Tuesday, May 29, 2007

File This Under "Just Weird"...

I'm not sure I understand the fascination with beauty pageants (aside from the, you know, swimsuit contest). Apparently, I'm not alone, as the Miss America pageant has hit upon hard times, and ratings spiral downwards for others.

Now, tho, it seems they've become political commentary:
This year's contest was marked by controversy, with a handful of Mexicans booing (Miss USA, Rachel) Smith in the run-up to the finals because of what they saw as U.S. unfriendliness toward illegal immigrants.

Miss Sweden, Isabel Lestapier Winqvist, unexpectedly pulled out of the event because of complaints in her country that it degrades women. Sweden has won the Miss Universe crown three times in the past.

In another hitch, Miss Mexico was made to change her outfit for the regional dress contest after her original dress, decorated with brutal images of rebels in a 1920s religious uprising being hanged or shot, drew accusations of poor taste.[...]

[Also, this year's pageant] attracted protesters wearing white dresses splashed with fake blood and sashes proclaiming "Miss Juarez", "Miss Atenco" and "Miss Michoacan" in reference to places in Mexico made infamous by killings or sexual abuse of women.
The contest is run by Donald Trump, so undoubtedly, the cynic in me sees "ratings ploy" blaring overhead like a casino sign.

Still, that a reasonably placid event like a beauty pageant should have not one but four distinct political protests is unheard of in the annals of controversial events. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, or in fact, nothing at all.

I tend to lean towards the latter, but that's how I feel about beauty pageants in general.

Should the pageant continue to reflect politics, however, history may look to this as it's most appropriate political statement:
USA falls on her ass.