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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Molly Birch
Molly Birch
Social Media Editor

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Photo courtesy of NMU WellBeing
A Q&A with WellBeing
Rachel PottDecember 4, 2023

Pageants don’t reflect society

It happens every year: Women parade down a catwalk in a variety of outfits to schmaltzy music. Within hearing the first few notes of the theme, you know exactly what you’re watching: the annual Miss America and Miss USA pageants. While it’s been debated for years that pageants are archaic and sexist, there is a greater issue at hand. The contestants are not relevant as models for youth today.

The pageants are supposed to exemplify female purity and success, but in this era, women no longer fit the molds. Miss America began as a lark to prolong the tourist season in Atlantic City. Miss USA started similarly as a “bathing beauty” competition, according to their Web site. Somehow, they parlayed themselves into Americana. Women have changed in many ways since the competitions began and the pageants need to reflect that.

The 2006 Miss USA, Tara Conner, nearly lost her crown after reports surfaced that she tested positive for cocaine and underage drinking amid other things. She entered rehab and was given a second chance by a true paragon of virtue, pageant owner Donald Trump. However, Trump was not so quick to forgive Katie Rees, Miss Nevada USA 2006, when racy photos of her surfaced on the Internet.

While these actions can be forgivable, should the youth of America be looking to them as a moral compass, especially young women? Obviously, two bad apples shouldn’t spoil the bunch, but moral standards are looser than they used to be. Their behavior shouldn’t be justified, yet can they really be expected to reign with responsibility and decorum?

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Most women in their twenties go to clubs-even some who are underage. A 2005 study by the Monitoring the Future project at the University of Michigan found that three out of four students drank alcohol by the end of high school. Many college students “experiment”-its part of the learning process. Experimenting usually involves trying drugs, alcohol and things one wouldn’t normally try. The college years are ones that should be spent discovering what kind of person you are. It’s a time when most people don’t consider how their actions affect others. The standards the pageants are based upon should be changed to reflect the societal changes that have occurred over the years.

Women today don’t need role models chosen for them based on how they look in a bathing suit or evening gown. We can no longer expect women between the ages of 17 to 24 to be placed on a pedestal as strong role models. On stage, they are portraying a fa

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