On the shaming of Miss USA pageant queens, and ‘The Hunger Games’

June 17, 2013

Have you heard? At the Miss USA  Pageant, both Miss Utah, Marissa Powell, and Miss Alabama, Mary Margaret McCord, gave ignorant or incoherent answers to questions related to current events? Everyone’s talking about it (See: here, herehere, here, here, here, here, etc, etc). And two of those linked pieces come from Joe Coscarelli of New York Magazine, who decided to write short pieces ridiculing each.

Some of these articles, if not the actual video clips (which I’ve decided to not help circulate here directly, though they are embedded on some of the above links), have been circulating like crazy on my Facebook wall. Ha ha! Isn’t it funny how dumb these stupid know-nothings are? I must share their ignorance across the internet at once!

I, however, have a different reaction to this. I feel like picking on a pageant queen is not only a waste of energy but also just playing into the Hunger-Games-like system the establishment has created. It’s not Miss Utah or Miss Alabama”s fault women are systematically underpaid or that the NSA is spying on American citizens without a warrant; it’s the fault of government and corporations. Miss Utah and Miss Alabama are just the latest child sacrifices from Districts whatever seemingly used by those in power to distract us from real enemies like the big banks or our completely ineffectual Congress.

And no, I don’t mean there’s necessarily a deliberate literal conspiracy happening here. But every time the news wastes our time on mind-numbing celebrity sensationalism, that’s less time they’re talking about prosecuting the Wall Street bankers who profited off of destroying the American economy or the blatant unconstitionality of the NSA surveillance practices, or the unequal pay for women in this country. And isn’t it funny how a woman has managed to become the target of scorn in the name of a feminist issue like equal pay for women? Funny how that works out, huh.

Now to be fair, even I’ve fallen into this trap before. Several years ago, I’m pretty sure I wrote an article on this very blog skewering then Miss California, Carrie Prejean (why do I still remember her name? Argh!). And I might have also mocked 2007’s Miss Teen USA Miss South Carolina over her now infamously incoherent answer. So I’m not going to pretend I’m innocent here in this public shaming by–let’s face it–mostly over-educated liberals, of beauty pageant contestants who are asked these sorts of serious political questions for no other reason than to make a shallow, despicable contest over nothing other than which barely legal girl a bunch of random swarmy yahoos happens to think is prettier seem less despicable.

But I guess I realized what my real problem is with this after a Facebook friend suggested, “I think you’re reading too much into having a few cheap laughs at the expense of someone who deserves it.” Watching mostly over-educated liberals shame these girls is one thing. but I don’t think the news media should be using their power and influence to have cheap laughs at a 23-year old girl who merely aspires to win a beauty contest.

The reason this is such a cheap and lazy story for news outlets is it feeds off the audience’s own smug sense of self-satisfaction. Everyone gets to congratulate themselves for knowing more about at least one thing than she does. What an accomplishment! Good comedy makes targets of the powerful. I guess where I disagree with my friend is I just fail to see in what way these girls deserve it.

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Miss USA contestants on teaching evolution

June 23, 2011

The Miss USA pageant was held this past weekend, and one of the questions put to the contestants was whether they thought evolution should be taught in schools:

Actually, there’s at least a fifty percent chance that that was a clip from a GOP presidential candidate Q&A. Regardless however, it demonstrates a mind-boggling poor education on the part of the young contestants as well as the pageant committee themselves, considering there’s no debate over whether scientific facts should be taught in science classrooms.

Now some bloggers have been overjoyed that one of the few contestants who could be said to have actually supported the teaching of evolution in her answer, Miss California Alyssa Campanella ended up winning the pageant. I find this position overly optimistic given how poor even her answer was:

Well, I was taught evolution in my high school growing up, and I do believe in it. I mean, I’m a huge science geek, so I like to believe in, like, the Big Bang Theory and, you know, the evolution of humans, you know, throughout, you know, time.

While certainly one of the better answers, that doesn’t say much. Even this answer is asinine. Evolution and the Big Bang aren’t ideas one just decides to believe; they’re facts. I don’t “like to believe” in gravity; I simply recognize that gravity is an undeniable fact.

And while nobody really takes the idea seriously that the women who win these pageants are “role models,” I resent any organization that would attempt to present such woefully uneducated as role models for anyone. Not a single woman in this pageant is intellectually qualified to be a role model for anyone. The one legitimately positive thing I’ll say about the winner, Alyssa Campanella , is that she endorses the No on Prop 8 campaign, a welcome change from two years ago when former Miss California Carrie Prejean made headlines when she expressed her disapproval of marriage equality:

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News From Around The Blogosphere 5.17.10

May 18, 2010

I'm Miss USA now. Suck on that, bitches!

1. A Muslim and liberal declared Miss USA – This is a nice step up from Carrie Prejean. Of course the right-wing loonies who last year defended Carrie Prejean as having a right to her idiotic opinions have now come out swinging against the new Miss USA Rima Fakih. Fakih is an Arab-American (are we still doing the hyphen thing?) of Lebanese decent. Of course the right-wing pundits are all claiming liberal bias again because Miss Oklahoma Morgan Elizabeth Woolard lost after saying she was “perfectly fine” with the new Arizona immigration policy.

Of course once again, their over the top outrage seems to coincidentally be against someone who just happens to not be white. So what did my personal favorite insane righter-winger Debbie Schlussel and other pundits say about this trivial little pageant decisions?

