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“There she is, Miss America. There she is, your ideal…”

Previously, Miss America was an idiot. This year, she’s a former pole dancing champion. Well, as least she’s going for the gold, eh?

The media is really laying into the Miss America competition this year for once again uber-failing at being a respectable scholarship program for talented women.

Can we really be surprised, though? I mean, at this point the Miss America competition can be pretty much summarized as the Victoria’s Secret fashion show with more talking, less ambiance and no superstar musical performance. After last year, it’s pretty obvious that the whole “scholarship program” part is just a formality. I guess that admitting that you’re really just a harvester for self-involved girls looking for a little extra fame is probably bad for business.

According to the Miss America website:

“Rich in history and social significance, the Miss America Organization is a not-for-profit organization that has maintained a tradition for many decades of empowering American women to achieve their personal and professional goals, while providing a forum in which to express their opinions, talent and intelligence.”

Umm, yeah, and I’m an administrative assistant and not a secretary. Let’s just call a spade a spade and a glorified fashion show what it really is.

Empowering American women does not mean:

1) Building up high standards for standard American women by glorifying the minority of women who are middle to upper class, thin, tall and “beautiful” by media standards.

2) Choosing an “acceptable” woman from each state to devalue in a Playboy-esque photo shoot that stresses neither their non-sexual talents or their intelligence, but instead portrays them all as common whores.

3) Feeding into the stereotype that all beautiful women are sluts by not doing thorough background checks on contestants, allowing for secret skanky skeletons to come out once the contestant wins.

Congratulations to the Miss America pageant for single-handedly figuring out how to oppress all women. Not just the pretty ones, or the not so pretty ones, or just the big girls, or just the ones with low self-esteem. Oh no. They get the crown, banner and roses for figuring out how to do what the media has been trying to do for years now: devise a way to just destroy what the definition of “feminine” really is.

Miss America contestants are supposed to represent what it means to be a woman in their state and this country. Things like poise, grace, intelligence and cultural awareness used to be very important. Now, you just have to look good naked (or partially naked). All of the value of being a woman, of having ideas and goals and dreams beyond being a model or someone of importance – what happened to a time when these things were what mattered?

When I was younger, I didn’t watch the Miss America competition because I’m really not into hair and nails and shiny ugly dresses. But I do remember thinking that any black girls who made it on the show were like goddesses or princesses, and I looked up to them for acknowledged as the best. I imagine that some members of the Arab and Arab-American communities may have looked at this year’s winner Rima Fakih the same way (at least until we found out that she’s a whore).

But who’s to blame here? Can we blame the contestants, so glued to a mirror that they can’t understand or don’t care about how what they’re doing can affect not only their lives but the culture of being a woman. Well, we can, but that’s an empty battle for now.

I think that we need to hold the Miss America pageant committee responsible for the crap propaganda that they put out into the world. The most important thing about being a woman isn’t beauty and every beautiful woman is not willing to take her clothes off to prove it.

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Discussion

One thought on ““There she is, Miss America. There she is, your ideal…”

  1. This is all true, but can you really blame the organization when these women are willing to do it? It’s not like they said “Get naked or die!” It’s more like “Get mostly naked for a scholarship and some media exposure.” It’s still their choice, right?

    Posted by transego | May 19, 2010, 11:03 pm

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