Really?

A beauty pageant. For teenagers. From the Ink People. Really.

| June 30, 2011
Walker and Russell
Walker and Russell
- Photo by Ryan Burns
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Fifteen-year-old Ivee Walker really likes getting her hair and makeup done, and that's exactly what's happening right now. She's sitting in a padded swivel chair at Eureka's Linden and Company Salon & Spa, a black drape cinched around her neck while owner Linden Tyler Glavich curls her hair. He meticulously glides two extended fingers down a shimmering caramel lock, and when he nears the tips he pinches them in the beak of his curling iron. As he rolls it toward Ivee's scalp, she looks at her reflection in the white-framed mirror -- shy but happy. "I love it," she says. "I could spend hours sitting here and letting somebody play with my hair."

Diminutive and classically pretty, Ivee also loves dressing up in fancy clothes. Getting all girlie, she calls it. The makeup, the hair, flowing gowns and flowery corsages -- it's just fun, she says. When she was a child in Palm Desert her parents entered her in beauty pageants, starting when she was 3. "I wasn't in it very long because my parents couldn't afford it," she says. "But it was lots of fun."

Today's makeover is a sort of test run in preparation for an upcoming pageant, Ivee's first since she was a toddler. A few months ago, she and her family moved to Humboldt County, in part to spend more time with Ivee's grandma. Shortly after arriving Ivee started volunteering at the nonprofit Ink People Center for the Arts. One day in the Ink People offices, now located on the third floor of the Carson Block Building in Old Town Eureka, Ivee saw a flier featuring a diamond-studded tiara on a jet-black background.

"American Beauty Pageant," the poster read. "Girls (14-19 years of age) are going to compete for the first ever American Beauty title. They are going to present their finest eveningwear, talent, intelligence & swimwear on July 4." The winner gets the title, a six-month spokesmodeling gig for a new clothing boutique and $200. For Ivee, this was a perfect opportunity to "get all girlie" and maybe make some friends in the process.

Also in the salon today is Holley Russell, a tall, thin, 17-year-old cheerleader who will be a senior at McKinleyville High in the fall. She, too, is excited to be a contestant in the pageant, which will be held on Independence Day from noon to 2 p.m. at the Eagle House ballroom in Old Town. Holley, wearing a full-length emerald green gown, stands off to the side with her mom while Linden curls Ivee's hair. He's already coiffed Holley's hair into a swirling espresso cascade splashing over her shoulders.

Holley discovered the American Beauty Pageant a few weeks ago in the events listings on Facebook. "I've always had an interest in modeling and fashion," she says. "I just saw it and was like, 'Oh, that sounds like fun.'"

"Fun" is the adjective of choice here. And as we all know, wherever teenagers are having fun there are bound to be disapproving adults nearby. Carrie Maschmeier, Ink People's programs manager, discovered that almost immediately upon advertising the American Beauty Pageant. The first comment to appear on the pageant's Facebook page was critical of the very concept of a beauty pageant and chastised the Ink People for associating with it, Maschmeier said in a recent interview.

"Basically [the commenter] said that she did not support beauty pageants... that it was destructive for body image and she would definitely not be attending," Maschmeier said. She deleted the woman's comment (and similar complaints that followed) to keep the page's vibe positive, she said, and then proceeded with the planning. But when she reached out to potential sponsors she encountered more indignation.

"Frankly I'm surprised the Ink People would sanction such a thing!" Wildberries Marketplace owner Phil Ricord responded via email. "I can't in good conscience. Am I missing something?"

Ricord wasn't missing anything -- the beauty pageant is exactly what it seems. And that's the problem, according to critics. Here in post-feminist Humboldt County we like our women visibly liberated and our pageants wacky and ironic. Fashion shows and beauty contests, if they happen at all, tend to be playful inversions that critique the Miss America model: men in drag or clothing fashioned from garbage.

