Blakley: Vanessa Williams Makes a Comeback at the 2016 Miss America Pageant

Vanessa Williams getting an apology at the 2016 Miss America Pageant (

Vanessa Williams getting an apology at the 2016 Miss America Pageant (

On Sunday, September 13, 2015, the Miss America 2016 Pageant Vanessa Williams was the head judge for this year’s pageant after 31 years after having to give up her crown due to a scandal dealing with nude photos in a magazine. She was stereotyped her as an African-American Miss America that had no pride about herself just by making the choice of taking those nude photos. Miss America has this stereotype that you have to be perfect, and can never make any mistakes as if these women are not human. This pageant is the most popular in America, so in 1984 when Vanessa Williams had to resign her crowning, it put a strain on the organization.

The organization’s host gave her an apology that has been way overdue, and from her facial expression in the photo she looks like she has a fake smile on her face. Kudos to the Miss America organization for apologizing, however, why was it not earlier? Is it because they did not know that Vanessa Williams career would not go any further due to the photos? There are so many unanswered questions about why it took 31 years. Although, I did not tune in to watch the pageant, I am for sure she accepted their apology. Vanessa Williams has been the most successful Miss America who also happens to be African-American woman who went on to become a singer, and also an actress. Here is another question to ponder on: If this scandal happened to a Caucasian woman, would the consequences had been as crucial as hers? Race is a definite factor in this situation; Caucasian women seem to have a more lenient consequence, for example, if this was a Caucasian woman her crown would not have been taken away, and she would probably be suspended for six months.

By Vanessa Williams being the first Miss America ever, she had so much pressure put on her. Yes, she may have let some girls down who looked up to her, but she realized her actions were not the best, but for a contest she put into so much effort to win, she could have been treated a little better and should have had someone to guide her in the right direction. The lifestyle she was living before she won was so much different than it was afterward; how does she know what is okay and what is not if no one is telling her? She is an adult and she is responsible for her actions, however, if she had someone to tell her this would bring her reputations down I do not think she would have taken those nude photos for the Penthouse Magazine.

I am glad Vanessa Williams finally got the apology she deserved, and also was allowed to keep her crown, which she tweeted the week before the pageant. I am 100% positive that her scandal was a great example to the other women who have had the title of Miss America to always keep a clean record at all times, even when they are not Miss America anymore. If the former Miss America’s think they are forgotten, they are mistaken.


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