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news & views ● editorial By Erika Houvouras It’s About Time A s founding members of the Glamour Lifestyle Industry in 1962, and as publisher of Pageantry magazine for forty years, we have always been respected for focusing on the positive. The glamour lifestyle often pro- vides a needed escape from the mundane. While, of course, it’s not all sparkle and glitz, there’s certainly enough of those two aspects to divert our attention from the elephant in the room. But the elephant is here, and women all over the world have demanded that it be recognized. In an in- dustry made up of overwhelmingly female participants, it would be ludicrous for us to attempt to ignore it. The #MeToo movement that caught on like wildfire in social media last year called the elephant by its name. Sex- ual harassment and sexual assault have become so common in our society that it would be harder to find a woman who hasn’t been a victim than one who has. And while women statistically do bear the greatest burden of victimhood, men are not wholly excluded. We now see victims from all walks of life, from Hollywood actors to politicians, from Olympic athletes to homemakers, stepping forward to be counted in this regrettable census. For months I watched my social media explode with #MeToo. Sadly, I wasn’t at all surprised by the number of women who have suffered from sexual harassment or sexual assault. However, I was shocked by the number who were willing to put a face to the statistics. It took a lot of soul searching and some profound digging into my deepest re- serves of courage to stand up and publicly count myself among them. For my daughter, for my female students, I felt that I had to share my experience. They need to know that they are not alone. And more importantly, they need to know that sexual harassment and sexual assault is never okay. It should never be considered par for the course. That stops now. This is why the #TimesUp movement, a product of #MeToo, is so very important. It is one thing to call some- thing by its name. It’s quite another to drag it into the light and declare it as unacceptable; to stand up and demand jus- tice. #TimesUp is becoming an organized force to help vic- tims deal with the aftermath of assault. Multiple groups are offering support in a variety of ways: physical, emotional, and legal. As an industry populated by strong, fierce, intelligent women, what an amazing opportunity this affords us. The 22 PAGEANTRY pageantry sisterhood has been vocal in so many areas. You are out in your communities helping others every single day. Now it is time to make sure that we are taking care of each other. We must not be a sisterhood of silence. If we are truly a family, then we must provide a safe space for every- one to share their experiences, including the painful ones. We must provide a space for healing. Even more impor- tantly, we need to make sure that we are building a commu- nity where the pain never happens in the first place. Listen to each other. Protect each other. Speak up for each other. The elephant in the room must never again be ignored. We at Pageantry want you to truly live and celebrate the glamour lifestyle, but that lifestyle should not be one di- mensional. We want you to feel confident enough to not just strut your stuff on stage (certainly, you should do that with your head held high), but to also demand that your boundaries be respected. We want to help you have the inner strength to call out those who do not show you that respect, no matter their title or position. Often, looking well put together and feeling physically fit helps to reinforce our emotional and psychological strength. So this magazine will always be here for you, of- fering hair and makeup tips, along with guidance for a healthy lifestyle. The modeling and acting industries can be an intimidating realm to navigate, so our experts will always be here to offer advice and support. Hearing the stories of other individuals who have found success in the pageant in- dustry can help us build a framework for our own success, so our interviews will always be available for you. We will always be for you. Be there for each other. I look forward to a time when we can change the connotation of #MeToo; a time when it no longer means a sisterhood of those who’ve suffered, but instead means a sisterhood of support. I hope that in the future, when we see #MeToo, it is not a signal for us to sympathize with someone’s pain. In- stead, let it be a battle cry. Have you got your sister’s back? Yeah. Well, #MeToo. Ⅺ