Winners of the top titles at the first Miss Conservative U.S. Pageant pose on stage in Dallas after being crowned. Organizer Ginny Meerman launched the pageant earlier this month because she felt there was a need for a venue where conservative women can express their beliefs while competing in a pageant.
Beauty pageant contestant and coach Ginny Meerman is proud of her conservative beliefs and values.
Yet, according to Meerman, pageant contestants across the country — including herself and the women she has coached — are being met by judges who are less than accepting of their conservative values, blackballing them from competitions and making conservative pageant participants afraid to speak their minds.
Instead of backing down and hiding her point of view, Meerman decided to take action: She launched the Miss Conservative U.S. Pageant earlier this month. It’s her attempt to allow conservative women of all ages to compete in a beauty contest in which they feel free to express their beliefs.
“I wanted to provide a venue for women and young women to shine before everyone and then go out into the community and say, ‘I am a conservative. I am beautiful. We are the foundation and backbone of this country,’” Meerman said at the pageant. “America was built on conservatism, not liberalism, and here we are. Booyah!”
Politics and Pageantry
Pageantry is one of the latest entities that politics has oozed its way into in today’s hyperpartisan environment.
As an example of politics being injected into the pageant world, Meerman points to the 2009 incident when Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean received a score of zero for a response she gave on her opposition to same-sex marriage as the tipping point for conservative beauty contestants not being judged on their performance, but for their beliefs and convictions.
“We are taught, and I teach these girls, that we are being judged not on our religious beliefs or our political beliefs, but we are being judged on how well we present ourselves,” Meerman said. “That’s what we’re supposed to be judged on. But more and more in past five years or so, I’ve seen that this entity is sort of being overtaken by the liberal movement and liberal-thinking people.”
Meerman said other pageants group women based on race or religion and that her pageant, which groups women based on political beliefs, should be viewed similarly.
“I’m not trying to break it down by race, but there is the Miss Latino pageant, there is the Miss Black pageant, why can’t there be a pageant where conservative women and girls can gather and celebrate who they are and what they believe without fear of being ostracized?” Meerman asked.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.