|Subject: AC Press:Being Miss America - Behind the rhinestone curtains|
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Date Posted: 08:46:37 08/18/14 Mon
Miss America winner writes book documenting experiences
Kate Shindle stars as The Mad Hatter in the Broadway musical ‘Wonderland,’ currently playing at the Marquis Theatre in New York City. Shindle’s parents live in Brigantine.
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By ELISA LALA Staff Writer | Posted 11 hours ago
Miss America 1998 Kate Shindle won’t be in attendance at this year’s competition in Atlantic City; she doubts she’d be welcome.
The former titleholder recently wrote a memoir, “Being Miss America: Behind the Rhinestone Curtain,” in which she shares her experiences of the year she spent living under the crown and the history of the organization that she says “changed her life.” But it’s not all sparkles.
And for that, the Miss America Organization may be unhappy with her.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the Miss America Organization unilaterally doesn’t embrace this book because I’m critical of the internal struggles of the institution,” Shindle said. “My goal was to tell the story of Miss America through my lens. Every time a Miss America writes a book or makes an appearance they send out alerts, but they’ve been pretty radio silent on my book, and I have a feeling they know what they’re in for.”
In “Being Miss America,” which will go on sale Sept. 1, just days before this year’s Miss America finals on Sept. 14, Shindle shares what she sees as “mismanagement and leadership instability” over the course of the organization’s history and unethical moves made to maintain television ratings and make money, including partnering with Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.
“Keep Children’s Miracle Network around; it’s a great group that does wonderful things. But stop balancing the books on the backs of kids with terminal illnesses. It’s not only ethically reprehensible, it’s borderline fraudulent,” she said.
Shindle explains that under the terms of the agreement with Children’s Miricle Network, Miss America herself is to serve as an ambassador for CMN during her year, and the Miss America Organization receives “reportedly as much as 60 percent” of the joint profit.
Shindle, a native of South Jersey who currently lives in New York City, said her goal wasn’t to write an expose.
“I love Miss America and I want it to succeed. This organization changed my whole life, it made (me) a really passionate activist and gave me literally a platform to bring awareness to my passions, and there aren’t many nonprofit organizations that can do that for a 20-year-old, but it becomes frustrating when it seems clear to an observer that there are issues,” she said.
Her mission said was to create a road map for how this organization has evolved as a nonprofit and where “I think it has to go.”
She writes: “If Miss America is to survive, she will not survive because the Almighty God of Television somehow brought her enough viewers and advertisers in one particular year, or even in a string of years. She will not survive because she successfully panders to the lowest common denominator; this approach is antithetical not only to building a brand, but to crafting Miss America’s brand in particular. Miss America will only survive if she decides exactly who she is, develops a lasting identity, and rejects the many temptations that run counter to that identity.
“But before any of that can occur, the organization needs to get its act together. Stop rewarding mediocrity. Let go of staff members who have been promoted to their level of incompetence. Organize the former Miss Americas who want to be involved, and send them out as ambassadors with a specific marketing message. The pageant has spent almost a century creating strong effective female leaders, but them it doesn’t really do much with them aside from inviting them to the show each year. It’s not only a waste of resources; it indicates that the people in charge don’t understand what the program accomplishes in the lives of very real women.”
As she predicted, the Miss America Organization isn’t too thrilled about the book.
In a statement to The Press of Atlantic City, officials said, “We have not had the chance to read the book. We were disappointed to learn from a reporter at the A.C. Press that a former Miss America, from 17 years ago, has chosen to take this path to advance whatever issues she might have.
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- I'll read it. The MAO is trying to paint Kate as bitter and unstable but I don't think that's going to fly. She's one of the few Miss Americas to actually be successful in the entertainment industry. Plus, I just like her. And she's stayed involved in the organization. (NT) -- pageant flan, 08:59:04 08/18/14 Mon
- I will buy and read the book. It seems that her pionts are dead on. (NT) -- No name, 11:47:07 08/18/14 Mon
- I love how, over in the OTHER board, we got the uber-defenders tearing Kate down - e.g. "she should never have won", "I don't care what she has to say, then or now" blah blah blah. I don't see how one can attack the messenger when the message rings true. MAO *has* done many things for the sake or ratings that have ranged from irritating to demeaning to downright non-sensical. The quiz, the casual wear competiton, scaling talents back (the nadir of this was the top 2 'showdown' in 2004), the "Loser's Lounge", I can go on and on about this. I think it's great that a former is calling them out on this and making it known how she really and truly feels. (NT) -- No name, 14:03:29 08/18/14 Mon
- Makes no sense that the whole thread disappeared on the guru board, if ever there was something relevant to MAO..... (NT) -- Sad, 19:18:30 08/18/14 Mon
- Well that had to be a hard one for Guru. Any Miss America lives in the heavens and are perfect, yet we peons and lepers who are not Miss America live in the sewers. So, when one or two suggest that things are not perfect, what is a Guru who constantly protects the status quo do? He must, MUST support Haskell, Bowls, any ED, and every Miss America, too. I'm sure that one was very hard to delete. But it is much more important to protect the holy organization. (NT) -- No name, 19:39:31 08/18/14 Mon
- LOL Guru deleting the entire thread. I think it's time for guru to be outed. (NT) -- Lol, 14:35:34 08/19/14 Tue
- Loved the book! A must read for any Miss America Fan! She just states the facts. No mudslinging. Just has the guts to put into print what everyone thinks of the Organization she and many others love!!! (NT) -- No name, 09:41:53 08/21/14 Thu
- Wasn't her father on MAO board? Wonder how her father feels about this. (NT) -- No name, 23:21:40 08/21/14 Thu
- ttt (NT) -- ttt, 07:07:10 08/23/14 Sat