Maschmeier has continued to field negative feedback -- from shop owners who don't like the flier, Facebookers who don't like the concept, even fellow members of the Ink People who worry about the message it's sending to impressionable young girls like Ivee and Holley. (A swimsuit contest? Really?!)

But the girls themselves aren't worried. "I just think it's a fun experience," Ivee says again. "I've always wanted to do something like this, just have the experience, make friends and look pretty."

Is anything wrong with that?

 

Many people think there's plenty wrong with that -- and it's not just adults. "Being a teenage girl, we already go through so much pressure to be beautiful, to be perfect, and I don't think beauty contests really help us overcome that," 17-year-old Sonja Goetsch-Avila said in a recent phone conversation. Sonja, who will be a senior at Arcata High in the fall, volunteers for Spare Change, a program of Six Rivers Planned Parenthood in which teens teach their Humboldt County peers about such angst-ridden topics as their emerging sexuality, bullying, homophobia and body image.

She said the camps she has attended through the Spare Change program have helped her see the underlying messages in advertising, including the narrow definition of female beauty. She believes beauty pageants don't help. "Who are the judges to say that one woman is more beautiful than the next by judging her in a swimsuit?" she asked. And she worries about the effect on the girls who don't win the crown. "The pressure to be perfect and flawless weighs down on most teenage girls every day. Do they need one more professional telling them they're not beautiful enough?"

Michelle Frisco, an associate professor of sociology and demography at Penn State, said more or less the same thing. "There's a tremendous amount of pressure on girls to meet beauty expectations," she said in a recent phone interview. "I think that the less pressure we put on them ... the better off they are."

Frisco recently coauthored a study on weight and weight perceptions among adolescents. With the barrage of body-related messages teens see daily -- from media worship of bulimic fashion models to news reports on the obesity epidemic -- it's no surprise that there's a relationship between body perceptions and depression. But that relationship is complicated. One of the study's surprising findings was that overweight girls are actually less prone to depression than normal-weight girls who think they're overweight.

And that's a populous category. In 2003 Teen magazine reported that 35 percent of girls 6 to 12 years old have been on at least one diet, and 50 to 70 percent of normal-weight girls believe they're overweight. Even skinny girls aren't comfortable in their skin. A Harvard University study found that up to two-thirds of underweight 12-year-old girls considered themselves too fat. By age 17, up to eight in 10 girls are dissatisfied with what they see in the mirror, the Harvard study found.

By the time they reach college-age, one in every four women uses unhealthy methods of weight control, including fasting, skipping meals, overexercising, laxative abuse and self-induced vomiting, according to Anorexia Nervosa & Related Eating Disorders, Inc., a research group.

It's no surprise that girls' body dissatisfaction starts around the age when many receive their first Barbie-doll, whose elongated hourglass figure makes a mockery of human anatomy. The nonprofit Media Awareness Network reports that a woman with Barbie-doll proportions simply wouldn't function, according to scientists: "Her back would be too weak to support the weight of her upper body, and her body would be too narrow to contain more than half a liver and a few centimeters of bowel. A real woman built that way would suffer from chronic diarrhea and eventually die from malnutrition."

Certain multimillion-dollar industries have strong incentives to promote impossible beauty standards. Media analysts and social critics argue that the beauty industry deliberately perpetuates unobtainable goals to establish what's known as "normative discontent." The Media Awareness Network, for example, says that "by presenting an ideal difficult to achieve and maintain, the cosmetic and diet product industries are assured of growth and profits."

We all know that photos of models and movie stars are airbrushed to remove "imperfections." But many idolized bodies are bogus in the flesh, too. Miss Universe contestants, for example, are frequently sliced, diced and suctioned into shape, as revealed by this disturbing passage from Cosmetic Surgery Today, an industry news website: "In recent years, pageant contestants from Asia have been going under the knife to achieve a more westernized look, while pageant winners from South America have undergone liposuction and cellulite reduction procedures."

