Less than 24 hours after earning the crown, scandalous photographs had already surfaced of the 2010 Miss USA, Rima Fakih. She was caught on film participating in--and ultimately winning--a stripper pole-dancing contest hosted by a radio station. The usual excuses and justifications immediately circulated..."it's not like she was naked,"..."it was only in front of other girls, not men,"..."she's just young and having fun."
Still, she was pole-dancing for money. On camera. In public.
In the past decade or so, pageants have turned into a laughable parade of beautiful but vacuous, immature women who have taken the adolescent excuse of "everybody's doing it" to a new level. Apparently everybody has nude pictures on the internet, everybody is bi-curious, and everybody can perform a cross-knee release on a 5-cm pole (OK I Googled that one).
Listen up, chicas. EVERYBODY IS NOT DOING THIS!!!!!
(Though it seems everbody in the pageant world IS.)
But let's retreat a little. There was a time when pageants attracted wholesome, respectable, girl-next-door types, and a dwindling few still do. Miss America and America's Junior Miss are still scholarship programs that emphasize academic achievement and community service, and both still require a performance talent.
But not the USA pageants under the governing thumb of Donald Trump. Nope, these are pure T&A shows, complete with dramatic black and white 'promotional' photos of all the contestants in garter belts and fishnets stockings. Miss USA is obviously not stressing brains. So why even bother anymore with the judges' questions? Why ask Miss Whoever State what her feelings are on Arizona's new illegal immigrant show-me-your-papers law? Because you know what? She doesn't care. She didn't even know what it was until her walking coach told her about it the night before.
Come on, Don. Just be honest and rename the pageant. Miss Hot Piece is really what you're running here. We know you couldn't care less about these girls' political and social opinions, and neither could they. Let's not forget that a girl whose on-stage interview answer contained the phrase,"people out there in our nation that don’t have maps, and I believe that our education, like, such as in South Africa and Iraq, everywhere like such as," still managed to place in the top 5 of the Miss Teen USA pageant (owned and run by Trump). This pageant isn't looking for the next Attorney General or Pulitzer Prize winner...it's looking for Trump's fourth wife.
I admit, there was a time where I looked up to these women, dreamed of one day walking in their lucite stilettos. But no amount of cash and prizes could persuade me to vie for the title of one of Donald Trump's beck-and-call girls. A gilded studio apartment in Trump Tower would be to me akin to a year in the Bastille (look it up, Millennials!)
I'm not offended by Miss USA's antics. I'm bored by them. I am unimpressed by her completely predictable, generationally-typical plea for attention.