Coming in on the train this morning I read a front page article in the Chicago Tribune, “Beauty Queen Targets Ugly Behavior.” It was about Amanda Rammell, Idaho’s representative to the Miss USA pageant going on this week in Los Angeles. Rammell is a Mormon and has been vocal about the need for more positive role models for tween girls than Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. According to the article, some are calling the influence of the Brit pack the “prostitot” trend–girls being sexualized prematurely.
In contrast, Rammell is pushing the values of her upbringing on an Idaho ranch near Yellowstone: the morals, the education, the down-to-earth traditions of that upbringing. Her role models are her grandmother’s life of endurance working a farm and her mother’s lessons of compassion towards others.
“A lot of people look at my lifestyle as strict,” she says. “For me, I’m always in control of my actions.”
The article also talks about the irony of a beauty pageant contestant making such a stand, as many view such pageants as inherently demeaning to women.
I also found it interesting that Rammell does not take the usual tack of abhorrence of the swimsuit competition:
Though she’s a Mormon who advocates strong family values, Rammell said the pageant’s swimsuit competition is “just fun. It takes a lot of guts to get out there with a string bikini and high heels.”
So what do you think? Is a heavy does of good old fashioned Idaho farm girl Mormonism the cure for our values-starved tweens and a replacement for their current questionable role models?