Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Miss USA Times Might Be a Changin' Am I Behind?

Was anyone else surprised when they heard the reason Miss California didn't win Miss USA? I was dozing during the Today show and heard them say she gave the wrong answer to the question should same-sex marriage be allowed? It perked me up. I thought. . . oh if she didn't win it must be because she said it should be. . .thinking Miss USA was akin to the scouts--all clean and innocent on the outside and righteous and exclusionary on the inside. . . So whoa was I surprised when they said she didn't win because she said she was against gay marriage! Wow.

Explaining why her answer caused her to lose, the judge who asked her the question Perez Hilton said:

"I want [a Miss USA] who is going to be politically savvy, and that means saying things that will make everyone feel welcome,” Hilton told Lauer. “She’s a Christian, but I don’t want her talking about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, because that’s offensive to all of the Jewish Americans, all the Muslim Americans, to all the atheist Americans. It’s about balance, it’s about finding the perfect Miss USA, and unfortunately, Miss California was not the perfect Miss USA,” Hilton continued. “I would have appreciated it had she left her politics and her religion out, because Miss USA represents all Americans.”
And he gave as an example of a good answer:

"Hm. Perez, that's a great question. That's a very hot topic in our country right now. And I think that is a question each state should decide for themselves because that's how our forefathers designed our government, you know. The states rule themselves and then there are some laws that are federal."

That would be a really informed and intelligent answer, wouldn't it? But I guess times aren't changing so much that I would expect that from a beauty pageant contestant. I guess I still don't get what beauty pageants are all about. Just what IS Miss USA to me, what is she supposed to be doing for me? Or for our country?

I find myself thinking that the continuation of beauty pageants results in such things as people being stunned when someone supposedly homely, like Susan Boyle shows talent. WTF what is so surprising about this? Why is it a sudden revelation that you don't have to look like a movie star to be talented? And frankly, I thought Susan Boyle carried herself beautifully--with confidence and good humor. All she needs is a little hair styling and her eyebrows plucked; I LIKED her dress. And giving her a makeover wouldn't be a sin. . . it might just be introducing her to something she never had access to. Giving her a makeover would be like supplying her with a wardrobe--part of the act--not a moral or character transgression. But I digress. . .


Could it be that these pageants that I don't watch really are a changin'? Looking for some eye-catching but intelligent and tolerant spokeswoman? Could "I" be the one with my head up my butt. . . not giving them a chance? I mean how did they get an openly gay blogger as a judge anyway? I've decided to look. . .

The Miss USA site lists 19 judges; 7 are "preliminary" judges; 12 are "telecast" judges, whatever that means. . . I couldn't tell. . .

I looked at their bios. . .TV people, music people, former pageant winners and models, a dancer. . . then I come to Eric Trump. It doesn't say so. . .but I'm guessing there has to be a connection. . . his bio does have some altruistic notes:

Alongside his work with the Trump Organization, Eric Trump works fervently to aid children in need, having started The Eric Trump Foundation for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. The foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children battling debilitating or life-threatening medical conditions.

Then I come to Shandi Finnessey, whose bio includes: not only being a former Miss USA, but also:

Shandi spent her year championing the official causes of MISS USA®, which are breast and ovarian cancer education, research, and legislation. She traveled nationally and abroad as an advocate for organizations such as the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and Gilda’s Club, among others. To date, she has helped to raise over 30 million dollars for breast and ovarian cancer research. Her year as MISS USA took her all over the USA as well as to Ecuador, Korea, Thailand, Cuba, St. Maarten, and Germany.
Well. . . this is starting to shed some light on what they think they are about. . .

And Ms Finnessey's achievements also include:

. . . research on androgyny that proved significant and was published in the SEPA Journal. Dedicated to helping children and people with disabilities, Shandi works to promote inclusion of individuals with mental challenges. One of her proudest achievements was publishing a children’s book on this very subject titled “The Furrtails,” which can be found through amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Infinity Publishing awarded the distinguished AWMAD for Authors Who Make a Difference to her children’s book. She is currently working on her second children’s book titled “Suzanna the Banana.”
I mean if I met her at a party and her perfect figure didn't intimidate me and my totally imperfect figure didn't alienate her. . . we might have something to talk about (my thesis was on androgyny. . .)

That's it in terms of notable judges "in my opinion." I'm not saying they're bad people. . .just not people who would seem to hold such high standards as are seemingly implied. . .

In fact I couldn't find anywhere on the site that said what Miss USA's role was or anywhere else that said the duty was to promote cancer education. . .

If that's the goal. . . why are the contestants only tall, skinny women? I don't get it. . .

Am I behind? Being a behind? What do you think?


  1. I think the pageants should go. But that could be because I am too far ahead of the times.

    Happy Earth Day my friend!


  2. I was astonished at the backlash from the Miss USA question. Whatever happened to respecting the right of free expression? If the judge wanted a different answer then he shouldn't have asked for her "opinion". And then to have the nerve to talk about "balance" - maybe he should have balanced his reaction.

  3. I'm not a big fan of these pageants. I don't like how these competitions judge what should be considered beautiful. It can't help the self-esteem for American young girls. It's funny that they act like they care about the opinions of these contestants. It's all about how they stack up in the swimsuit competition anyway :)

  4. Oh I do agree with you..
    but, this is what her Grandma had to say:
    "I don't know why that gay guy Perez was even judging a contest with a bunch of girls. That doesn't make any sense. He should be judging a Chippendale's contest," Jeanette told RadarOnline.com.
    Snicker snicker


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