Three Montclair State University students will be competing in the Miss New Jersey pageant this weekend in Ocean City.
A total of 27 contestants will be competing for the crown and a chance to compete for Miss America in Las Vegas in January.
The three students are: Clifton resident Madison Houck, Miss Bergen County Area, Venessa Baez, a Bloomfield resident and Miss Central Coast and Courtney Charatsaris, Miss Mercer County and a Totowa resident.

“I’m extremely proud to represent Montclair State University and feel that being a Theatre Studies major has helped me immensely,” Charatsaris says. “Many of the courses I’ve taken here have allowed me to explore and improve my creativity and will certainly be put to the test this week during the Miss NJ Parade and, of course, the talent competition.”
All three girls will be singing for the talent portion of the pageant.
Although the winner will be announced on Saturday night, Charatsaris says she will carry away more from the pageant, regardless of the results.
“I will carry many of the lessons and tools I have learned while preparing for this pageant with me, regardless of the outcome,” Charatsaris says. “Being involved with a service and scholarship organization is truly rewarding.”

25 replies on “Three MSU Students Compete in Miss NJ Pageant This Weekend”

  1. How exciting.
    I went to grad school with a Miss America contestant (Miss Vermont) and talking to her, I came to respect the commitment of these young women and their healthy view on what the “pageant” is and is not.
    Because (like sports…) pageants, as Miss Charatsaris said, teach “lessons and tools” that will travel with them well past Ocean City.
    (Why is my iTunes playing so much Christmas music this past week? I got the Crystal’s singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”…. In June!!)

  2. (Why is my iTunes playing so much Christmas music this past week? I got the Crystal’s singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”…. In June!!)
    Must be related to planetary aligment or something… I woke up this morning with “Pleasant Valley Sunday” in my head! (and that’s not even ON my mp3 player!)

  3. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
    There are a bazillion other ways of learning “lessons and tools” that are important for life. It is NOT necessary for EVERYONE to enter a pageant. Walleroo will not subject the little wallerooski to all the forms and rules and auditions that so many parents around here impose on their children, who are all little brats anyway. If you doubt it, have a look at the little wallerooskis, model children all.
    As a former professional lion tamer and professional rock musician, I have had to learn many lessons and collect many tools. I can attest to the fact that pageants are completely unnecessary. Anyone who argues that every single child MUST enter a beauty pageant or he or she won’t get into Harvard (ie, the prof) is misguided and ill-informed and should be drawn and quartered.

  4. Unlike you, Mr. Roo, I happen to know that there are PLENTY of great schools other than Harvard.
    Moreover, unlike many, I think finding a school that best fits your kid is the best plan.
    But then it’s clear you’re one of those marsupial whose little “Joey” speaks of what college they’ll attend in 4th grade.
    Nah, I say find the best pageant you can find. Perhaps Miss Little Baristaville?
    Because really, nothing will impress HARVARD more than an application from the winner of our local pageant.
    “I come from a family of marsupials who living under the porch of a prominent local blogger. My father once was the Commenter of the Week. I was the winner of the 2011 Little Miss Baristaville beauty pageant. I am baby Walleroo…”
    Sounds like a winner!!
    And after Harvard, who knows… because EVERY Harvard grad is exceptional and has a wonderful job and place in the world… right?

  5. NO! NO! NO!
    Would a man subject himself to a pageant and these “healthy” views? Would they parade themselves around in fancy attire or bathing suits and try to pretend it’s not a beauty pageant?
    I burned my bra way back when in protest of this kind of stuff. I guess some people haven’t gotten the memo.
    Fortunately the Miss America pageant has been relegated to cable and eventually it will die even there.
    Put these women on soccer fields I say!

  6. Bodybuilding?
    And I was under the impressions of the “burning bra” stuff was about choices.
    Let women choose what they want to do- be it a housewife or an exec.
    Are you now saying you were protesting so would follow a specific set of DagT’s roles?
    So a feminist must be _________________
    So every woman who makes the choice to stay home with kids or be in a pageant or do ANY of those roles you found reductive 40 YEARS ago is bad?
    Do you walk up to women in Starbucks with their children mid day and say, “Girl, you don’t have to stay at home with those kids, you can work…. I burned my bra for you…”
    Will you admonish these young women too?
    Such a hero….

  7. Nice work, roo. You have the prof attacking parodies of his own posts. Keep it up and you may get him to attack one of his own actual posts.

