I’m going to jump on the bandwagon a little later and talk about the Miss America pageant.
Last Sunday Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell was crowned the winner, although Cantrell is not the one I’ve been reading about on my Facebook.
Second runner-up Kelley Johnson, better known as Miss Colorado, stood out for a few things during the pageant. For one, the facts about the contestants that scroll the bottom of the screen during the talent portion shared that Johnson is 6’1” without heels on.
This part probably isn’t too exciting, but reading that as a gal who is 4’11”, Johnson’s height was kind of a big deal.
What was more important is that Johnson is a nurse. She said she chose to go into nursing after losing her father to colon cancer, with her education and career goals to obtain a doctorate in nursing and become a doctor of nurse practice specializing in anesthesia.
In addition to graduating as valedictorian of her nursing school, she has also won the All-American Academic Award and the NAIA Scholar Athlete of the Year award, in addition to being incredibly beautiful.
Then the hyenas came out, and by hyenas, I mean the women on “The View,” especially Michelle Collins and Joy Behar. (Behar has taken the brunt of the hate for her ignorance, although Collins was worse on the show and on her Twitter, in my opinion.)
The group talked about Johnson’s monologue, basically making fun of her for “reading her email” and asking why she was wearing a doctor’s stethoscope and costume at Miss America.
Needless to say, the nurses of America and social media have united in ripping “The View” a new one. A common rebuttal from the nurses on social media is that nurses also wear stethoscopes and do the same thing as doctors to check their patients’ hearts and internal organs, and a few reminded Behar that when she would need to go to hospital, need care and need someone to stay with her through a physically and emotionally difficult time, it would be a nurse that would be there for her.
Personally, I loved the uniqueness of Miss Colorado and her monologue. It was a nice break from pianos, twirling and Miss Oklahoma singing Barbra Streisand (I wasn’t impressed with that one), and what was better is that sitting at home, I could hear the seriousness in Johnson’s voice when she was talking about Joe, her patient who was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
Not intending to stereotype all pageant competitors, but a part of me has a hard time taking some of the platforms seriously. There’s always a competitor who promotes not drinking and driving after, say, her brother was hit by a drunk driver and is now a quadriplegic, or one who supports breast cancer awareness after losing her mother to the disease.
Remember a few years ago how Miss D.C. talked about losing the women in her family to breast cancer and declared that she would have a double mastectomy after the competition? This came the day of Miss America 2013, so to me it seemed like a last-minute gimmick.
I’m not saying that because something terrible happened, you can’t talk about it ever in public or have a genuine passion for helping others going through the same battle. But given that the platform is a beauty competition on the scale of Miss America, something about choosing a platform from tragedy seems … gimmicky.
But Johnson wasn’t like that. There wasn’t any flashing of pearly whites or razzle dazzle, anything that would give off the vibe that Joe was a prop. She was genuine, and at one point looked like she could have gotten pretty emotional when recounting her story about Joe.
I don’t care how she ultimately placed. In that moment, she became Miss America.
And Joy Behar was correct when she apologized and told her audience she “didn’t know what I was talking about” when she was mocking Johnson’s scrubs and stethoscope. No Joy, you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to the job millions of men and women do everyday. And I’m not just referring to only the nursing profession either.
So once again, congrats to Miss Colorado. She took home second runner-up, $20,000 and the pride of knowing she represented her profession, her state and herself with elegance, class and passion.
When she isn’t yelling at the TV during beauty pageants, you can reach Allison C. Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org.