ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 14: Miss America 2014 contestant Miss South Carolina Brooke Mosteller appears in the 2014 Miss America Competition Parade at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 14, 2013 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
By Robert Kittle
The Miss America contestants were supposed to come up with a catchy or funny way to introduce themselves at the start of the pageant. When it was Miss South Carolina's turn, she said, "From the state where 20 percent of our homes are mobile 'cause that's how we roll, I'm Brooke Mosteller, Miss South Carolina."
A lot of viewers in her home state didn't think it was funny. Some postings on Facebook were, "Distasteful", and "I can't believe she said it." On Twitter, one person asked, "Could we have any worse of an introduction?" Another tweeted, "If we can't represent ourselves better than Miss SC did tonight, then don't be surprised that 49 states laugh at us."
But another posted, "It's funny. Take a break and laugh."
The Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina didn't think it was funny, but isn't upset about the introduction either. Executive director Mark Dillard says, "I think our reputation is about 30 years behind the product itself. And actually, cases like this are an opportunity for us to get out the word and talk about that."
He says manufactured housing is built to the same building codes as site-built homes, and must meet the same fire safety standards. Today's manufactured housing has sheetrock walls and features like open floor plans, large kitchens, garden tubs, walk-in closets, and crown molding.
Miss South Carolina's number was off a little. 20 percent of the homes in the state are not mobile; the number is actually 17.9 percent, but that is the largest percentage in the nation.
Why does South Carolina have so many? Dillard says, "One is cost effectiveness. They're built in a factory. You can buy your wood and your fireplace inserts in big quantities, so they can save 25, 30 percent right off the bat. Also they can get in their house a lot faster."
And while a lot of people in the state didn't like Miss SC's introduction, manufactured home retailer Art Newton did. "What she said brought more attention. I've had four customers today called me and asked me about it. 'What did she mean by that?'"