For all the talk about Miss America being a "scholarship program," we all know that at its essence, it's still more a beauty contest than anything else. And even though the definition of beauty has evolved in so many ways over the years, some notions of it have not changed. Which is why current Miss District of Columbia (and former Miss Maryland) Allyn Rose has received hate mail over her plans for a double mastectomy. It turns out some die-hard pageant fans feel that a woman without breasts can't meet the requirements of the title.
Allyn is planning to get a double mastectomy after her year of service as Miss DC or Miss America is over. Her mom, grandmother, and aunt all died of the disease and she feels as though this is her best chance of beating it. The preventative mastectomy has long been a controversial choice for women. Some people bristle at the idea of removing your breast before there is a confirmed problem. But for Allyn, it's the safest option for a healthy future. “For me, breast cancer is not a matter of if. It’s almost a matter of when,” she told Today.
Not surprisingly, her pageant platform is "Breast Cancer: Planning a Marathon, Running a Sprint" in tribute to her mother (who was a marathon runner). Though, it seems some pageant watchers are not impressed by her plans. Some think she is making up the story to attract media attention, and others complain that if she has the surgery, she won't be able to fill out her bikini like a good beauty pageant contestant should. Unbelievable right? Why is that even a consideration when someone is trying to save their own life?
Allyn should be lauded for her bravery, not harassed for her decision. She can represent a different kind of outward beauty for the women who have endured a mastectomy and for the women that someday will.
Do you think Allyn's choice is radical or brave?
Image via Getty