Modernizing The Distinguished Young Women Program To Elevate Today's Young Women

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Distinguished Young Women, formerly known as America's Junior Miss, is a program founded in 1958 that claims it's ultimate goals are to...

  • Reward cash scholarships for college, encourage further learning
  • Teach valuable skills girls will need in the future
  • Empower girls and develop inner beauty 
  • Improve Self-Confidence, ability to speak to others as well as interviewing skills, and physical fitness

As wonderful as this all sounds, starting out as every contestant does on a local level, this is not the case.

Former participants from local, small town programs have reported the following.

  • Humiliation from authoritative figures in regards to body image
  • Cultural Insensitivity 
  • "Slut Shaming" (Clothing appearance, length of skirts especially on taller girls)
  • Being told to be "Cute and a little sexy", during opening dance. 
  • Fit to form a cookie-cutter image and erase uniqueness 
  • Inappropriate religious undertones 
  • Regretting participating in this program during their high school career altogether! 

If you would like to help stop the cruelty that is occurring in this program locally and change it to be a Caring, Modern, and Realistic way for young women to grow and prepare for the world, please sign this petition. We want to encourage the national staff to do the following. 

  • Provide education (power points and/or a state meeting) for local program directors regarding religious tolerance, cultural tolerance, and teen mental health
  • Rule that interviews may not be held in a religious building, but rather a secular place so that every girl is comfortable
  • Body image insults by program directors be taken seriously and are eligible to be reported to higher authority
  • Rulings regarding dresses on stage be revisited and corrected to the standards of modern-day professional attire 
  • Only charismatic adults who support all kinds of young women are allowed to have mentoring roles! This isn't a beauty pageant! 

Thank you to anyone and everyone who supports this cause. This program has potential to be something that many girls in many places can grow from instead of possibly be hurt by. It was created with good intentions, but it is not the 1960's anymore and a modernization is much needed. 

 



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