So, as we all (or most of us know), a new Miss America was crowned on Sunday... There she is, Kira Kazantsev, Miss America 2015. And as many of us know, for her talent she played a red solo cup and sang Pharrell's "Happy". And as many of us also know, a lot of pageant people and non-pageant people for that matter, have had a lot to say about it-and not good things either.
Four days later, after reading countless articles and social media statuses and updates, I will try to keep this short and to the point with a simple series of questions and answers...
1. Are you Miss America?
- The answer is probably "no". It's okay, don't be ashamed...a lot of us are not Miss America. Beyonce isn't even Miss America. But also, she's Beyonce, so...I digress. Next question.
2. Could you ever be Miss America?
- If you are a smart, capable, talented and goal oriented young woman who has yet to surpass the age requirement, then the answer is "yes, I could be Miss America".
-If you do not meet any of the criteria above, more than likely, the answer is "no". Sorry Charlie...maybe.
3. Do you have an issue with Kira Kazantsev's talent?
- If your answer is "yes", continue reading.
- If your answer is "no", you win..but feel free to continue reading.
4. Do you know what most 23 year old girls are doing these days?
- Not competing for Miss America.
5. Do you know what most 23 year old girls are doing with solo cups these days?
- Take a wild guess folks...
6. Does Kira's crowning upset you because you or someone you know trained in pageants and talents for years and didn't win Miss America?
-If you answered "yes", continue reading.
-If you answered "no", I'm guessing it's because you've seen or been a young woman who has not been pageanting or talenting all her life, but still managed to be successful in the pageant world. Good for you.
7. Was I a bit astounded by Kira's talent with the red solo cup?
8. Do I think someone else deserved to win?
- I think most girls who compete "deserve" to win..we all work hard, but there can only be one Miss America per year. And in all actuality, no one deserves to win, you just work very hard and hope you win, and pray the judges aren't on crack. What you deserve is whatever you get, because it is your path. I believe whoever wins is who is supposed to win because this is the way the world works: things happen the way they are supposed to. I believe there is much purpose in Kira's life and I trust this will be an amazing year for her and I look forward to the difference she will make and the difference she has already made.
9. Does it upset you to know Kira fluently speaks three languages, graduated from college with a triple major, is a victim, voice and advocate for domestic violence and is only 23???
-If you answered "yes", have many seats.
-If you answered "no", *two snaps* for you.
-See where I'm going with this, yet???
10. Despite my initial astonishment at Kira and the red solo cup, I still support the crowning of this girl, 100%. Why?
- The Miss America Organization is perpetually trying to keep up with the times and stay relevant. Sitting Indian-style in the middle of the Miss America stage and playing a red-solo cup while singing happy was...different. It was something we'd never seen before. But I don't even care about the actual talent or the way it was executed- that's not what this is about. This is about a young woman taking chances and doing what she wants and being recognized for it. From what I could hear, Kira's voice was actually decent, but some of us were so distracted and worried about her red solo cup that we couldn't even recognize it. Kira's preliminary and final night evening gowns were beautiful. Her onstage question was well answered and I also hear she has a rockin' interview. She is clearly a stand up girl who has a mind of her own and is willing to take risk, be herself and inspire others while doing so- (next to Kimye, butt implants and pumpkin spice lattes) what could be more relevant??? She speaks three languages for crying out loud! Many of us struggle with one! People are upset about her red solo cup, but I promise you there have been many talents on the Miss America stage which could've used a red solo cup themselves. Kira has a great story, and we know we all love a great story. Kira trusts her gut, and Olivia Pope has taught us it's a good thing, despite her horribly tainted judgement in her relationship with Fitz Grant, but again...I digress. Kira is a real person- essentially, we're all real people, but in the pageant world, we all know that "real" can sometimes get lost somewhere between overly teased hair and ridiculously rehearsed answers. Aside from the issue many of us may have or had with her talent- can you really deny this girl???
We have a Miss America who is smart, daring, charming, and ready to take on the world... so shut the cup up and let her be great.