All eyes were on Mrs. Oklahoma, Emerald Stanley, and she started the bikini round.
But they weren't staring because they were awed.
They were staring because she was prancing in a bedazzled headdress and matching fringe boots.
On a national stage.
While she didn’t bring home the crown on August 26th, she did bring home a different praise.
*Insert eyeroll here*
Emerald claims she was representing her tribe because she has the Caddo Nation in her lineage.
The Mrs. Oklahoma pageant team were patting themselves on the back for their “win”, even going as far as offering $200 off registration to next year's contestants to celebrate.
That is before reality came back to bite them.
People of the Indigenous Community spoke up about her attire being culturally inaccurate and inappropriate.
Many even used it as an opportunity to highlight Miss Oklahoma America (which is a different pageant system) who is a member of the Chickasaw Tribe. They pointed out that she found other more respectful ways to showcase her culture through indigenous inspired designs.
— YoureTheCureOK (@YoureTheCureOK) September 10, 2017
— Miss Oklahoma (@MissAmericaOK) September 10, 2017
The pageant system later apologized for allowing it to happen, swearing that as long as the current director holds his position it will never happen again.
“Please accept this letter as our formal apology for using a Native American headdress as a costume at the Mrs. America pageant.
It was not our intention to cause any hurt or damage. The headdress has been destroyed to ensure it'll never be used again. Going forward, as long as I am the director of the Mrs. Oklahoma pageant, no contestant will wear any such costume.”
The issue is increasingly pressing as it's happening close to Halloween, a time when hundreds of non-natives dust off their fake headdresses, toting our culture as a costume.
What do you think?
Did Mrs. Oklahoma take it a step too far?