Mr. Wayland High School to include female students


Credit: Martin Narciso

Above is a photo of the 2014 Mr. Wayland High School, the first time the event was held. This year, the event will include females. “I think there’s a stigma against girls just being outgoing and showing off. A lot of the routines in the past years have been provocative, and if a girl does something provocative there is a bigger consequence for her than it is for a guy,” senior Rachel Lorenc said.

Mr. Wayland High School will be held on Wednesday, May 25 in the auditorium. This year, this male-dominated parody on classic beauty pageants is undergoing a major change: It is now open to females.

With this alteration, the event name has changed to “Mr./Mrs. Wayland High School;” however, the name “Teenagers and Tiaras” is also being considered. The final title is undecided as of yet.

This event has been historically males-only for two years prior. Last year the event was not held. According to Student Council President Anirudh Nagesha, the original purpose of the exclusively male event was to make a “mockery or a satire” on traditional female beauty pageants.

“Whoever started this thought it would be really funny to have people up there, guys up there, doing this beauty pageant type thing because there are never any male beauty pageants,” Nagesha said.

The movement to include both genders was spearheaded by Charlene Bishop and Jared Walsh, the Student Council advisors. Nagesha explains that they decided to open the event to females because most school events are male-dominated. One example of this is the dodgeball tournament.

“The dodgeball tournament that we had in the fall [has] mostly male participants. [I think that’s] because dodgeball can highlight more strength, and girls, I think, are a little intimidated to participate,” Bishop said. “To have another event that is male-dominated — I think the girls in Student Council felt it should change.”

Additionally, Nagesha points to the high turnout at male sports games and the low turnout at female sports games as evidence to the extent of how male-dominated the school is.

“Mr. Walsh and I felt that since we’re Student Council and we represent all students, it should be open to males and females or anybody that wants to participate and not just highlight the males in the school,” Bishop said.

According to Bishop, some members of Student Council wanted to keep the event traditionally male. The decision to include females was not unanimous, but the majority voted to have it switched.

Some, like junior Agatha Freedberg, doubt how the female integration will retain the humor of the event. Freedberg thinks that it is more comical for guys to parody beauty pageants.

Despite the majority of Student Council supporting a female presence, the actual female participation is not strong. With just two confirmed and one tentative female participants, the event is still very much male-dominated.

“I don’t think that girls like to be judged like that in front of big audiences. I don’t think that they would subject themselves as willingly as guys would,” sophomore Matt Clayton said. “People will be harsher on [girls]. For guys it’s more of a joke; not for girls though.”

Senior Rachel Lorenc also offers a possible reason for the small female participation.

“I think there’s a stigma against girls just being outgoing and showing off. A lot of the routines in the past years have been provocative, and if a girl does something provocative there is a bigger consequence for her than it is for a guy,” Lorenc said. “It’s hard to completely reframe a culture’s mind against stereotypes.”

Nagesha also thinks that it can be hard for girls to participate; however, he applies these feelings to everybody.

“Some people are uncomfortable [putting themselves in front of the school], especially with the format that we’re doing it in. It’s like a beauty pageant,” Nagesha said. “I’m not sure how many girls or guys or anyone would be comfortable going up there [on stage] and ‘strutting their stuff.'”

But according to freshman Emily Rader, she is not intimidated to be part of the first group of girls to be in this event.

“I’m not looking at this like it’s a beauty pageant,” Rader said. “I hope it’s not mainly a beauty pageant, but I’m not intimidated by it because most guy events are changing to [include] girls. I’m pretty okay with it.”

Many male participants are supportive of including females. Senior Andy Regan, one of the male participants shares that to perform, it is helpful to have a fun and free personality.

“I think that anybody can get up there if they want to. It’s a volunteer type of thing, but being able to perform with others is a certain skill, and I’m not even sure I have that,” Regan said.

The show will have three parts: a fashion segment, questions and answers and a talent portion.

The questions will be approved by the Student Council advisors and Nagesha prior to the event. Additionally, the participants will know half of the questions beforehand, and the other half will surprise them. Nearly all aspects of the show will be controlled by the advisors and Nagesha. The money raised from this event will go back into Student Council funds to support school events such as Winter Week and the ice cream social.

Still, Bishop has some doubts of the success of the event. According to her, the planning for the event has been “rushed.” Bishop shared that the event was last-minute, including the venue, ticket prices and gathering of participants.

According to Nagesha there are seven males and two females scheduled to perform. There is a potential third female that may participate. Seniors Nagesha, Evan Hughes and Marissa Garrant will be the student judges, and seniors Jamie Carver and Jimmy Lampert will be the hosts. Ticket prices have not yet been set but will be either $5 or $10 pre-sale and at the door.