By now you have probably heard that former Fox & Friends news host, Gretchen Carlson became Chairwoman for the Miss America Pageant. Perhaps you even know that she herself was a former Miss America, winning in 1989 while representing Minnesota.
Ms. Carlson’s first item of business was to axe the swimsuit competition, which everybody heard, as well as the evening gowns, which nobody probably caught. In case you are wondering if I did my research I can authoritatively inform you that Ms. Carlson wore a nice one-piece pink bathing suit…and a very nervous smile.
Ironically, the swimsuit competition may have been the impetus for the pageant back in Atlantic City NJ in 1921. That year, Ms. Margaret Gorman was crowned the “Golden Mermaid” and paid a "handsome" sum of $100 for her efforts.
My initial reaction upon hearing this news was one of dismay. Darn, no more swimsuits, I thought to myself! I don’t really know where that reaction came from, it was just the first thing that popped into my head. It must have been instinctual or perhaps, using today’s lexicon, be part of my toxic masculinity.
But then the other side of my brain kicked in with a couple of tangible thoughts:
Once these thoughts cleared out the incorrigible ramblings bouncing around in my Neanderthal noggin, the matter faded away. Perhaps it is not such a bad idea to eliminate the bathing suit competition. In my humble opinion, which I am allowed to have, the deletion of the evening gowns might be carrying things a little far. Oh well, no sweat off my brow.
Then I ran across an article that quoted Ms. Carlson as saying "We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That means we will no longer have a swimsuit competition."
Huh? Bells went off in my head. A “beauty” contest that does not judge outward physical appearance?
With all due respect to Ms. Carlson, whom I admire, did she forget this is 2018? In this so-called “enlightened” age, we can’t agree what bathrooms people can use, are instructed not to use gender pronouns, and to let our children (with their under-developed brains) decide what sex they consider themselves.
Considering the event to be a competition rather than a pageant, or in essence removing the “beauty” from what has always been a beauty pageant, will surely open the barn door.
It won’t be long until poor Cosmo, born with all the usual male characteristics, will demand he be allowed to compete with the rest of the gals, because well, that’s the way he identifies himself at this particular time. When poor Cosmo doesn’t win, it will be because the judges were biased against his annoying masculinity. And that folks, will be the beginning of the end of the Miss America Pageant as we long knew it.
It seems to me most women, of all ages, go to great lengths to exhibit attractiveness. I often remark to my wife about young couples out for a date, the young lady dressed well and with a nice hair style…or at least combed. Then there is junior escorting her in jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt for the occasion, all the while cultivating twelve hairs on his chin. Having been a child of the 70’s and begetting three daughters, I have some personal experience with this.
Consider that the business of being beautiful is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Hair, fashion, and make-up commercials bombard us daily in nearly every aspect of life.
So, what is wrong with having a contest to see who might be the most outwardly beautiful? Never seems to be a shortage of contestants vying. There are competitions to see who's the best college football team money can buy. We also have television shows to see who is the most talented, the best singer, chef, or the best dancer. Imagine the uproar if the next contestant on “The Bachelor” looked like me.
But now, poor confused Cosmo is going to blur the lines. That is, unless Ms. Carlson does it first with her edicts. Are we really going to invest our time watching a beauty contest if Cosmo is given bonus points because he has a five-o’clock- shadow and an over-sized Adam’s Apple?
In addition to the double standard, Ms. Carlson might be bringing about the end of the event that arguably launched her career.