Radio Sputnik: What's your take on scrapping of the swimsuit portion of Miss America contest?
Poppy Haskell: I don’t see the reasons for it. From my side, it was a very positive experience, and I had things that I was insecure about till I went on stage in my bikini, in my swimwear. And because the crowd and their reaction was so positive, I now feel a lot more confident. And I think sometimes it does do great things for the women, so I do think it’s a shame.
Radio Sputnik: You said that you had things you felt unconfident about, perhaps this was because there is a projected body image that women are expected to have, that is considered attractive? And also, there’s this moment in these pageants where you are judging women based on their physical appearance… And of course people are saying that this is promoting the culture of sexual harassment, this is promoting the culture of women being seen as objects, to be judged on their physical appearance.
Poppy Haskell: I absolutely agree with you, that there’s so much in the media that is projected on plump women to make us feel like we’re inadequate; yes, that is that. But I don’t think that we should take away the swimsuit portion, we should take away the way people are reacting to different sizes and shapes in the swimwear.
In the competition I did, there isn’t a limit on size or height. I mean, as long as everyone’s healthy, everybody is accepted. So I think that that kind of celebrates all the different sizes, and that it was promoting a healthy body image for young women…
I do agree with your point that there’s a lot of sexual harassment, but I think we’re demonizing the wrong people, cause I’m actually at work with a grid girl in the UK… and I’ve never experienced any negative behavior. But if men are doing that, they are the ones who need to be spoken to. I don’t think that we should be taking away the girl’s job or the competition, because a lot of girls are using these competitions as a catalyst to further their career.
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