Monday, April 20, 2009

It Frosts Me!!!

Okay, I know I’ve lain low from blogging for a week so maybe that’s the reason. Or maybe it’s because I absolutely abhor the stereotype of women being ogled for their physical attributes. I’m sorry… I didn’t see you there! You probably have no clue what I’m talking about do you? Well, let me clue you in. I’m on a rant about the unconscionable happenings in the most recent Miss USA pageant. For the record allow me to state that I personally see no redeeming value in these types of voyeuristic events. An event that propagates the idea that ogling women while they’re wearing as skimpy a bikini as they can dare to get away with and still remain half-way decent, is, in my estimation a worthless venture that demeans the real value of women. But that’s not why I’m ‘frosted’ today. No, I’m frosted because of something that happened during the event.
Miss California was asked her opinion about legalizing same-sex marriages. Here’s how the news media reported her response:

“The tall blonde stumbled some before giving an answer that appeared to please the pageant audience.
"We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage," Prejean said. "And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."”

So Miss California, kudos to her, was bold enough not to tow the party-line, while honestly giving her opinion about a question she was asked. Case closed right? Wrong! Read on from the media:

“Some in the audience cheered, others booed. The answer sparked a shouting match in the lobby after the show.
"It's ugly," said Scott Ihrig, a gay man, who attended the pageant with his partner. "I think it's ridiculous that she got first runner-up. That is not the value of 95 percent of the people in this audience. Look around this audience and tell me how many gay men there are."”

What exactly did Scott want her to say? I know, don’t answer that. What he wanted was for her to deny what she believes simply because it differs from what he believes, right? As much as I despise the concept, isn’t the idea of a beauty pageant just that, as opposed to a winner based on personal convictions about controversial subjects? How does Scott conclude that she doesn’t deserve “first runner-up” simply because of her convictions about gay-marriages? Besides, when did Scott become the authority for reporting empirical truth? 95 percent of the people in the audience don’t share Miss California’s values? At what point did Scott conduct the poll that determined that decidedly authoritative percentage? Did Scott “look around the audience” and tell us “how many gay men there [were] are”?

These baseless, brainless, and obnoxious diatribes serve no useful purpose (just like the pageants themselves), but, if we are going to ask questions of the women parading themselves before the world so that the world can determine who the most beautiful one is, then we must at least be willing to live with their answers whether they fit our stereotype and political ideology or not? There. I’m done. Now it’s your turn.


Ash said...

She gave a collected answer. And in truth, she has a lot of people -now- even defending her answer- saying that she was respectful and gave an honest answer. So I agree that it's silly for anyone to criticize her winning based on answer they don't like. But it's obvious, the judges themselves did not do that.

And to play just a LITTLE "devil's advocate" here: is it true that modeling or such contests and provoke exploitation? Yes. But is that the full reality behind it? No.

Modeling, really, is about fashion and art. Designers need models and it's SO much more than "looking hot." I can guarantee that the judges didn't look at the contestants in bikini's and ask themselves who looked sexiest for "society's image"- they judged whether or not the model chose a bikini, or outfit that shaped them properly. Again, the fashion.

I could on- but I will simplify it to this: One of the reasons I like Tyra Banks (who was the star of Victoria's Secret for a long time) b/c on her show- Amer. Next Top Model- she emphasizes to the girls that modeling is NOT about just looking pretty, if you can't open your mouth and sound smart, be smart or have character then you WON'T get the job! She's even extended the show to include plus size models, a transvestite, etc. and is respected.

Miss USA/American contests are a huge "resume winner" for any of those girls who will con't to model. (Yes, for Mr Trump, they're all just nice to look at but that's another issue). Modeling really is an art form- and while it CAN exploit people (esp. moms who put their 5 year olds in it)- it can also be taught right. For these women, it does have redeeming value: scholarships, money to pursue dreams, and ultimately it teaches them that unlike miss s. carolina last year, you actually have to have a brain to achieve the award.

But hey- to each his own. wink. Hope you're having a great great week!

Joseph said...

Ash, thanks for your comments. I'll venture to speculate that the "devil's advocate" in you doesn't share my disdain for beauty pageants, and I'll concede your point that "to each his own." I will however tell you that your argument in favor of the real reason behind "modeling" is not strengthened any by the fact that there are male models and somehow the process for finding them doesn't involve these exploitative pageants where they parade themselves half naked across the stage in front of millions of tv viewers and answer half-brained questions from people who really have no business asking such questions. But... to each his own! :)

Ash said...

male models, half naked? you've seen the ab & fitch ads right? i'm sure the process for that isn't much different. wink. ha ha

Joseph said...

Ash, with all due respect I think we've gotten a bit off point. My original argument was my disdain for beauty pageants and the gratuitous exploitation of women. Last I checked there are no 'beauty' pageants for men.