the final rounds of the competition until the final crowning of Miss USA 2012, Olivia Culpo. It was an entertaining and pleasurable night for all, except for one. A few days after the famous beauty pageant, Miss Pennsylvania, Sheena Monnin, resigned her post claiming that the pageant was rigged.

According to Monnin, the winner-selection process for the pageant is “fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent, and in many ways trashy.” The reason behind these harsh words of criticism towards the organization is because of Monnin’s belief that the competition’s finalists were predetermined.

Monnin recently posted on her Facebook profile the reasons behind her sudden resignation. She stated that it was brought to her attention by a fellow contestant that a list of the Top 5 contestants was seen even before the show ever started. Thinking it was just a fake list for rehearsal, the unnamed contestant did not think twice about it. Only then was she surprised when the same five names she had seen on that list were the women who were announced as the Top 5 on Sunday’s live broadcast of the pageant. After what she believes to be a dishonest play of events, Monnin decided to distance herself from the organization.

But this is not the way the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) views her resignation. Instead, they claim that Monnin’s story about the competition being fixed is not true, and that the real reasons for her resignation is because of her view on transgendered contestants taking part in the pageant.

Miss Universe Organizers (MUO) stated that in an e-mail to state pageant organizers, Monnin cited their policy regarding transgendered contestants implemented two months ago as the reason for her resignation.  In the e-mail she wrote that she refused to be “part of a pageant system that has so far and so completely removed itself from its foundational principles as to allow and support natural born males to compete in it.” She went on to state how this went against “every moral fiber of [her] being” and how the system no longer holds “integrity, moral character, and fair play” to a high standard like she does.

The MUO made this change to the rulebook in April to allow for transgender women to compete when Miss Universe Canada Jenna Talackova was initially banned from the competition after it was announced that she had gender-reassignment surgery at age 19.

Our generation has recently grown immensely when it comes to the social lives of modern Americans. Over the past few years, many laws have been passed allowing the marriage of same sex couples and we have even elected a president who has outwardly stated his support of these laws. Acceptance and tolerance are two key traits that I believe we as Americans are slowly, but surely coming to terms with. We were not put on this Earth to judge anyone for their personal life decisions or to keep them from doing anything based on these decisions. Which is why I believe that the MUO’s decision to allow transgender women to compete in their competition as a major step in right direction. As stated by the winner of the Miss USA pageant this year, America is a free country and we should each be able to live our own lives as we wish to have the happiest life that we can.

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