Contestants, pageant uphold high standards

Published 12:29 am Sunday, July 11, 2010

Even if you’re among those who claim to have no interest in pageants of any sort, think for a moment about what differentiates the contestants who come to Vicksburg each summer from many of their classmates.

Here’s a list: These young women are focused and dedicated. They are more aware of the wider world. They know practice makes a big difference and put in many hours preparing their talent presentations. They know fitness matters and they watch their diets and they exercise daily. Each has an outreach platform and has worked in service to others.

Of course, the pageant girls have much in common with other young people. A week without a cell phone has been torture, no doubt. No texting. No Facebook. But unlike others, these young people have made an early and strong commitment to education, expression and continued self-improvement. They’ve followed through and earned a place on the stage of the Vicksburg Convention Center.

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That speaks well of them and it speaks well of the Miss Mississippi Corporation, which promotes these values and traditionally leads or is near the top of the list in terms of scholarship dollars awarded to contestants.

The 53rd edition of the Miss Mississippi Pageant in Vicksburg is now history. The production sets high standards for excellence and precision, despite the fact that almost every person involved makes his or her living far from the glitter of a runway.

Even those who claim to have no interest in pageants should recognize this is no small feat. The dedication of the contestants and the professionalism of the pageant staff are much to be admired.