What would you like to do this year?
“I would like to encourage more young women in the academic areas to enter this pageant. I feel that a lot of times, that intellectual people and young women of our communities feel that this is a beauty pageant and I would like to convey a message that it is not. The other thing I would like to focus on is education. I feel that is the most important thing that we can we can teach our children.” —Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989
What do you think about the pageant including a category for academic achievement?
“Well, I think in the wake of all the protesting that’s been going on, and people saying that the Miss America program is not a scholarship; program, I just had the idea that maybe we should include a category for academic achievement. When I was involved in the Miss TEEN program, there was a category for academic achievement and the judges had your grade point average. They considered how the difficult the courses you were taking. I don’t exactly how they did it, but there is a way to judge that.”—Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989
What are your views about cosmetic surgery for contestants?
“I think we should all use what we believe will do the best for us. I personally do not believe in using any sort of help like that. But if someone feels that they will be better off by doing that, then all the power to them.” —Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989
Do you think there should be a rule against cosmetic surgery?
“I don’t know if there should be a RULE. I just feel that, we should be sincere people, genuine people. And cosmetic surgery to try to win a pageant doesn’t seem to me to be a sincere action.” —Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989
Can you tell us about your grade point average?
“Yes, I had straight As all the way through junior high and was valedictorian of my graduating class. I went on to Stanford, and Oxford, also, in England. My cumulative grade point average is 3.6.” —Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989
You are Swedish. Is there anything unique about the Swedish temperament, emotional temperament?
“I don’t think so. I think that more important are some of traditions that we’ve carried on from being Swedish. First of all, being Lutheran. The Lutheran religion is very important in our family. My grandfather has been a minister for fifty years, so we have grown up in a very moral with Lutheran values. I think that’s the most important thing – the traditions that we’ve carried on. We’re very proud of our heritage.” —Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989
Do you color your hair?
“Yes, I do. (Chuckles) In fact, I’ve had many problems with it. Right before my local pageant, I had it just tinted and it did way too much, and, I don’t know, it’ll be a long time before I go through that process again.”—Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989
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