Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Another Reason Not to Watch the Miss America Pageant

Cara Mund - Miss America 2018
How can there be a Miss America contest where "We are not going to judge you on your outward appearance"?
The quote is from Gretchen Carlson, the chairwoman of the Miss America Organization. I'm reading "The Bikini Contest Is Over, but We Are Living Inside the Beauty Pageant," by Bari Weiss in the NYT.

I think what Carlson meant was they're eliminating the part of the show where the contestants walk around in bikinis and high heels and the idea is to judge (or just admire) their bodies. They can't mean "outward appearance" more generally, can they? They can't switch to judging women by their insides! How would that be done? I know the contest always had a segment where the contestants were asked questions and had to show some intelligence, but a contest to see who has the most beautiful mind would not even be recognizable as a beauty pageant.
Savvy Shields- Miss America 2017

From the Bari Weiss colum:
The real reason the bikini contest was done away with is that it’s simply too explicit for our euphemistic era, where “strong” is the code word for skinny, and “healthy” for beautiful. Our culture hasn’t stopped objectifying women. We — men and women both — are just getting better at pretending it’s not happening.... Standing up on a stage in stilettos and tiny squares of nylon held up by string is just too gauche for 2018.
Betty Cantrell
Miss America 2016

Weiss gets onto the topic of all the things non-gauche women do for outward beauty. My favorite is: "We lie under fluorescent lights and hold our thighs open for strips of burning hot wax while we chat about the new season of 'The Handmaid’s Tale.'"
Weiss's conclusion: "I won’t miss the bikini contest a lick... But there was also something strangely honest about it."
I can't say I've ever watched the Miss America pageant. Too slow. But if I needed another reason not to, this is it.

Kira Kasantsev
Miss America 2015
Stacy McCain in On Courtesy and ‘Gender Equality’
Miss America is scrapping its swimsuit competition, will no longer judge based on physical appearance
Miss America is scrapping its swimsuit competition and will no longer judge contestants based on physical appearance, the organization announced Tuesday.
“We are no longer a pageant,” Gretchen Carlson, the first former Miss America to be named chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, said on “GMA.” “We are a competition.”
In place of the swimsuit portion of the competition, Miss America contestants will now take part in a live interactive session with the judges, according to the organization. . . .
Nina Davuluri
Miss America 2014

The organization is also getting rid of the evening gown portion of the competition and instead asking contestants to wear attire that makes them feel confident and expresses their personal style. The contestants will also discuss how they will advance their chosen causes, called “social impact initiatives” by the Miss America Organization.
“We’ve heard from a lot of young women who say, ‘We’d love to be a part of your program but we don’t want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit,’ so guess what, you don’t have to do that anymore,” Carlson said. “Who doesn’t want to be empowered, learn leadership skills and pay for college and be able to show the world who you are as a person from the inside of your soul.”
Ain’t that going to be a Nielsen ratings bonanza?

Yeah, Miss Iowa, tell us all about your “social impact initiative,” so you can “be empowered, learn leadership skills and pay for college,” bitch.

What? Did I actually say that? I would have used stronger language, but I’m not Samantha Bee, so I don’t get a free pass on the C-word.
Wombat-socho has "Late Night With Rule 5 Monday: Eunice Gayson, RIP" ready, sans FMJRA for now.

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