"Most pageants have a very rigid idea of what is beautiful -- and that's white and western," said Susan McGee, an instructor in Humboldt State University's Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies department. In an email to the Journal, McGee said she is "emphatically opposed" to the American Beauty Pageant on a number of fronts -- its exclusion of males, its role in supporting the beauty and cosmetics industry and its presumed support of the rigid beauty standard, to name a few.

But she has more serious reservations involving the safety of the girls who enter. Beauty pageants, she said, contribute to "the eroticization and sexualization of young girls, teaching them that it is their bodies -- and a certain type of body -- that makes them valuable. ... I believe that this eroticization contributes to sexual abuse of girls, and certainly allows people to put the blame for rape on girls for acting in 'seductive' ways, i.e. ways that they have been taught by the dominant culture."

Even if such girls are not abused or raped, McGee said they could still be a danger to themselves. "[Y]ounger women are particularly vulnerable to eating disorders -- which are very serious and potentially fatal."

So, yes, it's fair to say some people see beauty pageants as potentially destructive. For Wildberries Marketplace owner Phil Ricord, who balked at a sponsorship request, the most alarming part was that a traditional beauty pageant was being sanctioned by such a well-respected community arts organization. "I mean, I can't believe that [Ink People director and co-founder] Libby Maynard would let the Ink People be associated with a beauty contest," Ricord told the Journal. "That blows my mind."

 

Carrie Maschmeier, a 30-year-old Eureka native with bleached-blond hair and three sterling silver hoops through her lower lip, is the Ink People's programs manager and the creative force behind Factory Girl, one of the nonprofit's latest programs under the DreamMaker initiative. DreamMaker programs are self-sufficient community arts projects that have been approved by the Ink People's board of directors and incorporated under the agency's nonprofit umbrella. Approximately 60 such programs are currently active, ranging from dance troupes to community theater, Hmong and Native American groups, youth arts projects and everything in between.

Maschmeier's idea for Factory Girl is to provide a space for free sewing and crafting classes where students can learn print-making, silk screening and more. The group recently completed its first task -- sewing extra-long pants for the stilt-walkers who lope around the Arcata Farmer's Market -- and the beauty pageant will be its first fundraiser, expanding awareness for Factory Girl while bringing in money through sponsorships, concessions, two-dollar admissions at the door and a $25 entry fee per contestant.

Maschmeier said she's been surprised by the negative responses to the event. When she was putting up a flier in a local boutique, a female employee remarked, "Oh, that's so sad." Of the 20 or so potential sponsors she approached only four had signed on as of late last week. "Even within the Ink People I'd say at least half of the volunteers, members or people dropping in, they say they support me and my efforts but they absolutely do not support a beauty pageant or anything of its kind," Maschmeier said.

The pageant was suggested by a couple of young volunteers, and Maschmeier is standing behind it because of what it means to the girls involved. "I support passion," she said. "Some girls want to be a part of it and are really enthusiastic about it, and I totally support that. That's my stance on it."

Ink People Director Libby Maynard said she, too, expects more than a typical beauty pageant from the organization. The notion of inner beauty is central to her own ethos, she said. "We probably have a dozen programs at the Ink People that are all about helping to build self-esteem. I would think that this [pageant] would be done in a way that would help build self-esteem, not drag it down or destroy it." Maynard admitted, however, that she had not talked to anyone about the details of the event or the rationale behind it.

Julian Lang, president of the Ink People's board of directors, said in an email to the Journal, "Peering over the shoulders of artists is not a duty of Ink People board members. ... It's true that an artistic vision can be controversial." The board's role in such instances, he said, is to help artists respond to their critics -- or, as he called them, "folks who have trouble understanding what they [the artists] are doing artistically."

Another board member, Megan Workman, said she personally would prefer an event that doesn't rank or judge the girls. Nevertheless, she said she's confident that Maschmeier is handling the event well. "I think potentially it could be a really great experience for Carrie and the girls involved," Workman said.

