Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Valentine's Day Bingo
February 24, 2024

Miss Navy & Gold sets students up for confidence

For its third year, the Miss Navy and Gold pageant was held on Sept. 26. The pageant theme this year was ‘Invoke The Beauty Within’. All contestants were Augustana students, and this year’s winner was junior Erika Brown. The pageant began as a fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of America in the area, and it brought an opportunity for its contestants to showcase their true beauty and talents.
In Browns words, the Miss Navy and Gold pageant is all about “owning what you are, and being confident in yourself.” The annual Augustana pageant showcases a fresh, much-needed outlook on beauty standards.
“Miss Navy and Gold [has] representation of all different body types,” Brown states. She praises the pageant for not following the typical standards of beauty required to take part in well-known pageants, such as the controversial Miss America Pageant.
Having a pageant could pose a threat to the community, because it could potentially harm the self-esteem and confidence of those not involved. Stereotypically, pageants promote the ideal that you must be tall, thin, and have a lot of sex appeal in order to win. No such problem exists within the Miss Navy and Gold pageant, for it bases itself on inner beauty.
“That’s why we have active wear and not swimsuits,” says Darien Marion-Burton, who is the executive director of the pageant. By having ‘active wear’ instead of the traditional swimsuit competition, the Miss Navy and Gold pageant is promoting being healthy instead of sexy. The swimsuit portion in pageants is often the most criticized, because many believe is degrades the contestants by using them to portray unrealistic ideals of what it means to be beautiful. By avoiding this aspect of the competition, the Augustana pageant works extremely well with the community and everyone involved.
There is a possibility that, overtime, the pageant will change into a more stereotypical pageant. With new directors comes new ideas, which could lead to the pageant being taken in a different direction. “Miss Navy and Gold isn’t about your universal standard of beauty,” Brown said when confronted with this issue “Unless Augie changes as a college, Miss Navy and Gold isn’t going to change.”
The Miss Navy and Gold pageant should continue to be a part of the Augustana experience, and all students should be encouraged to take part. As Brown wonderfully describes the pageant, “it’s about finding yourself, and being proud of who yourself.”

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Miss Navy & Gold sets students up for confidence