St. George Teen Hopes to Influence the Way Media Defines Beauty

Local Teen Picked for Utah Miss Teen Pageant
Shawna Lowe hopes to redefine the way teens view body image in the Miss Teen Pageant.

ST. GEORGE – When the mail was checked at Shawna Lowe’s home one morning in May, she and her family received a letter they never expected. The letter was from the National American Miss Pageant.

“What’s this?” was Lowe’s initial reaction before she and her mother opened the letter and read its contents. Lowe had been chosen as a potential contestant for the Miss Utah Teen Pageant, which is to be held in Salt Lake City in July.

It was quite a surprise, given Lowe has never even participated in a pageant, nor had any intention to do so – initially.

“You have to be referred [to the pageant organization] by a teacher, a counselor, or a youth leader,” Lowe said, “and I have no clue who would refer me to this.”

Still, Lowe pressed forward and passed the preliminary rounds and will be 1 of 4 other girls in her age range going to Salt Lake City and representing Southern Utah in the state competition. In order to secure her place as a contestant however, she must raise $495 in sponsorships to help pay for pageant fees.

This will be Lowe’s first pageant, and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to participate at first or not. A deciding factor for her, however, was the fact that it is not a beauty contest. The pageant also does away with the swimsuit competition that seems so stereotypical of such programs.

“It’s a pageant for girls today,” Lowe said, and lauded the organization’s premise on wanting the girls to feel good about themselves, as well as not feeling pressured by the misleading image of beauty that popular culture has set up.

When asked why she wanted to be Miss Teen Utah, Lowe replied that, “I want to be a role model for younger girls.” She also wants to redefine the media definition of beauty.

If she wins the state competition, she will receive the state title, state crown, $1,000, plus a scholarship, and a trip to Anaheim, Calif., where the national pageant will take place.

Whatever the future may hold for Lowe, her ultimate goal is that of becoming a lawyer. She plans on attending Southern Utah University, then moving on to Yale.

Lowe is currently looking for additional sponsors to help her reach her goal of $495. Parties and individuals interested in sponsoring her can contact David Roland (Lowe’s employer) at Comics Plus at 435-673-3229. Opportunities for sponsorship will close on June 23.

The Miss Utah Teen Pageant will be held in Salt Lake City at the Sheraton Hotel on July 15 and 16, 2011.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2011, all rights reserved.

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