 

The foyer of Linden and Company Salon & Spa has been done up in an Arctic motif: The carpet, the furniture, the throw pillows -- everything's in shades of alabaster, ivory and milk. Ivee and Holley sit -- in their formal gowns and with excellent posture -- on the edges of chairs that have been arranged around a decorative fireplace (complete with a white-metal protective grate). Atop the eggshell-colored mantel sits the only black item in the room -- the plastic frame around a 40-inch flat-screen TV. It is tuned to a fashion show featuring skeletal models in loud-print sundresses, somehow managing to navigate a catwalk on their emaciated limbs.

"Modeling would be fun," Ivee says, "but it's also kind of an unrealistic goal. I want to be a lawyer."

"I want to be a nurse," Holley responds. "Or a pastry chef. I'm kind of debating."

Both girls shrug off the concerns about the beauty pageant. People are looking at it the wrong way, they say. And besides, life is full of competitions. This just happens to be the one they're interested in.

"They have valedictorians at schools, and I'm never gonna be a valedictorian -- I'm not that smart," Ivee says matter-of-factly.

"Everyone has something that they're good at. You just have to find it," Holley agrees. "I'm not really good at anything, but I like to put on makeup and put on a pretty dress."

Do they worry about people judging them exclusively on how they look?

"I mean, sure, there's always gonna be that at school and stuff," Ivee says. "But I have my friends. I know who they are. And they're not gonna ditch me if I have a bad hair day."

Ivee is confident about the interview portion of the competition because she says she's good at talking. As for the swimsuit contest, they're both looking forward to it. "It's about the only time we get to wear our swimsuits here," Holley says. Asked if it makes her nervous at all, Holley replies with something of a non sequitur.

"I think the harshest critics are ourselves," she says. Meaning what? "Like I think, 'Oh my hair is this way, it needs to be this way' sometimes. Or, 'I need to lose some more weight.'" After a beat she adds, "But I'm happy with myself."

"I don't physically think I need to lose weight?" Ivee chimes in, her inflection turning a statement into a question. "But sometimes if I can't fit into my [size] zeroes I do get a little self-conscious. I'm like, 'Oh no, am I getting fat? I can't fit into my zeroes!' But then I look at myself and I'm like, 'No, you're not getting fat.'"

Outwardly Ivee and Holley don't seem too bothered by these competing voices ("You're fat," "No, you're not"). Their nervous energy and timorous smiles suggest that they're enjoying today's pampering -- the makeup, the hairstyling ... even the interview from a journalist supplies a hint of the supermodel lifestyle.

It's fun.

 
Stylist Linden Tyler Glavich curls 17-year-old Holley Russell’s hair while Ivee Walker, 15, awaits her turn.
Stylist Linden Tyler Glavich curls 17-year-old Holley Russell’s hair while Ivee Walker, 15, awaits her turn.
- Photo by Ryan Burns
Stylist Linden Tyler Glavich curls 17-year-old Holley Russell’s hair while Ivee Walker, 15, awaits her turn.
Stylist Linden Tyler Glavich curls 17-year-old Holley Russell’s hair while Ivee Walker, 15, awaits her turn.
- Photo by Ryan Burns
Walker and Glavich admire the results.
Walker and Glavich admire the results.
- Photo by Ryan Burns
Ink People Programs Manager Carrie Maschmeier
Ink People Programs Manager Carrie Maschmeier
- Photo by Ryan Burns

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Comments (103)

Showing 1-25 of 103

This is a fundraiser is it not? Are they defaming the losers of the pageant? This article is the biggest news story in the redwoods?More like a joke and a half. Barbies? Research? This author did a copy paste job from google if I have ever seen one. This article makes it sound like if you are attractive you love beauty, if you are smart you don't. Come one. It is as bias as they come. The Wildberries guy knowingly donates to pageants. The only difference is they are annual PRIDE Pageants. Hypocritical

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Posted by Farrah S. on 06/30/2011 at 1:19 AM

Interesting crop job on the photo -- is that intentional? Thinking on the rest of it...

