Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor
The results are in. Miss North Dakota, Cara Mund, has been crowned Miss America 2018. Mund was able to win the $50,000 in scholarship money by outscoring the other top four competitors: Miss Missouri, Miss New Jersey, Miss District of Columbia, and Miss Texas. The competition consisted of the following categories: Preliminaries, Evening Gown, Swimsuit and Interviews. Mund is the first in her state to ever receive this title. She is a 23-year old graduate from Brown University, and is the first Ivy League winner in the last 64 years.
The pageant was televised on ABC from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Sept. 10. The pageant had to battle with Sunday Night Football on NBC and the highly promoted series “The Orville” on Fox. Not only did the pageant have to compete with networks, but also the hurricane that was taking place in Florida. Miss Florida had expressed her concern for her home state and said, “No matter what happens, we are strong and we can do it; we can get through anything together.” These outside factors caused another decline in the pageant’s ratings. The ratings for this year’s viewing brought in 5.6 million viewers; but in 2016, there were 6.2 million viewers, and in 2015, 7 million viewers.
Although the ratings were not high for television, the event topped No. 1 in the Nielsen Social Content Ratings with 1.338 million social interactions. Sunday Night Football was still able to top this on a separate chart for sports with 7.9 million social interactions. As the world is becoming more digital, it is not unordinary to see a surge in social media interactions. People within the younger age groups tend to gravitate towards social media platforms rather than physically watching on television, but does this mean our generation does not care about the pageant as much?
On Hampton University’s campus, there has been little to no promotion for the event, but there is a student who supports the purpose of this pageant. Senior elementary education major Kaitlyn Ceaser, from Chicago, Ill. says, “I think it is interesting to see different women from around the nation be a representation of their state. I love the diversity and the meaning behind it all.” The Miss America pageant is still an American classic that is widely appreciated.
Miss America 2018 hopes to see change within the government in her state and nationwide. Mund dreams to be the first woman elected governor of her state. She hopes to see an increase in women’s interactions with the government due to the lack of the female perspective when decisions are being made. Mund told The L.A. Times, “In health care and on reproductive rights, it is predominantly men making those decisions.” Miss America is setting the example for others to get involved if they want to see the results they desire. She will be heading to law school very shortly.