Not only does the United States have a new president this week, it will also have a new Miss America. If that tidbit doesn't excite you, you're not the only one. Back in the '60s, the pageant was repeatedly a top-rated program, but the women's movement (and feminist protests) made many viewers lose interest. By 2004, a mere 9.8 million people watched the show; last year, only 3.63 million did. Perhaps people got tired of seeing women judged by how they look in swimsuits?

Then again, there are pageant fans such as Miss Rhode Island, Francesca Simone, who talks about how important Miss America is to her in this video. And speaking from experience, a lot of women break the pageant stereotype. (My regional pageant queen went on to join the Army.) Still, I've never been a fan of beauty pageants, and I'm curious to hear your opinion of them. Do you think they help young women build character, or are they sexist relics of the past?