Miss California nee Carrie Prejean is right to scream foul at the scalp hunters who want hers after the pictures of her clad in revealing pink drawers with her back turned to the camera in a suggestive pose ripped around websites. Miss USA Beauty pageant organizers wasted no time in very publicly saber rattling Prejean with the threat of snatching her Miss California crown away for violating the "ethical and moral" standards of the contract all contestants are required to sign.
What nonsense. The real issue is still that Prejean opened her yap and told beauty contest judge Perez Hilton what she honestly thought about gays and her rock solid devotion to her Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Since then Prejean has been the target of a protracted, noisy, and vicious campaign to tar and smear her.
Prejean answered a question that probably shouldn't have been asked. She answered it honestly, and she answered it after she pranced round nearly nude in a contest that is the ultimate in hype, hypocrisy, and female commodization. So whether she pranced around for racy photo shoots in her pink undies is irrelevant. A beauty contest is to crown a beauty queen not a moral, values, religious or atheist queen.
They win for one reason and one reason only. They are deemed the most gorgeous, not the brainiest, most charitable, religious, or non-religious, or any of the other feigned school girl virtues. To pretend they win for any other reason than having a pretty face, curvy figure, and sculptured legs piles hypocrisy on hypocrisy. To put it more plainly, plain women don't win beauty contests no matter how much they talk and act like Mother Teresa or Joan of Arc. In fact they're not going to get in the door. The notion that judges prize intelligence above curves is garbage. That quality has not or ever topped the femininity rating scale.
By contrast the prized values that top the ideal male masculinity scale for men are he-man toughness, shed no tears, show no feelings, or sensitivity. These qualities are false, phony and corrosive to men, but few would call them qualities that a male glamour contest judge would drool over. They look at their bods too.
As for morals, in years past, women who have posed nude, did drugs and beauty crowns. Their alleged misdeeds if they were ever caught stirred scandal way after the judges had plopped the Miss State, Miss America or Miss World crown on their head.
Feminists and Hindu nationalists demonstrated at the Miss World contest in Bangalore in 1996. Hundreds were killed in riots in Kaduna in northern Nigeria that left more than 200 dead when the Miss World contest was slated there in 2002. The contest organizers didn't miss a beat. They promptly high tailed it out of the country to London. The organizers and sponsors didn't utter a peep at the prospect that a woman was condemned to be stoned to death for adultery in Nigeria. The case touched off an international furor and ultimately the government backed down. The silence of the Miss World contest backer's was yet another testament to the competition's hypocrisy
As painful as it is for some feminist opponents of beauty contests to admit, beauty contests have been major steppingstones for many women to climb the business and professional career ladder. That's because there are still far fewer opportunities in business, especially corporate business, universities, the professions and the trades for women than men. When it comes to the top spots, it's still pretty much a good ole boy dominated world. And nobody says that the boys have to look like Adonis's in Speedo briefs to climb to the top power spots.
Halle Berry, Michelle Pfeiffer and Sharon Stone are textbook examples of former beauty queens who parlayed their wins into barrier breaking spots. They in turn were able to use their notoriety as chips to promote charities, social causes, and to raise tons of money for those causes. They got the eye and ear of a public and a media star and celebrity struck by beauty and glamour, even as they spout the delusional correct line that they admire the beauty queens for their smarts.
Prejean should scream, and scream loudly, that she's being slapped in the face with the proverbial double standard that holds that a woman who flaunts her body is somehow less moral, virtuous and fit to win a beauty contest. Or as she put it that openly mocks her Christian faith. If that's hypocrisy, it's hypocrisy she didn't make. May she keep and wear her crown well.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, "The Hutchinson Report" can be heard on weekly in Los Angeles on KTYM Radio 1460 AM and nationally on blogtalkradio.com
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