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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Miss America Reality?


Miss America, the pageant of all pageant's. The, the, the . . . most obsolete thing in the world.

TLC got a hold of the Miss America pageant and aims to modernize it on a reality show called Miss America Reality Check. Which sounded like a potentially promising thing. For a minute.

There was this part of me - the wicked part - that loved every minute of the tongue lashing the 52 pageant contestants got from What Not to Wear stars Stacy and Clinton. Admit it we've all wanted to say "enough with the sequins and take the hair down about 1,000 notches, you look like a drag queen, and for goodness sake stop it with the spray tan!"

I watched again last night (after the kids went to bed) thinking maybe they were going to move onto to some actual modernizing or dare I dream, feministing, of the pageant.

No, we had an intellectual competition. Who is the most smartest beauty pageant contestant? Host Michael Urie, the mean boy from Ugly Betty, made the girls get into their swim suits and stilettos and they were forced to {gasp} jump in the pool to ruin their make-up and hair if they got it wrong.

So, then it became just another way for women/girls to be humiliated in as little clothing as possible. And was it really a challenge of intelligence? The last winner-takes-all question was about which country Borat comes from.

Borat? That's how we gauge intelligence in this country now? From knowing about last year's crude comedy? Fictional geography?

Why did we give carte blanc to all gay men to humiliate women on television? Why are they allowed to be as insulting and cruel as they like without any public backlash? Were a straight man or a woman to say most of what Michael Urie says on that show it would be socially unacceptable. What makes gay guys the ultimate in fashion experts anyway? They don't have to wear the clothes or the heals or use the products - why should women care what they think looks best on us? Why don't we expect even a minimum of respect from them? It's like women have become the gay man's real-life Barbie to make-over as he sees fit.

And who do we have making over Miss America? The fashion industry. Brilliant! Because they've been so wonderful and uplifting to girls and women in America thus far. The fashion industry knows exactly what the American people want to see in Miss America. Not.

Let's see . . . Who has done more harm to women's self esteem and self image -pageants or the fashion industry?

Really I would love to know - how is this better?

4 comments:

Marta Saenz said...

Indeed.

I have much better things to do than be a painted perfumed doll in a pageant - not that the whites in charge of it would let a Latina be Miss America.

Don't let anyone pressure you into putting Ainsley onto the pageant circut - it's just not worth the cost.

Tracee said...

I had a brief daydream about entering Ainsley into a beauty pageant and letting her wear her pink froo froo dress with missing beads and torn lace, that she got at Goodwill.

I thought it would be great if she wore no make up and regular unbrushed hair.

Of course, I'd probably be the only person there who would understand my social commentary,

"Remember how beautiful six-year-old girls are naturally?"

Musicalbookworm said...

Right on. I've been working on my own post on this travesty. I cannot express how much the idea of Miss America as a role model offends me.

As for your daughter, it's far cheaper and more dignified to just buy her a tiara. ;-)

Tracee said...

I don't think Ainsley will be allowed to watch it. I might watch it - just so I can blog it. Research right?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Miss America Reality?


Miss America, the pageant of all pageant's. The, the, the . . . most obsolete thing in the world.

TLC got a hold of the Miss America pageant and aims to modernize it on a reality show called Miss America Reality Check. Which sounded like a potentially promising thing. For a minute.

There was this part of me - the wicked part - that loved every minute of the tongue lashing the 52 pageant contestants got from What Not to Wear stars Stacy and Clinton. Admit it we've all wanted to say "enough with the sequins and take the hair down about 1,000 notches, you look like a drag queen, and for goodness sake stop it with the spray tan!"

I watched again last night (after the kids went to bed) thinking maybe they were going to move onto to some actual modernizing or dare I dream, feministing, of the pageant.

No, we had an intellectual competition. Who is the most smartest beauty pageant contestant? Host Michael Urie, the mean boy from Ugly Betty, made the girls get into their swim suits and stilettos and they were forced to {gasp} jump in the pool to ruin their make-up and hair if they got it wrong.

So, then it became just another way for women/girls to be humiliated in as little clothing as possible. And was it really a challenge of intelligence? The last winner-takes-all question was about which country Borat comes from.

Borat? That's how we gauge intelligence in this country now? From knowing about last year's crude comedy? Fictional geography?

Why did we give carte blanc to all gay men to humiliate women on television? Why are they allowed to be as insulting and cruel as they like without any public backlash? Were a straight man or a woman to say most of what Michael Urie says on that show it would be socially unacceptable. What makes gay guys the ultimate in fashion experts anyway? They don't have to wear the clothes or the heals or use the products - why should women care what they think looks best on us? Why don't we expect even a minimum of respect from them? It's like women have become the gay man's real-life Barbie to make-over as he sees fit.

And who do we have making over Miss America? The fashion industry. Brilliant! Because they've been so wonderful and uplifting to girls and women in America thus far. The fashion industry knows exactly what the American people want to see in Miss America. Not.

Let's see . . . Who has done more harm to women's self esteem and self image -pageants or the fashion industry?

Really I would love to know - how is this better?

4 comments:

Marta Saenz said...

Indeed.

I have much better things to do than be a painted perfumed doll in a pageant - not that the whites in charge of it would let a Latina be Miss America.

Don't let anyone pressure you into putting Ainsley onto the pageant circut - it's just not worth the cost.

Tracee said...

I had a brief daydream about entering Ainsley into a beauty pageant and letting her wear her pink froo froo dress with missing beads and torn lace, that she got at Goodwill.

I thought it would be great if she wore no make up and regular unbrushed hair.

Of course, I'd probably be the only person there who would understand my social commentary,

"Remember how beautiful six-year-old girls are naturally?"

Musicalbookworm said...

Right on. I've been working on my own post on this travesty. I cannot express how much the idea of Miss America as a role model offends me.

As for your daughter, it's far cheaper and more dignified to just buy her a tiara. ;-)

Tracee said...

I don't think Ainsley will be allowed to watch it. I might watch it - just so I can blog it. Research right?