Tuesday, 18 May 2010

presenting the new miss usa

i'm not really a fan of beauty contests. in fact i pretty much hate them. just the whole idea of lining women up, and judging their faces and bodies - well, it doesn't sit well with me. my own preference is that, as a society, we focus more on our inner selves - more on our behaviour, our intellectual and spiritual development. and i think that everyone has something beautiful about them, so i don't get the need to compete to prove that you're more beautiful than others. then there are the issues around the "beauty contest" definition of beauty - have to be young, have to be tall, have to be unmarried and unsullied (nude photos tend to lose you the crown). further to that, so much of what is presented to us isn't natural beauty - rather, it seems to be a factor of how much money you can spend to surgically remove all your faults or to cover them with make up.

given that's how i feel about it all, i'm probably not the best person to be doing this post. but never mind, i'll do it anyway.

it appears that the miss usa crown has been taken by a lebanese-american, one rima fakih. not only that, but miss fakih identifies as muslim. now, while i hate beauty pageants, i respect ms fakih's choice to enter one, and certainly don't believe she deserves this:

– Conservative radio host Debbie Schlussel blamed Fakih’s win on a supposed “politically correct, Islamo-pandering climate” in America and labeled her a “Lebanese Muslim Hezbollah supporter with relatives who are top terrorists.” [5/16/10]

– Right wing pundit and Fox contributor Michelle Malkin ranted that “Fakih’s cheerleaders are too busy tooting the identity politics horn to care what comes out of her mouth” and that “the Miss USA pageant didn’t want to risk the wrath of the open-borders mob.” [5/16/10]

– Conservative author Daniel Pipes, who was briefly appointed by former President George W. Bush to the U.S. Institute of Peace, opined that “this surprising frequency of Muslims winning beauty pageants makes me suspect an odd form of affirmative action.” [5/16/10]

– Fox News’s Gretchen Carlson complained that Woolard’s “informed opinion” may have cost her the crown, and said that Fakih may have won because we live in a “PC society.” [5/17/10]

incidentally, the "informed opinion" mentioned above appears to be some kind of support for arizona's new immigration laws, wherein people can be stopped randomly by police if said police think they don't look like they belong there. and no matter how much i hate beauty contests, i certainly wouldn't use the language of ms schlussel:

Trump made a bigger deal with Miss California USA and her bimbo activities, when–hellooooo–it’s a bimbo contest. Now, Hezbollah has the chief USA bimbo.

wow, that's a much deeper level of hate than i could ever aspire to. actually, what am i saying? i don't aspire to it at all. i don't think ms fakih is a bimbo. if it was up to me, i'd rather she hadn't been in the pageant simply because i'd rather that there were no such pageants. but it isn't up to me, and i refuse to denigrate her for her decision.

but the all the comments above are not just denigration for her choice to enter a beauty pageant, they are deeply bigotted comments targetted at her for the temerity of winning it. pretty sick really.

(hat tip shakesville for links)


Brett Dale said...

The average American doesnt think like the avergae Faux News Journo.

Im sure if you asked the average american down the street, thery would say she won because she deserved to.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, I hope Daniel Pipes isn't insinuating that the choice of winner in top level beauty contests is in any way politically influenced? ;)
Ever notice that in Miss Universe/World, Miss USA invariably makes the shortlist to the top 10?