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.
The Miss Universe Organization denies that there is any sort of bias toward any political viewpoints in its pageants.
“The Miss Universe Organization instills in its titleholders the value of learning both sides of the debate and having respect for all opinions,” Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, said in an email. “In an era when the general population is subjected only to sound bites and the vilification of individuals with differing opinions, we seek to promote thoughtful, civil discourse. We are proud of the Miss USA Pageant’s history of diversity and acceptance of all women regardless of their religious or political beliefs.”
She did not directly address Prejean’s score of zero for her same-sex marriage commentary.
Embracing the Differences
Meerman, a Maryland resident, held the inaugural Miss Conservative U.S. Pageant on July 7 in Dallas. About a dozen competitors showcased their beauty in patriotic-themed outfits and answered questions about their core conservative beliefs.
Lindsay Sangalli, who won the Mrs. Conservative U.S. title, said this was the first beauty pageant she had competed in. Sangalli said she chose to be a competitor because it was a good platform to showcase the benefits of being a conservative woman in America.
“One side or size doesn’t fit all, and the liberal agenda isn’t for everyone,” Sangalli said. “The pageant sends out the message to women that being a conservative woman or young lady is a choice like any other. If it’s their choice, then they should embrace it, and the Conservative U.S. Pageant is the perfect place to showcase conservative women of all ages and to celebrate conservatism in America.”
Meerman said she has since received flak from others in the beauty pageant community on online message boards.
“I’ve been slammed,” Meerman said. “It’s hilarious. I love it. Keep saying it. They re saying that I’m a racist, that I’m right of Hitler, that I am crazy, that I’m my own worst enemy because I did this.”
Despite the criticism, Meerman plans to continue the Miss Conservative U.S. Pageant and hopes it will grow both in size and name recognition.
“I want to give conservative women — women with values that believe this country needs to return to its conservative roots — give them the opportunity to be out there front and center,” she said.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.