Today, expressing one’s true inner beauty is paramount. There is now an opportunity for men on campus to do just that.
Tomorrow is the first Mister Red Raider Pageant Northwestern has had in the past decade.
“Ten years ago Mister Red Raider was replaced by Dancing with the Professors, and now we are replacing Dancing with the Professors with the Mister Red Raider pageant,” said Justine Johnson, Student Activities Council event coordinator.
The council decided to replace Dancing with the Professors because of a lack of interest on the part of the student body and a lack of participation from the professors.
In search for an event to replace it, SAC searched their archives and found an old promo video for Mister Red Raider.
“The video was just terrible,” Johnson said. “But we liked the idea of it.”
Student Activities Council modernized the old version of the pageant to make it more appealing to the current student body.
The pageant is broken into three categories: formalwear, interview and talent.
“The talent can be pretty much anything as long as it is about two minutes long,” Johnson said.
Sam Nelson and Alea Stammer will run the interview portion of the pageant. The formalwear category will be whatever the contestants feel fit to wear. Judges said they want the contestants to be creative yet still appropriate.
There were 30 men nominated for the event, but only eight will be actual contestants. The final eight contestants were determined a week ago by SAC leadership.
They are Ben Guhl, Kyle Cleveringa, BJ Groskreutz, Brody Van Roekel, Josiah Veurink, Ben Loftis, James Teutschmann and Myles Anderson.
The four judges for the event will be Hannah McBride, Laura Furlong, Sally Edman and Emily Loveland.
The judges will score the contestants on a scale from 1-20 in each category. The scores will then be averaged together to see who is the ultimate Mister Red Raider.
“I’m excited for these guys to have to take themselves either seriously or not so seriously, to see how they respond to the pageantry pressure,” McBride said. “For some of them, it’s probably hard to be serious, and others, it’ll be hard for them to be embarrassed.”
However, some see the message the event sends as a serious matter.
“I will not be attending,” Leigh Carson said. “I feel like (the pageant) objectifies men. Pageants in general focus on the wrong kind of beauty.”
Another concern Carson has about the pageant is that it might project an image that all men should conform to.
The pageant might objectify men but not in a negative way.
“I do think it objectifies men but not in a bad way because it almost makes fun of the cultural stereotypes that objectify men,” Matt Lange said.
Lange was nominated to participate in the pageant but declined.
Freshman Myles Anderson, a contestant in the pageant, said he does not believe the pageant will objectify him but rather will simply provide entertainment for the campus.
“I did it for the entertainment factor,” Anderson said. “I hope people know this is supposed to be funny.”
The SAC has made an effort to make sure the student body understands the pageant is not to be taken seriously.
“We have been attempting to emphasize that (the pageant) is a spoof,” Johnson said. “We would really like it if people came just to enjoy the event. We will not be making fun of the contestants. The contestants have full knowledge of what they are signing up for.”
Even though this event has brought up more controversy than intended, McBride said she doesn’t think that is necessarily negative.
“I guess I feel like events like this always bring up controversial topics,” McBride said. “It probably brings up really good points that we don’t discuss enough on our campus. Differences between gender roles, what objectification is, what it is not, maybe how we view opposite-gender relationships. I think all those controversies come up and maybe not in the healthiest ways. So I think that when we do these things and allow for some of those points, it makes for healthy conversation on our campus.”
The Mister Red Raider pageant will be at 9 p.m. in Christ Chapel. Admission is free.