Anna Mayer, OK
Cowboys, surfers, Disney-obsessed and small-town folk live together under one sky, on one land, in one country. They have gathered on the same mountain, prepared to either defend or dispute the image given to their state. CONA welcomes many stereotypes waiting for their chances to be noticed.
Some of the most prominent stereotypes have attached themselves to states such as Texas, New York, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Florida.
“Some people think that Texas is really conceited and that all we care about is state rights, like we’re against the federal government,” Texan delegate MaKayla Goertz said. “They’re all stereotypes. We are actually really diverse, not all of us are conservative. Not all of us are cowboys. We don’t ride horses to school, well, not all of us.”
The intermingling of all the diverse delegates serves to create a more visible juxtaposition that highlights individual distinctions. A conversation between someone from Wisconsin and someone from Florida can expose the subdued accents and opposite interests.
“It’s really interesting to see all these different backgrounds come together,” Oklahoma delegate Rachel Martin said. “Sometimes you can tell who is from what state just by their look, but they still always manage to surprise you by showing you, you’re not as different as you think.”
These stereotypes do not always do justice to their owners. Not all New Yorkers are from New York City, not all Oklahomans live in tepees and hardly any Amish live in Pennsylvania. “We all have various stereotypes, but they are not always accurate,” Pennsylvania delegate Taylor Palmer said. “At the end of the day, we all come together and unite as one.”
Whether or not delegates choose to accept these labels, they all have one stereotype in common: They are all CONA crazy.