The TV news reporter looked his serious look hard into the camera and solemnly stated, “In a story that is gripping the nation…” We were ready to hear of a terrorist attack, the death of a major statesman, a family kidnapped by aliens while trout fishing (the family, not the aliens). Instead we got, “…Miss Pennsylvania has given up her crown claiming the Miss USA pageant is a fraud.”
Really? That’s gripping? That’s captivating? That’s breaking news? To be fair to the beauty pageant followers of America, there was a lot of news this week from the Miss USA competition.
Six of 11 young women were not able to name the Vice President of the USA. One of those not able to answer correctly, Miss Nevada, explained, “We were up really late.” Miss Rhode Island, the ultimate winner of the contest was one of those asked and answered correctly. Thank all who count on that one. It probably scored an extra point for her.
Miss Ohio’s ideal woman, an inspiration to her, the perfect woman not hampered by reality but created through a movie producer’s vision and the film that features a woman as a role model to all women, was a hooker in a movie about a hooker living the good life on somebody else’s nickel. A good looking hooker, a Pretty Woman even, and an interesting twist on the Eliza Doolittle story, but still, just a hooker. In our opinion, My Fair Lady was not only a better role model but had better music too.
Not all the news came from the pageant. Some came from the news covering the pageant. During the same Q&A session that provided us with prostitution as an aspiration, once again ultimate winner Miss Rhode Island scored bonus points. She answered the question, would it be fair for a transgender to compete in the Miss USA competition with, “… so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life, I do accept that because it’s a free country.” That statement earned her the comment “(her) victory was for more than good looks; it was for common sense and dignity” from the Boston Globe. Of course it is only common sense that someone needs to surgically alter oneself to achieve happiness while also undignified to try to provoke happiness from within. They left out freedom.
Then there is the big man himself, the Donald, trumping all the news claiming he’s going to sue Miss Pennsylvania for calling his contest a fraud. Those are strong words according to the gazillionaire and if he doesn’t get an apology he’s going to take his ball and go home. No, that’s not true. He never said anything about balls, but if he doesn’t get an apology he’s going to sue her. Maybe even if he does.
Taking one’s ball and going home is nothing new for Miss USA. The whole competition is based on not playing well with others. Started in 1952, the Miss USA pageant was created over a tussle between the Miss America pageant and swimsuit sponsor Catalina. Not to be left without its share of publicity, Catalina started its own Miss USA and Miss Universe to boot. More women, more swimsuits.
It’s just all too gripping for us, and not the least bit petty. And on top of it, we think we’ll hold off going trout fishing for a little while. Just in case.
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?