Shalen DeVore | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

Shalen DeVore 
Member since Jul 26, 2012

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Recent Comments

Re: “Musing over Miss Arkansas

Ms. Franco,

  If your goal in writing this article was to write a "personal essay" with no "especially cutting or novel digs"--my question(s) and comments would be the following. How could referencing young women as a group of "limbs" be considered anything but derogatory and/or especially cutting in the context you provided? Furthermore to include the information that Tracy Neal was providing manicure and that "little girls' moms were forking out 25 dollars each," -- this piece of information could in no way be essential to your "personal essay" and therefore can only be construed as a detail provided to sarcastically criticize the mothers who would "fork" out that money and to Tracy who was attempting to raise money to support her pageant wardrobe. I also question, if you are inexperienced in pageants as you have admitted and your goal was simply to comment on an event, why you would claim that girls are "making a desperate getaway backstage, where they can sob in semi-privacy." That statement neither comments on the actual events taking place-- since you couldn't possibly know what was going on backstage nor refrains from yet again using thick sarcasm to negatively spotlight and, dare I say, provides novel digs towards young women who may or may not have been disappointed in the results of a competition. And while I'm sure the contestant who you claimed "conquered the runway as stiffly as an 80 year old with a steel rod up her back," appreciated that you gave her the courtesy of anonymity, I believe that still would be considered especially harsh. 

While, admittedly, your article contains positive mentions of the "unquantifiable benefits" that the Miss Arkansas organization can provide and points out your particular favorites in the competition and their attributes-- it appears that your article is similar to a conversation with conflicting verbal and nonverbal messages. "The bleached blondes take the top three." "She's petite, athletic and exuberant, oozing confidence, right down to her distinct, rear-wiggling stride." 

I believe your positive comments are very much appreciated. It is also difficult as journalist, I believe, to provide entertaining material that pleases the majority. However, in the future perhaps your personal essays should match intent both in and in between the lines. 

Pageants and the people who support them can be, as you say, silly. I'll go even further to say sometimes it can get downright foolish-- but at the core of the Miss Arkansas system are the women of today. Powerful, individual, beautiful women who deserve nothing but respect.

16 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Shalen DeVore on 07/26/2012 at 1:46 PM


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