Mr. Shorecrest: Is It Offensive, and Does It Need to Change?


In this photo taken by Shorecrest student David Pike, the Mr. Shorecrest contestants rejoiced after their successful show. They congratulate each other after a long night of performances as possibly the last Mr. Shorecrest comes to an end.

Every year Shorecrest holds a comedic event called Mr. Shorecrest. The participants in the pageant parody are composed of a few boys from the senior class. Over the years, this event has been one of the main fundraisers for the senior classes. Last year it sold out and generated about $3200. This year however, some students and staff members have begun to question the point of Mr.Shorecrest and whether or not it is offensive. Others are asking whether our society has become too ‘politically correct’, to the point where even the simplest high school production, meant to poke fun at unrealistic female beauty standards and behaviors, is offensive.

“The idea behind the meetings today [9/28/17] and next Friday [10/6/17] is to set up a meaningful dialog instead of a debate, meaning that right now we’re seeking to reach consensus and understanding, that is ultimately what we’re aiming for as opposed to arguing and not resolving this in a way that feels good for us and our community.” said Ms. Gonzalez, the Shorecrest principle at a meeting in the school gym about Mr. Shorecrest, Macho Volleyball, and Powderpuff Football. She explained at this meeting some of the reasons why these three events are being questioned. Some of the reasons come from her inability to answer these questions; “What is Mr. Shorecrest?” and “What is the point of Mr. Shorecrest?” Gonzalez said, “After the first assembly this year…Mr. Shorecrest contestants came out and performed, and I had a new student to our campus approach me, a freshman, and the first thing they asked me was, “What was that?” And it was an interesting question because I had to try to explain what Mr. Shorecrest was and it is a little bit hard to explain…I did my best and then the student said, “Oh, it felt a little bit like they were just making fun of girls.” And as I explored that a little further, I found that some of the mannerisms and movements done, are exaggerating things that girls might do, and doing it in a way to sort of make fun.”

Another issue Gonzales wanted clear up was the central questions causing the conflicts about Mr. Shorecrest. She said, “Should we have girls involved in Mr. Shorecrest? Should we have a female beauty pageant? That wasn’t the forum question, instead the question was “Does Mr. Shorecrest perpetuate and magnify gender stereotypes?” The discussions between students and their problems with changes within Mr. Shorecrest were based on the idea of making the event co-ed, meaning all genders could compete. One student who disagrees said, “If there was a Ms. Shorecrest it wouldn’t be funny and it would just be a regular beauty pageant, which in the end would make people even madder.” They also said, “Mr. Shorecrest is a parody on a girls only event, so why is it sexist if it’s only guys?”

The idea of making Mr.Shorecrest co-ed came from a discussion buzzing around the leadership classes about whether or not it was ethical to exclude genders, races, religions, etc., from any Shorecrest event. The first meeting held to address these issues was in the leadership classroom. It quickly became apparent that this location was too small for all one hundred students who wanted their voices to be heard. Students attending this meeting were then disappointed to hear that it wasn’t a question and answer session, instead they were directed to write their concerns down on a note card. They were even more disappointed when the administrator in charge of this meeting said, “I’m not changing my mind.” Addie Michaelson, a sophomore said, “As a Shorecrest student, I am angry.” She expressed her disappointment in the school for making a decision without talking to the students first. Her frustration was shared with many other students.

Gonzalez addressed this concern at the September 28th meeting saying, “Following the forum next Friday I have put together a charge, really, for a committee…that is going to discuss this and come back in a couple of weeks in November with a decision- for students, one from each class [senators], two teachers and an administrator.” She explained further at the October 6th forum saying that their would be no final decisions made until December. At the forum, students were separated into groups and they were asked questions to guide their discussions, one person in the group was assigned to take notes. These notes were then turned in to be viewed by the committee at a later date.