Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Lily Donaldson (Bolton High School)
A 94-year-old American tradition, “Miss America” is a household name, but few people know about its little sister pageant, “Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.” The teen pageant is for girls age 13-17. The competition shares many of the same qualities of its big sister pageant, “Miss America.”
Both competitions consist of a private interview (counting for 25 percent of the final score), talent (counting for 35 percent), evening gown and onstage question (counting for 20 percent), and lifestyle and fitness (swimsuits for the ‘misses’, counting for 20 percent).
Contestants in both must exhibit excellence in four areas, representing the four points of the Miss America crown; scholarship, service, style, and success. Unlike other pageant circuits, Miss America does not strictly look for skinny supermodel girls to wear their crowns; they crown smart, compassionate, successful ones that represent the four areas that their scholarship organization was built on.
For scholarship, the contestants must exhibit high academic achievement and ambition. For service, the contestants must be involved in volunteer work and maintain a personal charity platform. For style, the contestants must have a sense of their own style, and for success the contestants must be successful in their endeavors.
Along with the Outstanding Teen division, many states hold a Teen Princess pageant, which is exactly like the Outstanding Teen pageant but excludes the talent phase of competition.
This year’s Miss Tennessee’s Outstanding Teen pageant was held on March 21. Allie Privitt, Miss Henderson County’s Outstanding Teen took the win for the Outstanding Teens, and Miss Tipton County’s Teen Princess, was Desiree Dyson.
Dyson is the Miss Tennessee Organization’s first African American titleholder in history, including the princess, teen, and miss pageants, marking a milestone for all minorities competing in the organization.