Tag Archives: beauty pageants

Miss America Ethics: Know Your Place, Stupid Beauty Pageants!

Public policy experts all…

Your place, as anachronistic, culturally embarrassing meat shows, is to be as unobtrusive as possible while feminists and people of taste figure out a nice, fair way to wipe you off the face of the United States. But until that happens, you have a duty not to be deliberately annoying, not to wave your ignorance like it is a bloody shirt, and also not to make the undeniably stupid people who watch you even dumber than they already are.

Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself..

Two nights ago, we were treated to the finals of the inexplicably still-televised Miss America beauty pageant, the grandmommy of them all. The traditionally risible interview portion of the competition, which has for as long as there were turnips on earth featured open-ended general questions conducive to virtue-signalling blather, usually features puzzlers like (from a list of such queries)

What do you think is true beauty?

What would you do differently if you could start your life over?

Who is your greatest role model or hero?

What does it mean to be a beauty queen?

If you could be granted one wish, what would it be?

What is the greatest challenge facing humanity?

What makes you happiest?

…and so on. The idea once was that anyone with a mouth is capable of answering these questions relatively competently, and they are not traps or invitations to attract criticism. Oh, once in a millennium a finalist might answer “What would you do differently if you could start your life over?” with, “Well, I would sure skip all those years I was a crack whore,” or “If you could be granted one wish, what would it be?” by saying, “I’d wish for boobs the size of El Capitan!,”  but these are pretty easy questions to ace. They are also well within the intelligence levels and expertise of the pageant administrators, judges and the contestants, so employing them isn’t political, or divisive.

A beauty pageant should not be divisive or political, just like an NFL game shouldn’t be divisive or political. I shouldn’t even have to write that.

Miss America 2018 decided to ditch the tradition of one question per finalist in the final round of competition, and ask two questions of each. The final five questions to the last five finalists were all “serious,” we were told.

Here they are, with the answers they evoked, and my observations. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Popular Culture, Science & Technology, U.S. Society

Beauty Contest Ethics, Diversity Ethics, Bizarro Word Ethics: The Miss Teen America Pageant

Teen USA finalists

Bizarro World Ethics is a useful if mind-melting concept. Since Superman Comics’ Bizarro World contains a backwards—literally—civilization in which everything is the opposite of the way it is on Earth, the ethics are necessarily backwards too. What is right, in a culture where the populace not only says hello for good-bye, but also eats the plates while throwing away the food? Can wrong be right in such a weird place? Does right become wrong? Or is the whole idea of ethics impossible in Bizarro World?

Beauty contests today are like Bizarro World. They are inherently anachronistic, embodying the correctly discredited concept that beauty equals virtue. They also are based on the fiction that beauty can be objectively qualified and compared with sufficient precision that a decision holing that  gorgeous Contestant D, who is Asian and brunette, is objectively more beautiful than gorgeous black Contestant C, gorgeous Hispanic Contestant B, or gorgeous white Contestant A isn’t arbitrary and completely subjective. Bodybuilding competitions and dog shows have the same problem, as do the Academy Awards. For pure, obvious stupidity and dishonesty, however beauty contests beat them all. This is why the topic has inspired some terrific film satires, like “Smile,” “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” and even “Little Miss Sunshine.”

We all know—don’t we?—that beauty contests are really just excuses to give guys a chance to gawk at scantily dressed pulchritudinous women. This is what makes Miss Teen America the most icky of the breed: the contestants are scantily dressed women who consent to being lust-objects for men the age of the their fathers and grandfathers. What is ethics in such a spectacle? The whole enterprise is constructed of unethical components.

The Miss Teen USA pageant was pronounced ethical, for example, after announcing they would discontinue the swimsuit segment of the competition, replacing it with a parade of the contestants in athletic gear, because the swimsuits made the young women look like sex objects and eye candy.  You know…not like this:

missteen outfit

Muuuuch better. No dirty old man is going to be salivating at that.

But over the weekend all that good publicity for pretending to be about something other than rewarding lovely teens for being walking pin-ups on national television collapsed when this diverse. multi-color, multi-ethnic  group of beauties..

2016 Miss Teen

…was narrowed down to these five finalists, the best of the best, the fairest of them all, after all the numerical scores were tallied and checked and double-checked:

Miss-Teen-USA-2016 five

This caused some unhappiness among the diversity police, as you might imagine. Tweeted super-model Chrissy Teigen, who looks like this..

Chrissy-Teigen---SI-Swimsuit-2015--15-662x968

“Wow how can we choose from such a diverse bunch”

Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Gender and Sex, Race, Social Media, The Internet, U.S. Society

Ethics Hero: Miss America Contestant Theresa Vail

theresa-vailMiss Kansas, also known as Theresa Vail, would be a standout in current 2014 Miss America pageant just based on her unusual set of experiences and talents: the 22-year-old student at Kansas State is a member of the Kansas Army National Guard’s Medical Detachment, a serious bowhunter, a former motorcycle racer, an  M16 marksman, a boxer, an auto mechanic, and an opera singer.* What is ethically of interest, however, is that she wore a bathing suit that  revealed her two tattoos.

This just isn’t done in beauty pageants, not that many contestants are the tatooing sort. Tatoos have traditionally been regarded as ruining a contestant’s “perfection,” and aesthetically, I have to agree: a beautiful woman is still beautiful with something scribbled on her side, but it is hardy an enhancement. But Vial, in announcing her decision on her blog, made a compelling ethical argument for letting her tats show:

“What a hypocrite I would be if I covered the ink. With my platform, how could I tell other women to be fearless and be true to themselves if I can’t do the same?…But I am who I am, tattoos and all.”

