Category Archives: beauty

Sexy Miss USA Pics Don’t Change How I Feel About Pageants – I’d Hate Them Anyway

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So there’s a bit of a controversy going on surrounding the Miss USA pageant. It seems that the pageant has posted photos on its website of the contestants in sexy lingerie. And some people think it’s going too far – too sexy, too sleazy, too…something. But me? I just don’t care. The women that participate in the pageant are all adults. They can make the decision on whether they feel comfortable posing like that. They aren’t being taken advantage of (assuming that they weren’t forced into doing so unwillingly, and since I haven’t heard any reports I am going with the assumption that they were all willing). So no – I don’t dislike the Miss USA pageant because of these photos. I dislike the Miss USA pageant because it’s a pageant.

I’ve always been pretty clear on my feelings about pageants. I’ve seen firsthand a family member pushed into pageants throughout her childhood. It wasn’t pretty – and it wasn’t nearly as extreme as what you see on those revolting Toddlers & Tiaras-type shows. I hate that pageants are teaching young girls that what is important is what’s on the outside – that beauty is far more important than intelligence or kindness or any number of other good qualities. Supporters of pageants like to blab on about how it gives them confidence and poise and strength. They like to talk about how pageants are scholarship contests, not beauty contests. And OK – I’ll give them some of that. I’m sure that being in pageants does help build a girl’s confidence. But so do sports and music lessons and girl scouts. And none of those things require a fake tan. And sure – sometimes the prizes in pageants are scholarships, but back in the day, I did a lot of interviewing for college scholarships and NOT ONE of them required that I wear a bikini. Go figure.

And let’s be honest – remember Miss Teen South Carolina a few years back? She of the following quote:

“I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, um, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq and everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future.”

She got THIRD PLACE! Third place out of 51 contestants! How stupid were the other 48 contestants if this is the third place “scholarship” winner?

COME ON! Let’s be honest. Pageants ARE beauty contests. And beauty contests aren’t exactly teaching our girls much of anything beyond the Pretty is Best mentality. And the folks behind them know it or they wouldn’t be so gung-ho on telling us otherwise.

But hey – maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they’re harmless. Maybe it’s OK to put blush and eye-shadow and false eyelashes on a 5-year old, because her own natural beauty isn’t enough.

And maybe it’s OK to give a 2-year old hair extensions because her baby-fine hair isn’t beautiful enough.

And maybe there’s nothing wrong with making a child wear big false teeth and fake tans because proudly showing their first lost baby tooth just isn’t proper pageant decorum. Or because they don’t have teeth yet and as everyone knows, tiny little toothless smiles are hideous, right? And soft, porcelain , undamaged skin? YUCK!

And dressing them up like Vegas showgirls and hookers is totally cute!

And it wouldn’t be a pageant if the contestants didn’t show off their sexy curves in a bathing suit competition, right?

And of course it’s not at all disturbing to retouch photos until the once beautiful, normal looking little girls look like they are wearing pancake makeup. nothing says “adorable!” like that coffin look.

But the girls like it the pageant people keep telling us. It’s good for them.

And one day these little girls will grow up into bigger girls. Older, more grown-up girls, but still girls. And if they are lucky, they will become a part of the Miss USA family. And they will be seen by the whole world in borderline soft-porn photos, right there on the Miss USA website – which is fine if that;s what they want. But when we look at those photos, my first thought isn’t exactly, Wow, they all look very confident.

I’ll take this any day – messy, stringy hair, missing tooth, pale skin, no eyeliner to be seen, and the most beautiful thing I’ve seen today (even in crappy cell phone photo form):

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Britain’s Got Wankers

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The internet has been all abuzz with Susan Boyle. If you are the one person left who is saying, “Who the fuck is Susan Boyle?” – she is a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent. She is a dowdy 47 year old woman who, in a pre-performance interview, admits that she has never been on a date, never been kissed.

She comes out on stage to perform and talks to the judges, telling them she always wanted to be a professional singer. While the judges roll their eyes and look disgusted, the entire audience laughs at her.

The she starts to sing and she is incredible. She blows everyone away. Within a couple notes, the judges’ faces completely change – the audience is screaming and on their feet. The hosts are asking, “You didn’t expect that, did you?” It’s all framed as a “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” story and it’s touching and sweet and warm and fuzzy.

NOT.

After I saw the video, I just wanted to say, “Are you fucking kidding me??

Everyone in that video, other than Susan, came off as a COMPLETE FUCKING WANKER!! I’m not touched or moved by that. I’m disgusted. I’m disgusted and embarrassed that we – as a society – are so caught up in how people look that we associate appearance with everything – intelligence, success, character, and now talent.

I get that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Hell – I just wrote an entire post about that. But I will admit, I can see how it happens sometimes. Not that it’s right, but it’s understandable. For instance – when someone is dressed shabbily, you might make assumptions about his wealth or success. This is the very thing I wrote about in my “Need” post (only backwards). It’s wrong, but I can see how one thing might logically point to another.

But when we start judging peoples character and personality and morality and intelligence based on their physical appearance, we’re getting into dangerous territory. And worse than judging is actually acting on it – in this case – laughing and mocking her. It hurts. I’ve been there. I am overweight now, but I grew up thin. I gained weight in my twenties and then lost it all again. Then gained. Then lost. You get the picture. And I can tell you in all honesty, that people treat you differently when you are more attractive (in my case – thinner). People are friendlier. Salespeople are more helpful. When I was thin – they couldn’t wait to help me. With extra weight? They barely look my way, and they are sometimes downright disdainful. When you are thin, you can eat and entire 12 course meal with no hands and no one cares. Try eating a funnel cake when you are fat and see the looks you get. When you are what society has decided is unattractive, people assume you are stupid and lazy and boring and – most of all – unworthy. Unworthy of kindness, or friendship, of courtesy, of respect.

But hair color and tattoos and clothing style and skin color and weight and boob size have nothing to do with who that person is inside, and most people would agree it was wrong to assume differently (even if their actions speak otherwise). So why, then, is this video different? Why should I be “moved” because a bunch of assholes were impressed by someone’s talent?

Why on Earth should I be surprised by her performance? Why would the hosts assume that “I wasn’t expecting that?” I wasn’t aware that talent and physical beauty/youth/big boobs/whatever were somehow related. And regardless of how surprised everyone was, regardless of how they cheered and applauded and complimented her after she sang? What matters is what happened before she sang, when she was treated like a joke – something to be mocked and not taken seriously.

And now she’s being lauded and paraded all over the internet and TV and newspapers and magazines while everyone involved pats themselves on the back for the “inspiration” of it all. But meanwhile, this treatment is no better than the boos and jeers that she got before she ever opened her mouth – it’s focusing not on her talent, but on her appearance. It’s like an old-time freakshow – “Look – the beast can sing! Put down your pitchforks – the monster is worthy!” So what does that say? That it’s OK to mock and ridicule the ugly or fat or tall or short or black or white or bald or disabled person, as long as they don’t have a special talent?

I hope Susan Boyle milks this for all it’s worth. I hope something good comes out of this for her. And then I hope she tells the whole world to fuck the hell off.

Here is the video, in case you’ve missed it (it can’t be embedded)