I'm a HUGE NAM fan and supporter, and I would be the first to defend them if anyone was questioning their integrity.
However, some of the recent patterns I've seen have begun to leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.
First of all, NAM CA was WAY overcrowded this year. So many girls who would (and have) succeeded at state and nationals before found themselves not even qualifying to attend Nationals. I am at a loss as to why they didn't simply create 2 divisions for each age group if they were going to combine north and south?
Second, (and I can't concretely verify this) many contestants were complaining that both the Junior Teen and Teen winners broke rules. Specifically pertaining to their resumes (laminating/decorating- both of which are explicitly "not allowed"), and the Teen winner's dress was NOT reflective of NAM, maybe USA, but not NAM. It was completely backless and had a slit, what does this tell other contestants who slave over finding a modest, age-appropriate dress that follows the rules? Were the judges not briefed on what NAM wants in terms of wardrobe? I'm sure both of these ladies are very lovely, and will make wonderful queens, I'm just concerned with what kind of example they put forth for the organization. I feel as though they should know better, especially since they both are PAST QUEENS- which brings me to my next point.
I don't know how NAM would address this, but it's becoming a little bit of a problem that past winners and their family members keep getting crowned year after year. I understand that they can't do much to help this- what are they going to do, forbid past winners from competing? But they should recognize this and perhaps create some type of regulation for it, seeing as many new girls are becoming discouraged and it could really start to hurt the company and their good reputation.
As NAM becomes bigger, older, and more prominent, there are going to be more problems that arise. I sincerely hope they take many of these worries into account, I respect this organization and I hope they continue to be the #1 system in the country!