That is as good a definition of integrity as you will find. Brava.  Where integrity lies, you can usually find honesty, trustworthiness and courage as well. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Heroes, Religion and Philosophy, War and the Military

Hold On, Taylor Bigler: First Get Into A Bikini And Answer The Question, THEN We’ll Discuss Whether It’s Fair To Mock Miss Utah

By all means, her views on social policy should determine her place in the MIss USA competition...

By all means, Miss Utah’s views on social policy should determine her place in the Miss USA competition…

Every year some columnist or internet wag attempts to perpetuate the dumb bimbo stereotype and get cheap laughs in the process by calling attention to a beauty pageant contestant’s incoherent or fatuous answer to a question in the interview round. On rare occasions, the ridiculed response is jaw-dropping and genuinely funny, appropriately triggering fears that “Idiocracy” is upon us. However, the nonsensical curvy-contestent answer flagged by Daily Caller entertainment editor Taylor Bigler had a perfectly good excuse: the question was impossible to answer. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Gender and Sex, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture, The Internet, U.S. Society

Comment of the Day: “Is There A ‘Naked Beauty Pageant Queen’ Principle?”

Another un-crowned beauty queen, Carrie Prejean

Another un-crowned beauty queen, Carrie Prejean, Her agenda—opposing gay marriage— was not approved by her sponsors.

In his “Comment of the Day,” Alexander Cheezem expands on the various uses of beauty contest winners, adding perspective to my original post about the teen beauty queen forced to resign—unfairly, according to some—because of her starring action in a porn film. In the end, he left me pondering on an ethics quiz question I wish had never entered my mind: Should a beauty queen whose function is to promote the use of bleach enemas as a crackpot treatment for autism be disqualified because she made porn films? That sounds like the kind of query Captain James Kirk asked evil computers to make them blow up on the original “Star Trek.”

Here is Alexander’s Comment of the Day on the post, Is There A “Naked Beauty Pageant Queen” Principle?

“I am, for various reasons, not exactly an impartial commenter on this issue. While only tangentially related, my story does involve some of the issues involved (and tie into something I mentioned in another comment thread), so I may as well share it.

“Last summer, I had the… privilege, if you can call it that… of attending a four-or-five hour “conference” dedicated to glorifying something called “Miracle Mineral Solution” (“MMS”) as an autism treatment. For those of you who are uninformed, MMS is a 28% solution of sodium chlorite — a powerful industrial bleaching agent. Prior to use, parents mix this with citric acid to form chlorine dioxide (another powerful bleach, most commonly used to whiten wood pulp during the manufacture of paper). The parents then make their kids drink it, bathe in it, an take it… err… via enema. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Comment of the Day, Health and Medicine

Is There A “Naked Beauty Pageant Queen” Principle?

Beauty queen above, secret twin below?

Beauty queen above, secret twin below?

We know that teachers who have performed in porn movies are toast, once their performances surface online, and that teachers whose images, showing them in their birthday suits, are easily accessible by post-pubescent students are not going to stay secondary school faculty members for long. But do similar rules apply for beauty pageant winners, whose physical assets are not only barely hidden anyway, but the primary, if not sole reasons for their “titles”? Should they?

Let’s look at the dilemma facing Melissa King, the newly crowned Miss Delaware Teen USA. A porn site featured a video with a, er, key performer that both looked and sounded exactly like her, apparently showing Miss Delaware Teen USA doing all sorts of fascinating things on, over, and around an unclothed male actor. King denied that she was the performer (who references her participation in beauty pageants on the video), but gave up her crown anyway. Looking at the photos, either she has also triggered the Lying Beauty Queen Principle, or has a twin sister in the porn trade.

One website covering the story polled its readers regarding whether it should matter if a beauty queen has done porn. Stated in that way, it is a reasonable question. If  beauty pageants were like dog shows, and all that was being awarded was a prize for the most perfect physical specimen, it shouldn’t matter if the winner is a Nazi, a terrorist, a serial killer or a werewolf. The problem arises because these pageants include titles. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Gender and Sex, Professions, U.S. Society

And While We’re On The Subject Of Adults Exploiting And Warping Toddlers, Let’s Talk “Toddlers & Tiaras”

Wait! I’ve got an even better idea! How about having toddlers in fake boobs and butt pads FIGHTING EACH OTHER!!!

Bill Verst has asked a Kentucky court to grant him sole custody of his daughter Maddy Verst, now 6, who gained infamy on TLC’s vile reality show“Toddlers & Tiaras” when her mother had her appear in a kiddie beauty pageant dressed as Dolly Parton, with a padded bra and butt pads.

Good. I hope he wins.

This is nothing short of child abuse, and represents exploitation of the very young for an adult’s own (sick) gratification. It may not be quite as despicable as having toddlers duke it out at day care, but it’s close. A court-appointed psychologist agreed with Verst that his estranged wife’s sexualization of their daughter showed she was an unfit parent, and recommended that a judge make Verst the girl’s sole custodial parent.

I’m sure it will not surprise you to hear that Maddy’s Mom, Lindsey Jackson, doesn’t get it. She told reporters, Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Citizenship, Family, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, U.S. Society