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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Myspace Migration: Burdening Our Beauty Queens

Current mood:complacent
So, we have a new reigning Miss USA. Miss Smith, Miss Tennessee... whatever you want to call her, she's now Miss USA. I have to admit, I completely missed the pageant. Suprising, as it was number one on my list of ever-growing priorities. Even still, I really had nothing to worry about - it was front page news this morning. Well, sort-of.

Really, the fact that we have a new Miss USA was more of the back door entrance to being able to -once again- slam the former Miss USA's (Tara Conner) lack of virtues. Maybe I'm getting lax in the area of social responsibility as I'm aging.... but, I just have to wonder, "Who Cares?" This woman was lauded for something that she had very little to do with herself - her beauty. She was born beautiful and because we're a society who places a large importance on physical appearance, there's a forum to allow her to be celebrated for it. I don't begrudge her that for a minute - but, I'm a little lost at how we think being beautiful on the outside is somehow supposed to translate into a higher redeeming value. Remember the phrase, "Beauty is only skin deep?"

She's not a role model - at least, I don't think she is. I'm not teaching my children to look up to her, or any other beauty queen. I'm not knocking beauty pageants... I realize that there's redeeming value for the participants. However, I'm not sure it's healthy to place them in a "role model" light - for anyone. I don't want to teach my children that just by virtue of being beautiful, you're better. You're not. Tara Conner, Rachel Smith - they were BORN with their "talent" of being beautiful. They had nothing to do with their cheekbones being the way they are, or the size or shape of their eyes. Beyond lots of time in the gym, good dieting, and perhaps a plastic surgeon... it was really just a genetic lottery that they won. Why would I teach my children to look up to that? Aspire to that?
And when did beauty translate into values? I'm going to go back to that, because I can't help but wonder if we're burdening our beauty queens by laying on value codes that may not be their own. Why would be shocked if we crowned a Miss USA who ended up being an alcoholic or a drug user? Why would we blink an eye if they ended up selling/posing for racy photos - I mean, after all.. they're just showing off that beautiful body that we've already awarded her for, right? Is it somehow less beautiful oiled up and put in a scene with 2 goat-herders, a skimpy Heidi outfit and a goat doing the yodel-eh-he-hoo than it was in the bathingsuit, oiled up and walking across stage? They won for their body, but they can only use their body in ways we find appropriate. Hmmm...

There is no danger of me ever becoming a beauty queen. I highly doubt that it will ever be something my children would be interested in, or really suited for. And I'm grateful for that. This whole thing seems slightly hypocritical to me. What do you think?

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