– Conservative radio host Debbie Schlussel blamed Fakih’s win on a supposed “politically correct, Islamo-pandering climate” in America and labeled her a “Lebanese Muslim Hezbollah supporter with relatives who are top terrorists.” [5/16/10]

– Right wing pundit and Fox contributor Michelle Malkin ranted that “Fakih’s cheerleaders are too busy tooting the identity politics horn to care what comes out of her mouth” and that “the Miss USA pageant didn’t want to risk the wrath of the open-borders mob.” [5/16/10]

– Conservative author Daniel Pipes, who was briefly appointed by former President George W. Bush to the U.S. Institute of Peace, opined that “this surprising frequency of Muslims winning beauty pageants makes me suspect an odd form of affirmative action.” [5/16/10]

– Fox News’s Gretchen Carlson complained that Woolard’s “informed opinion” may have cost her the crown, and said that Fakih may have won because we live in a “PC society.” [5/17/10]

I’m taking bets on how long it takes for them to call into question her nation of origin and start demanding to see her birth certificate.

2. Vatican’s latest legal strategy – I’m not sure if blaming others and denying any responsibility technically qualifies as a “new” strategy though. Now they’re denying priests at American dioceses are employees  of the Catholic Church and denying what their own “crimes of solicitation” document says in plain Latin, that they are under no obligation to report sexual abuse among their ranks to the proper authorities. This is the equivalent of, say, Toyota denying the defective vehicles were theirs.

3. Another great article on Texas School Board’s war against education

Cynthia Dunbar does not have a high regard for her local schools. She has called them unconstitutional, tyrannical and tools of perversion. The conservative Texas lawyer has even likened sending children to her state’s schools to “throwing them in to the enemy’s flames”. Her hostility runs so deep that she educated her own offspring at home and at private Christian establishments.

And that’s just the first paragraph!


Miss California to be stripped? Miley Cyrus a fag enabler?

May 5, 2009

Since both of these stories revolve around anti-gay bigotry, I figured I’d combine them.

First, Miss California USA Carrie Prejean may be stripped of her crown:

Pageant officials Tuesday said they are looking into whether Prejean violated her contract by working with a national group opposed to gay marriage and by posing semi-nude when she was a 17-year-old model.

Pageant spokesman Roger Neal said Tuesday it appears Prejean has violated the 12-page contract all prospective contestants were required to sign before competing in the November state contest. The contract prohibits Miss California from making personal appearances, giving interviews or making commercials without permission from pageant officials. In the last 10 days, Prejean has made televised appearances at her San Diego church and on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage, a group opposed to same-sex marriage.
The contact also contains a clause asking participants to say whether they have conducted themselves “in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards.” As an example, it asks if they have ever been photographed nude or partially nude.

A photo of Prejean wearing only pink panties with her back turned to the camera appeared Monday on a gossip blog.

Prejean on Tuesday fired back that she has done nothing wrong and that she suspects she’s being hounded for her anti-gay-marriage stance.

“I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos.” She added, “On April 19, I chose to answer a question during the 2009 Miss USA pageant in an honest and personal manner that expressed my views of the long-established definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. Yet my comments defending traditional marriage have led to intimidation tactics that seek to undermine my reputation and somehow silence me and my beliefs, as if opinion is only a one-way street.”

Okay, I actually have to agree with her that considering she’s a model and considering she had to even be in swimwear for the contest itself, I always find it extremely hypocritical of beauty pageants to suddenly object to modeling that is only slightly more risque, especially considering there’s absolutely nothing wrong with nudity or with the human body. Now I’ve also heard from some reports that there’s even a topless shot of her, but again, so what?

HOWEVER, ya gotta love the classic Fundie persecution complex. Whether the rules are fair or not, she signed a contract fully knowing what was expected of her. She violated her contract. She KNOWS she violated her contract. And yet, it’s just the evil gay agenda inquisition that’s out to get her. Ugh!

And then there’s this Miley Cyrus thing. I never thought I’d ever compliment Miley Cyrus but I’m proud that despite her seemingly squeaky clean, Christian-friendly image, she recognizes the absurdity of opposing marriage equality. Her position on this issue came out when she tweeted her support of Perez Hilton regarding Miss California discussed above. And now, the bigots are coming out of the woodwork to attack her:

OneMillionMoms.com, an anti-gay website brought to us by the American Family Association, has issued an action alert against tween sensation Miley Cyrus because she sent out a Twitter message in support of marriage equality.

Essentially, their charge is the same as that of the Westboro Baptist Church, that she’s a “fag enabler.” Only for some reason, the WBC are viewed as evil fanatics because they picket funerals while these assholes are just seen as conservatives with a differing political view because they pick on little girls. Classy.

Can you imagine if these douchebags would actually devote their time to helping to solve real problems in the world like war, feeding the hungry, Global Warming, or religion? What a waste! Miley, you get a gold star from me.


Miss California graduates from dumb to dumber at Liberty U

April 30, 2009

Miss California herself, Carrie Prejean was invited to speak at Liberty “University.” And beginning at the 3:10 mark of this following video, she discusses her “thoughts” about being persecuted by the evil Judge Perez Hilton.

What’s particularly funny is that her story lacks internal consistency from sentence to sentence. She says she suspects it was all a setup to get her (probably from that darned “gotcha media.” You betcha!) and then explains how Perez Hilton was randomly selected from having his name chosen from a hat and that he didn’t even know who his question was going to be directed.

And then at the end comes that great line:

“It’s all about tolerance.”

Yes Miss Prejean, it is about tolerance. But not just tolerance for bigots like yourself but also tolerance for those who aren’t you and who might wish to share the same rights and privileges you take for granted.

But as I’m sure Mr. Stein knows, the wise Ferris Bueller once said:

“It’s understanding that makes it possible for people like us to tolerate a person like yourself.”

And I guess if it weren’t for people like her who fought for Prop. 8, Maine wouldn’t be about to become the fifth state in the union to allow full same-sex marriage. So keep up the great work. Maybe try on some white robes and hoods. Just a thought.