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Posted by Jennifer Savage on 06/30/2011 at 7:08 AM

@Jennifer: No, the crop job is not intentional. Nor do I know how to change it. Apologies.

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Posted by ryan on 06/30/2011 at 8:38 AM

I feel that Humboldt County has far worse issues to consider than this story. It must be a slow week. With that being said, people get themselves involved in many social activities for various reasons. The girls entering the contest wish to show off their features they feel good about and they seem to feel excited about it. People should be allowed to participate in events they feel good about. If they know it's all in good fun and they get a kick out of it, then who cares? They should be allowed to enjoy life, learn from their experiences and maybe win some cash and get some work of it. Now, if these girls are doing it for the wrong reasons and they enter the contest with deeper issues, they were going to have body/emotional issues regardless. This pageant is just a pageant, females should be given the opportunity to participate without fear or prejudice. Sponsors should consider this or any contest with enthusiasm and with the benefit of the doubt. Ladies, go ahead and do your thing...enjoy life and if you don't win- just make sure you were having fun while you were doing it. I feel that one does not have to necessarily agree with pageants, but should support females making their own choices. As far as this author is concerned, the story is a bit dramatic...

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Posted by Rose K. on 06/30/2011 at 8:43 AM

"Visually liberated", REALLY? All this article has managed to do is remove the pressures of looking one way and replaced them with the pressures to look another. That phrase is 100 x's more offensive than the original point of this article. Way to go Journal, for making girls feel they need to look a certain way to fit in! Not every girl wants to grow body hair, bathe with Dr. Bronner's soap, apply Burt's Bee"s lip balm and use hemp lotion exclusively. "Visually liberated"? Bitch, please.

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Posted by Pat on 06/30/2011 at 9:33 AM

@Rose K.: Some teen girls "feel good about" doing drugs and being recklessly promiscuous. I'm not suggesting that this pageant is comparable to those activities -- just sayin' that "things teenagers enjoy doing" probably isn't the best moral barometer. @Pat: Read closer. "Visually liberated" is not the term used.

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Posted by ryan on 06/30/2011 at 9:50 AM

Oh excuse me, "visibly liberated" and "visually liberated" are such different terms, right? Ok, accept my apologies for that mistake. But please note, there is no mistaking my intention for the comment I posted, for I see that you missed the point of it all....

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Posted by pat on 06/30/2011 at 10:48 AM

Great research asking the "grocer" his thoughts. When you write the next article on Breast Cancer I hope there is a janitor around to give input. Barbie information was printed like a decade ago. We talked about it in my college speech class. NCJ maybe you should start also doing reviews on the latest episodes of Saved by the Bell on TBS.

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Posted by Dana Westfahl on 06/30/2011 at 11:06 AM

Ooh, good idea. One of my favorites is when Zack asks Kelly out, and while she's thinking it over he falls for the new girl. Then the new girl turns out to be the school nurse! Classic.

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Posted by ryan on 06/30/2011 at 11:45 AM

1) Do you have any female children Ryan Burns? I can almost guarantee that they will want to play dress up and get all girlie at some point in their life no matter what you to try and make their life gender neutral...and it's really ,just for fun- they're not going to run to the toilet and make themselves throw up their toddler snacks or have lifelong issues as a result. 2) I know the most natural of girls up there and I can recall with two of them, on their wedding days getting all dressed up and got all girlie for the day, it was fun for them. 3) Is NCJ going to do a write up on the Fortuna Rodeo? I am sure there are pressures for males to be manly and ride bulls. Or, maybe they just want to, for fun. 4) Is anyone going to mention that parenting plays a HUGE role in these girls lives? If they have great parents who have given them inner strength and confidence and they enter a beauty contest, for fun, they will not be crushed if they don't win. 5) Keep in mind that this contest is a fundraiser for he arts, local businesses and for girls just having fun for a day. This is not the Miss USA pagaent, give it a rest. So winner gets to have a title, some cash and a little modeling gig...who cares? 6) Whose to say what is good or bad for people? This article is written in a way that suggests girls who like to dress up, get their hair done, wear make-up and jewelry are bad people. They are not and neither are the all natural girls, they are just girls making choices for what's best for them. It doesn't make one better than the other. I have also know those liberated women of humboldt county do drugs, sleep around and make poor choices. Where's that article? 7) A beauty contest does not mean the contestants are lacking any morals, integrity or ethics. For example, a pie eating contest at a local fair, could be just a pie eating contest for fun, is the NCJ going to do a huge write up about obesity and take it to unecessary levels as well? 8) I would prefer to go into a nice looking salon and get my hair done then a junky one. Comments in the article about the salon's interior design sound like a nice looking salon, stylish and a place where I would hope to get an equally stylish salon. *and to the comment about asking the grocer for comments- I agree with everything you said. Excellent points and made me laugh, thank you.

