brittany-hopwood_web.jpgThrough all the controversy over her honest answer, Carrie Prejean has become a household name at the age of 22.

The California model was fired as Miss California USA after generating a massive amount of publicity with her opposition to same-sex marriage during the 2009 Miss USA pageant.

The great amount of publicity is why the Florida Republican Party has chosen Prejean to be the hook to reel in younger voters.
But is she the right choice?

Well, if you consider her age and her views on gay marriage, then she might seem like the perfect candidate for the Republican Party. As far as reaching a younger crowd, though, I think their choice falls flat.

I know from interviewing teens in the Sunrise area that Carrie Prejean was not someone they were familiar with, much less someone they would look up to and follow. Negative publicity is not the kind of thing that leads people to follow you.

Sure, she gave her honest opinion that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and she proved that free speech is virtually dead. But for young people who don’t care about politics in the first place, Prejean is not going to reach them.

Her fame wasn’t based on something that teens care about like music or acting. It was based on scandalous pictures and controversy.

I’m not saying that this makes her a poor role model. Everyone makes mistakes and has their moments of shame, but I feel like the Republican Party could have made a more insightful choice to better reach their target audience.

Brittany Hopwood, 19, of Lauderhill, is a senior at the University of South Florida in Tampa.