  8. Prof
    I’ve never considered myself a feminist. If I have to take on a label it would be humanist. The objectification of any human being results in limiting one’s emotional responses be it man or woman. Unfortunately it’s usually the women who are put in this position but I am aware of beefcake and I’ve never been impressed.
    There is a significant difference between teaching woman about choices and encouraging them to be sex objects via a beauty pageant. I don’t engage in the women who work vs. stay at home moms argument. I recognize and support both options. But, I do see some women who have no children and rely on a man to care for them as a waste of human potential.
    I don’t “admonish” young women. I have, however, provided thoughtful role modeling for my family, friends and students. I touch the future. I teach.
    I am delighted that this world is moving more in the direction of parity for women but we have a VERY LONG WAY to go. Beauty pageants hurt women in the long run. Women who participate in sports, that would include soccer, ROCK!

  9. So DagT, you DO has a list of appropriate female roles.
    Good to know.
    And I’m sure every woman without a child who is not the breadwinner in the home gives you a shout-out too.
    (Really, “a waste of human potential”? Not too judgmental. Do you teach your students that too?)
    Soccer– yes
    Homemaker– no
    Beauty Contestant– no
    Real Housewife of NJ selling a book???? Hmmmmmm, that’s a tough one, huh?

  10. So prof let’s take this slowly, come sit by me, point to each word and maybe you’ll get it. (Please review my previous post before you go on. Sometimes reading aloud helps with comprehension)
    Housewifery – good
    Women who live at the expense of others without using their own potential – bad
    Beauty pageants – bad
    Women who participate in sports – good
    Real Housewife selling books – excellent – capitalism at it’s best
    Me watching the Real Housewife of NJ show – bad
    Yes, I’m very judgmental – good
    You too – good

  11. My drool cup runneth over. Sorry. I’m VERY slow.
    So you ARE against a housewife, or even a woman who decides to take a few years off to have a kid (they would be living “at the expense of others” after all).
    But what about a widower in good health, not working, living off Social Security?
    And while I am CERTAINLY opinionated, and am not judgmental. I give everyone a shot until they show to me that they are dumb- sometimes by making weird, hard to follow lists of what’s good and what’s bad FOR SOMEONE ELSE.
    To be clear: the prof believes in personal freedom and liberty, and while he may not choose some activities for himself or family, he rarely if ever tries to say what’s best for others directly. So, do what you want. Be happy. I don’t really care.
    But, it appears you make lists.

  12. Obviously you didn’t go back and reread. I used qualifiers on purpose. Points off!
    Please point to the exact words that confused you. Be specific. What words indicated to you that I’m “against a housewife”?
    A woman caring for her off spring is ABSOLUTELY NOT living at the expense of others. In my world she has one of the most critical life roles around and is the first teacher in a child’s life.
    Social security??? Do you really want to go there?? A widower in good health, who is able to work but collects SS, is helping to bankrupt this country. I’m all for means testing for SS just as I am for most of the blankity blank entitlements that are putting my grandkids in hock.
    Hmmmm let me see. Wasn’t it you who made the first list when you evaluated my post? I have no problem with making lists or making suggestions as to what’s best for others. Judgments, opinions, and value systems, that’s what this site is all about. Exchanging ideas. My ideas, just as your, are tossed out into cyber world for consideration, agreement or rejection. I’m in agreement with you regarding personal freedom and liberty.
    Beauty pageants rot. Soccer rocks!!

  13. Sadly, you can write all you like about being with me regarding personal liberty and freedom, but you are not.
    You wrote:
    Housewifery – good
    Women who live at the expense of others without using their own potential – bad
    So….. A woman who stays home and does nothing (maid, nanny, etc.) no kids, is bad.
    But a woman who does nothing, but perhaps cooks, is good?
    Sorry friend, all you verbiage, you make little sense.
    But I’m glad you admitted that you hate retirees living off Social Security.
    Are puppies next?

  14. Ahhh prof when you cherry pick statements from my posts, jazz up the discussion with extraneous information and apply your own interpretations then of course you’ll come up with a poorly stated syllogism and attribute it to me.
    So I’m going back to my original concept and I’m using the KISS theory:
    Beauty pageants suck!
    PS puppies are cute but I like kittens better
    I’ve got to go and cook something now … maybe do a bit of dusting too

  15. Poor Dag T, realizing she made no sense and harbors old gender stereotypes, even though she once “burned her bra.”
    Poor thing.
    So go ahead and blame me for “cherry picking” from YOUR list: (You did write: “Women who live at the expense of others without using their own potential ‚Äì bad,” right?)
    Here’s the best way to stay out of the labyrinth, don’t write dumb things and expect folks not to comment. BAD
    Or write dumb things and defend yourself. GOOD
    Or cry and go home…. BAD

  16. While there is certainly controversy over the substance of beauty pageants, these women have chosen to participate, so I wish them well.

  17. What if a woman wants to enter a beauty pageant for the specific purpose of expressing her sexuality? I would have as much respect for that as I would for the purpose of advancing a humanitarian agenda. I look at artists like Madonna and Christina Aguilera who have demonstrated unbelievably strong character and independence. Expression of their female sexuality has often been at the core of it. I don’t think there’s any one way to skin this cat.

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