Ever since I got through puberty and hormones stopped controlling my life, I haven’t been very interested in beauty pageants. It was all so tacky: the greasy, lecherous emcee, the schmaltzy orchestra music, the contestants standing on a tiered stage in bikinis or evening gowns, in crooked Barbie poses (one knee forward, one leg straight, hand on hip, or something like that) with lacquered permasmiles. Dippy “save the baby seals” speeches. Yodeling as a talent.
But I’m thinking of changing my policy for the Miss Universe pageant, since reading an AP story about it. First, Miss Sweden has dropped out because the Swedes says the competition is “degrading to women and weighed down by scandals” (They’re figuring this out now?)
Miss Sweden is a bit different than Miss Texas. First, there’s no longer a swimsuit competition, and women can apply for the position like any other job after heavy criticism from feminists. Plus, while Isabel Lestapier Winqvist is some kinda modeled out on her website, in the photo above, the only people getting hard-ons for her are orthodontists. Go Sweden, crooked teeth and all! Oh yeah, right. Dropped out. Bummer.
But Miss Jamaica is the contest’s first Rastafarian, dreadlocks and all. However, in Miss Universe context, her Rastafarian message “promoting the message of peace, love and unity throughout mankind” sounds just as dippy as anything to escape the vacuous lips of Miss Texas.
But fear not, Miss Tanzania, Flaviana Matata, is an electrical technician and has a shaved head.
Then there’s the contest’s rep: “risque photos and public drunkenness have increasingly landed Miss USA and Miss Universe contestants in the tabloids.” Now see, I thought all pageants were the same. Turns out they’re ranked on a continuum of tawdriness that I knew nothing about!
However, the Miss USA girls are where the real action is.
- Miss Nevada USA Katie Rees: smutty pics
- Miss New Jersey USA Ashley Harder: knocked up
- Miss USA, Tennessee Tara Conner: rehab
Call me a contrarian, but if those girls can out-Britney Britney, don’t they deserve the title?
Despite the disappointing lack of depravity in the Universe (heh heh), I just might turn in for the costuming alone:
Miss Mexico Rosa Maria Ojeda was forced to change her gown to a fruit-and-vegetables motif after Mexicans were outraged by the bullet-studded belt and images of hanging bodies and firing squads in her skirt’s original design, which referred to the bloody Cristero war, a Roman Catholic rebellion in the 1920s. Miss Jamaica donned a Bob Marley T-shirt to honor her country’s culture, while Miss Ecuador, Lugina Cabezas, appeared holding a fake, bloodstained banderilla, a colorful barbed stick stuck in the back of bulls during bullfighting, outraging animal rights groups.
Far as I’m concerned, the pageant is going about this all wrong. Don’t emphasize that Miss Universe 2000, Mpule Kwelagobe ($5 if you can type that one without a gaffe) helped build a pediatric AIDS hospital, or that Miss Universe 1981 Irene Saez was a mayor in her native Venezuela.
No. Go the other direction. Degrading? Sure! Let ’em wear bullet-studded belts and images of hanging bodies and firing squads. Let ’em hold bloodstained sticks. Hell, let them bring heads on pikes!
And scandal? If the Tour de France has taught us anything, it’s that guys like Floyd Landis are tedious as hell. Better to run the pageant like the SNL All-Drug Olympics, and let the ruthless wheels of social Darwinism turn as they will.
This is the championships of the UNIVERSE!! I say, let it rip.