Former Miss Teen Delaware acted irresponsibly

Melissa King walked onto the stage and won over the audience with her charm and girl-next-door looks, taking home the crown as Miss Teen Delaware. She was well on her way to compete for Miss Teen USA when word spread that she starred in a hard-core pornography film. King’s lawyer announced on Feb. 26 that she was relinquishing her title.

The question remains, is this scandal the result of poor personal judgment or is society condoning this behavior? I believe both play an impacting role when dealing with such scandals.

Nineteen-year-old Yara Kassis of San Bernadino, Calif., participated in beauty pageants, as well as held a reign. She continued to hold her title of Miss Cardinal City until she left for college. Kassis believes that King should have been more careful with her actions.

“As a pageant queen, you are forced to completely conform into a life of ‘goodness’. You become a public role model. Therefore, you have to become very attentive and careful towards your own behavior,” said Kassis. “Queens are forced to take on a role that associates them with being a good girl: Responsible, graceful, charming, etc. During their reigns, I believe there are two things that can happen: They either stray from the path that they are condoned to be on, or their pasts come back to haunt them during their attempt to become what a pageant queen ‘should be’.”

King denied ever having participated in the pornography. However, in the beginning of the video, she clearly states her name when agreeing to the release form. The camera man later asks if she had participated in pageants.  King replied yes, according to ABC News. With video evidence, it’s hard not to pinpoint King in her participation in the film.

Sophomore Kathryn Lundi, a psychology major at CLU, has a specific take on the scandal.

“From what it sounds like, it is a personal issue,” said Lundi. “They are supposed to represent empowering women.”

Pageant regulations state that the competitor must have good moral character, according to the Miss California Teen USA website. However, morality is open to interpretation.

“Society’s values and standards are so low; they weren’t a bit surprised when this happened. It’s our generation that sees stuff like that as ‘okay’ and it’s not,” said freshman Kristiana Wright, a sociology major at California Lutheran University.

With Kim Kardashian becoming famous after a similar scandal, it’s hard to drawa line on who is going to benefit and who will crumble in the eyes of the public when these things happen.

Deanna Dawson, who ran for Junior Miss Acton in Acton, Calif., believes that it isn’t fair to strip King of the title that she won.

“The sex tape shouldn’t take away from that success, and it’s sad that now she will be known for that scandal and not for the positive things. I think people should take into consideration how people under scrutiny handle what life throws at them and how they present themselves,” said Dawson.

Media is on a continuous search for the next up-and-coming scandal. It tends to make people get recognized, but it’s up to society to respond with positive or negative feedback.
“She just happened to be in the public eye. If she wanted to be a part of that industry, then she shouldn’t be in the public eye,” said Lundi.
Society plays a major role in condoning certain behavior, but at the end of the day, King lacked personal responsibility in her decision making.
It not only cost her a title, but also forces her to walk around with this weight on her shoulders until she becomes yesterday’s news.

 

Holly Dunn
Staff Writer
Published March 20, 2013