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Posted by JD on 06/30/2011 at 12:11 PM

The main point of this story was to foster debate on a serious issue. So thank you to the folks who are taking time to comment here. Most girls and women in this country feel terrible about their bodies. Many use unhealthy and even dangerous methods to alter them -- and then remain unhappy. Why is that? I don't claim to know all the reasons. But I think it's appropriate -- indeed, important -- to at least ask questions. Like: What are the psychological effects of a competition that judges teenage girls based on their bodies? Can you say with certainty that such an event is harmless?

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Posted by ryan on 06/30/2011 at 12:58 PM

What is your source for "most girls and women in this country feel terrible about their bodies"? Take a survey of the girls who didn't win this particular contest and see if they are psychologically crushed for not having won and see if it's a big deal or not and report that please. It is not harmful if the girls going into it are self-confident and smart about the whole thing- a gift a good parent gives to their child.

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Posted by J.D on 06/30/2011 at 1:18 PM

I feel compelled to comment because of the negative reactions above. I've seen fliers for this event and received a FB invite, and was a bit repelled. I don't know how judging how teenage girls look in swimsuits translates to a positive experience for them. It's a contest of pretty, adding to the already constant deluge of messages girls receive about the importance of their appearance over all other traits. Does the competition take into consideration other factors, like community service, academic achievement and personal interests, aside from getting their hair done? An interesting aspect to the prize pool is the contract with a new local boutique. The boutique added me on FB, I had no idea what it was and still couldn't tell after approving its friend request, but judging from the photos, it appears to be a fan club for emaciated legs. Our online "friendship" was short-lived, and the photos were creepy. Also, I love The Ink People, but I don't get the affiliation with a beauty pageant. If this is a project of a sewing group for teens, why not a fashion show of participants' original designs? Thank you for writing this article, which reflects the opinions of many of us. I must, however, take issue with the terms "post-feminist Humboldt" and "normal-weight girls". There is no post-feminist, despite reports to the contrary, and the latter just seems to reinforce what you say you oppose. What is this "normal" weight?

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Posted by DL on 06/30/2011 at 1:53 PM

Part of me wants to make some sarcastic comment ("Hey, might as well learn early it's your tits and ass that count!') and another part wants to provide some thoughtful commentary about the difficulty of navigating our culture from the perspective of a once-teenage girl -- but I'm still trying to figure that out. In the meantime, excellent write-up, Ryan. You touched on a number of the issues without patronizing or mocking the young women involved. Which is important. As far as the photo crop, I think it works.

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Posted by Jen Savage on 06/30/2011 at 2:09 PM

"What is your source for 'most girls and women in this country feel terrible about their bodies'?" You're fucking kidding, right?

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Posted by Joel Mielke on 06/30/2011 at 2:13 PM

And, for no other reason than this is a big, complicated issue, let me point out that I both love the girly stuff (as my slumber-party-girlfriends can attest and have you seen my perfectly pedicured toes?) and yet also worry about girls not paying the same attention to cultivating their minds as perfecting their hair -- and the oft-implied concept that you have to chose one or the other.

