Tag Archives: Miss America

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

58 Comments

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

22 Comments

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