Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Reason I Don't Watch Beauty Pageants

The Swedish Bikini Team. I wonder what's on their minds? Yeah, sure I do.

I've never liked watching beauty pageants. It's certainly not because I'm opposed to seeing attractive women, particularly if they don't have much clothing on. It's not because I'm necessarily opposed to the idea of seeing lots of women on display, assuming they've chosen to be there. The reason might best be illustrated by this quote from PZ Myers:

We really do have a screwed up culture. Carrie Prejean, Miss California USA, could publicly argue for continued denial of civil rights to gays on air, in a beauty pageant, and pageant officials were unperturbed. Now that semi-nude modeling photos of Prejean are emerging, they are considering revoking her title. So flaunting her bigotry is no big deal, but posing in lingerie makes them clutch their pearls and squeak in horror? When they themselves ask contestants to show even more skin while wearing a bikini?

I don't get it.


While I've never quite thought of it this way before, the reason I don't like these things is because they're designed by, and for, people who do get it. They're the people who think that there's a reason to choose the most beautiful among a bunch of beautiful things. They can't just enjoy beauty for its own sake.

I'm not surprised that their priorities are so ass-backward.


Dana Hunter said...

The hypocrisy doesn't surprise me in the least. What else can we expect of people ridiculous enough to take pageants seriously?

Now if only pictures surface that show Prejean in a menage et trois with lesbians... that would be poetic. And watching the pageant officials throw hysterical fits would be amusing. Certainly more so than the pageant itself.

Beauty pageants are incredibly useless anyway. Just a bunch of shallow people parading around with shallow ideas. Gah. Given a choice between that and Survivor, I'd have to plump for the latter. At least a few more brain cells might survive the onslaught of idiocy...

Cujo359 said...

Well, some of them are there for the scholarships ...

I'm not sure which of those programs I'd choose. It might come down to whether I could mute the TV.

As for Ms. Prejean's tastes, I bet if there is such a thing it won't take long to surface.

spincitysd said...

Cujo359 you forget our whole national discourse went haywire because a middle aged black woman's nipple appeared on broadcast T.V. for less than a second. The number of heads that exploded over Janet Jackson's briefly exposed boob was in the millions. The FCC went into overdrive, Congress held multiple hearings, the Corporate media flogged the "controversy" for weeks. Even the Intertubes went haywire with images of the offending mound of flesh.

There are several layers of unintended irony here though. First it is a bible-beating Christianist like Prejean not only participating in the ogle-fest that is Miss USA but she altered her body to get a leg up so to say on the competition. Chalk up an easy win for the sins of pride, greed and envy. Also chalk up an easy win for the sin of lust which all beauty contests pander to. What the hell else is the reason for the swim-suite competition?

Still it is socially acceptable lust or what passes for such a thing these days. Parading around the cat walk in a bikini top and bottom is O.K. Posing for lingerie shot is not O.K. Got to love the cognitive dissonance.

Even better is Ms Pejean's insistence on enforcing the law of god when it comes to the dreaded Gay but the blithe rejection of the the Christian ideal of female chastity when it prevents her from making a fast buck.

Still Ms. Prejean is nothing more that a funhouse reflection of our societies inability to come to grips with the fact that as the bloodhound gang once sang we are just a bunch of mammals doing like they do on the discovery channel. We gyrate between puritanism and voyeurism as a nation unable to deal with the fact that we participate in biology just like any other life-form on the globe.

Cujo359 said...

True, SpincitySD, irony abounds in this thing, as it often does when Christian moralists are involved. This just seems like another example of why religions are like Rorschach tests - what people get out of them says more about them than it does about the religion itself.

BTW, I haven't forgotten the nipple-slip episode. Even given how long I've been observing it, the ability of our culture to focus on the irrelevant and the bizarre at the expense of the things that really matter never ceases to amaze me.