You know, it’s been a really long time since I thought about pageants.* Yes, every once in a while we see a beauty queen get shamed for some pseudo-controversial picture and everyone shakes their head in mock disapproval – but pageants themselves? I don’t tend to give them much mind; they seem too silly to expend feminist energy on.
Boy was I stupid.
When I was clicking around my television Sunday night I landed on the Miss Universe pageant and I was transfixed. I guess I forgot how utterly ridiculous and gross these things are. But it occurred to me that a pageant where women are parading around – and literally being judged on how they look in a bikini – could be feminism’s best friend. I mean, what proves the existence of nationwide sexism better than the Miss Universe pageant (or Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, etc)? Just a thought.
Oh, and for fun – here’s the winning contestants final question and answer. (Hint: It’s not feminist.)
*I wrote about them a bit in The Purity Myth, but only in terms of how the beauty queen fall-from-grace fits into the virgin/whore dynamic.