Newberg High officials want ‘May Madness’ ended

Newberg High School in Newberg, Oregon, as seen on their website, May 15, 2013
Newberg High School in Newberg, Oregon, as seen on their website, May 15, 2013

NEWBERG, Ore. (KOIN) — Newberg High School officials want to shut down an online beauty contest created by an anonymous student committee that pits 32 girls against each other in a Twitter vote.

Each week, students vote on who is the most attractive and they move on until a final winner is picked.

One of the contestants tweeted, “I’m into the point where I need some food. I’m starving.”

The contest is causing problems inside the school, officials said.

Newberg High School Principal Dan Malone said he found out about the brackets contest this past Monday, and is now investigating. He agreed the ongoing competition is causing problems, saying he’s “very concerned.”

“It’s demeaning to the girls who are on it,” Malone told KOIN 6 News.

Despite interviews with both parents and students about the contest, it has not been determined who is behind the brackets contest. School officials have said they will punish the person or people responsible once they find out.

Malone said he’s working now to get the contest taken down. The page has already been blocked from computers at the school.

Dr. Patricia Warford, a Newberg psychologist, believes this “hot list” idea is devastating for each teen’s self-esteem.

The list teaches boys to objectify women, she said and it’s damaging for young women who don’t make the list  as well as the girls who are picked. The outcome isn’t good either because, Warford said, the girls are tying their self-esteem into other people’s approval.

That can have the same outcome of depression, eating disorders and body image issues.

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