March 20, 2009

Voy Forums ... Sigh

Okay, so for those who are unaware the land of pageantry can sometimes take a turn for the, uhh, how do I put it? Vicious? Yes, I suppose that is the most appropriate word. But most of it is done in anonymity, behind the cover of a "username" on voy forum message boards. Thankfully the Miss New York Organization has an awesome ED, Erin Kennedy, who sent out the following email to all involved with the Miss NY Organization:

Dear Friends, Contestants and Supporters of Miss NY,

It is with a heavy heart that I must address this situation with you. Please know that I am not pointing fingers or making accusations to anyone. In fact, it is my sincerest wish that no one on this distribution list is a part of the issue. However, I feel that I can no longer stand aside without addressing the Voy Forum.

I am as guilty as many of reading this board because I feel that it keeps me in the know and sometimes alerts me to issues of which I was not aware. But when I begin receiving several calls per week from contestants who are contemplating a complete withdrawal from our state system because of the nasty and hurtful things being said, I need to act.

The forum could be a GREAT place to announce who won which local, sell old pageant gear and connect to old friends but it is WRONG to insult the very girls who keep our organization alive. I am sure many of your agree that the things being said are hurtful, disgusting and infantile.

So, since I am assuming that we are all a part of the solution, I ask you to join me in the following: Either stop visiting the message board or, at the very least, refuse to dignify nasty statements. I don’t know who the moderator is but I sent an email today. If you are this person, please delete items that insult others. If you know this person, please encourage him or her to more closely moderate the vile things being posted. It isn’t funny and it isn’t ok.

And to our lovely and amazing contestants, please do not allow yourself to be dragged down by trash talk.

If each of us makes a pledge to keep this board clean and encourages others to do so as well, we can do a tremendous amount to stop the damage that is currently being done. I don’t want to lose contestants to silly, petty behavior. I hope you’ll join me in working to eliminate this unnecessary distraction.

Best Regards,


P.S. I have sent this to all of the email addresses I have, if I missed someone it is simply because I do not have contact information or I left them off accidentally. I can assure you, it was not intentional

Erin Kennedy
Executive Director
Miss New York Organization

Phone: 347-256-3499

I have seen some really nasty stuff written on these boards. And the worst part is, these are women that are doing extraordinary things. Working their tails off representing their communities and their states. Representing the very people that write these things on the message boards. If you feel so strongly about making a comment on the boards write your name beside it, otherwise, it's a pretty cowardly move. Because, as Miss America contestants the first thing we were told by Sam Haskell and Art McMaster was, "Own what you say". So shouldn't you, too?

Thank you, Erin!