Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Miss USA


Who knew we would ever pay so much attention to a beauty pageant? A competition built around objectifying beautiful women as we judge them in their gowns and except them to say they want “world peace.” Finally some depth and controversy and honesty are brought in and America freaks out. It is ridiculous. Beauty pageants are ridiculous and continue to further the myth that women are only skin deep, that our outside is all we are and can offer.
I am proud of Miss California. I am proud of her for two things and one is for being honest enough to share her own views in public and not just what would get her elected to a title. Who cares what she said politically, at least she said it. At least she brought some opinions to a competition that is so pre-rehearsed it makes women look dumb and is embarrassing to us real women. She took a risk and spoke out for what she feels is right, which should be what those questions are about, not about pre-rehearsed answers spoken from a perfect mouth on a perfect face on a perfect body. Miss USA should be re-vamped. If we can’t get rid of it completely we need to re-model it (pun intended). We need to have a competition for women about brains more than beauty, about education and charity work, and inner self-esteem. We need to show girls who they can be, not what they can be.
Miss California answered a question they way she wanted to. Perez Hilton asked “why or why not” not “why,” therefore, “not” was an allowable answer. Then, after the show, he had the audacity to say that as Miss California, she needs to represent the views of her state, well, considering Prop 8 passed, I’d say she did express the views of her state. 51% is a majority – a close one, but a passing one none-the-less.
Now everyone wants her de-crowned, which the fact that a crown is even in that sentence is what is wrong with this society and the way women are viewed, but had her answer been different and more pleasing to the media, no one would care that she took partially nude photos before she was 18. No one would care that she signed a paper stating she had never posed, mostly because she was a minor when it happened and never took them professionally to be leaked. No one would care if she “ignored her duties” by speaking out for other causes. If she had never said a controversial answer (which more than half the audience rooted for – not booed for, thank you Perez Hilton) and instead “ignored” her duties by showing up for an AIDS walk or an education conference or an environmental cause, but no, it involves gay marriage and suddenly everyone cares about a shallow beauty competition.
Good job Miss California. Good job Donald Trump, which I never thought I would say. And, good job for resigning Shanna Moakler (who, by the way, is the woman who married Travis Barker and then let the cameras into their life on MTV’s “Meet the Barkers”), because maybe now we can figure out how to change the Miss USA competition to improve the way women are portrayed in society, rather than be lusted at on the cover of Playboy.

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