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Posted by Jen Savage on 06/30/2011 at 2:16 PM

@JD: The sources are cited in the story. @DL: Good points. "Normal-weight" was the term used in the magazine report. I agree that it's problematic. And "post-feminist" was used colloquially, just meaning that most people up here consider themselves (and generally ARE, I think) pretty enlightened on gender issues. @Jen: You said it, not me (the "tits and ass" bit).

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Posted by ryan on 06/30/2011 at 2:18 PM

And thanks to IW at 2:19pm for providing an example of being exactly the sort of internet commentator we don't want our children to look up to.

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Posted by Jen Savage on 06/30/2011 at 2:34 PM

Lets tell teens with kids that they are not good people. Good point IW. We should bring tomatoes or make them were a letter on there gowns. Good idea. Make someone disqualified based on what happens in a teen life. Im embarrassed by IW.

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Posted by Christine Burns on 06/30/2011 at 2:36 PM

A beauty contest? Shouldn't our non-profit be supporting young women writing, dancing, painting, playing an instrument, learning how to fix a car, take a martial arts class? Sure, the identified as pretty and skinny girls like the pageant.Perhaps it's more forgiving these days and more forgiving in Humboldt where even ballerinas don't have to be bone thin, but swim suits? That's pretty horrifying. If you win or lose. Why not a big dress up dance or party, where everyone can strut their stuff in their own way--but not be officially judged by a panal. Judging young women on how they look? Do the high schools here still have prom queen? And I disagree, supporting PRIDE events are not the same as training young women to out-pretty and out-sexy each other. Inner beauty and outer beauty and self-image and sexism and feminism and humanism are complicated enough to navigate without contests. And little girl pageants? They should be actively boycotted. And sweetie, the Barbie thing has been a feminist issue long before you were in college. It doesn't mean it's been resolved. Like nukes, I got my ass kicked by police 30 yrs ago protesting nuclear power plants at Seabrook in NH. I believed building new plants was a dead horse, but here we are, again-even our progressive pres pandering to the nuke builders. Issues of men and women are always evolving, that's why we dialogue like this, but on this one I stick to my early women's lib ideology-no teen beauty contests and esp none put on by a non-profit arts org. Like I said, have a dress up party and all the girls who want can go home to Facebook who was prettiest. Stephanie

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Posted by stephanie silvia on 06/30/2011 at 3:08 PM

Read an article recently in the Huffington Post that relates to this issue: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-bloom/how-to-talk-to-little-gir_b_882510.html?ref=fb&src=sp

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Posted by Melissa on 06/30/2011 at 3:24 PM

kids are gonna do what they want!!!!!!! if they have good parents as was previously stated their not going to be affected by any of it. BUT its fucked up an demining to base a contest on something you cant really control.... itl make any girl a little more self conscious, let girls dress up an get pretty judge the contest on the things girls can do, like their choice of dress or how they chose to do their hair

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Posted by 17 teen year old kid on 06/30/2011 at 4:26 PM

Christina~just because a teen has a child dosnt mean they arent a good person. You should be ashamed of yourself for saying that! The letter will be waiting for you.

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Posted by Mckinleyville resident on 06/30/2011 at 4:41 PM

I believe Christine was responding sarcastically to a post that has since been removed, McKinleyville Resident.

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Posted by ryan on 06/30/2011 at 5:01 PM

Yeah probably a good thing its been deleted, who's to judge if a teenager gets pregnant? If she would have gotten an abortion like a major percentage of teens, you would have nevr known she was pregnant and wouldn't be able to slander her then. We don't live in a perfect world and just because a young girl is running in a beauty pagaent who has a child, does not mean she should have to be going thru this hell you ignorant people are putting her thru. Grow up and be mature and leave the poor girl alone. You don't kno anything about her or her life or her decision to keep her child. So take your rude remarks somewhere else

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Posted by Jessica on 06/30/2011 at 5:21 PM
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