It’s the dream of every crazed mother who ever forced her daughter into a child beauty pageant: to one day compete for the Miss America crown. Rebekah Revels and Misty Clymer are both competing this year. The problem is that they are both representing North Carolina.
Rebekah Revels overcame the misspelling of her first name to win the state competition. Then one of her ex-boyfriends revealed that he had taken topless pictures of her. Revels resigned. Because Revels was unable to fulfill her duties, runner-up Clymer took over as Miss North Carolina.
In a move that could rob the pageant of its credibility, Revels changed her mind and sued to have herself reinstated. So, right now there are two girls acting as Miss North Carolina at the preliminary festivities, and there are 49 angry runners-up sitting at home.
A temporary order requiring Revels’ recognition expires Wednesday. There is a danger the judge may not even be able to rule before the Miss America Pageant, which is Sept. 21. That means there could be Miss North Carolina A and Miss North Carolina B.
Let’s look at the facts here. First of all, Revels resigned. Her resignation was voluntary. The lawyers for the Miss America Pageant said that Revels had not even signed a contract by the time she had resigned. Clymer, on the other hand, has signed a contract. Pageant officials have said they will honor Clymer’s contract no matter what the judge says.
I have some bad news for both Clymer and Revels: No matter what the judge’s decision is, no matter which of you actually gets to be the lone Miss North Carolina, you will not be Miss America. Sorry. It may not be an official rule, but I’m pretty sure that you can’t be involved in a controversy like this and still win.
Even though I more or less think that since Revels resigned, Clymer should get the title, I don’t think it’s right that Revels’ ex decided to go public with the pictures he has. It’s worth noting that Revels recently sued him as well, which is probably what she should have done in the first place.
Having the court decide which girl gets to wear the sash sets a bad precedent. Why don’t we just get the courts to decide who wins the whole Miss America thing? Let the pageant make its own rules.
Let me state once again that Revels dropped out on her own. She hadn’t been pressured to quit, even though she says she assumed the pageant would not let her compete. Maybe she should have checked on that before she bowed out. She didn’t. It was her mistake.
This could all end up working in favor of Revels. She will undoubtedly get more press out of this situation than she would if she did become Miss America.
Clymer is Miss North Carolina. Revels quit before she had all her facts, but that does not give her the right to have the courts interfere. The Miss America organization has its rules, and they say that Clymer is the winner.
As thankful as I am that I had the chance to take potshots at beauty queens, Revels should simply step aside and prevent this whole story from getting any more absurd.
Chris Ricketts is a senior majoring in political science.RuinedEye@aol.com