Shit and the Universe


God, I’m always apologising to you guys, aren’t I? Well I’m not going to this time, so there. Instead I direct you to this. Dear Kato got me out of a spot of bother and wrote an opinion piece I was supposed to do (and did it much better than I could have done). Read it. It’s terribly good. Then some massive fucktard wrote a sarky comment at the bottom of it. In good faith, how could I not respond? Oh, how we laughed.

It’s easy to get upset by small-minded mysogenistic couch-masterbators, but it’s even more gratifying to call them out as such but by making a comment they could not possibly understand. Note lack of response….

Head to Head Blog: Are Beauty Pageants Sexist?

Most of us are guilty of landing on a broadcast of a beauty pageant while channel surfing and sticking around for a while to put in our two cents over the standard of stunning women on display. Too much spray tan. I think she’s had hair extensions, or oooh sparkly tiara. But the pleasure often comes with the guilty twinge of knowing we are objectifying women. Are beauty pageants a bit of harmless fun or a set back for women?

Nothing wrong with showing off what you’ve got

Beautiful women from all over the world, proudly standing together on one stage; what’s so wrong about that? Even as a height challenged, heterosexual female, I have no problem saying that pageants such as Miss Universe are worthwhile competitions.

It gives many of these contestants a platform to increase their public profile; opening them up to great career opportunities and more importantly humanitarian work. The winner of the coveted title isn’t just awarded with a sparkly tiara, but also a busy schedule of social and charitable events, in particular for HIV/AIDS awareness.

They are not forced into entering or exploited; in fact last year’s Miss Columbia can vouch that contestants are encouraged to keep their panties on in front of the camera. And while the swimsuit event may be frowned upon by some, I think it shows us women who are confident. As long as they are healthy, I don’t think they should be criticised for looking good in a bikini.

And before we label all beauty pageant contestants bimbos, yes, there have been a few cringe worthy responses during final question rounds, consider this; even the most powerful and educated can have their words fail them under pressure.

Miss Universe has been running since 1952 and currently has contestants from more than 80 countries. It shows us that beauty comes in every colour and hopefully one day it will also include contestants of every healthy size.

– Melissa Leo, Video Journalist

Beauty pageants make a sport of judging women

First, a disclaimer: I have watched beauty pageants.

Actually it’s worse than that: I have watched and half-enjoyed beauty pageants, offering catty speculations from the couch about just how much of her measurements Miss Chesty owes to science and whether Miss Bimbo is playing dumb or really is as dim as a tealight candle.

But you know what? I felt dirty afterwards.

Beauty pageants sum up in one spray-tanned, diamante-encrusted, hairspray-soaked mess everything that is wrong about the way society treats its women and a reminder of just how far we have failed to come.

It is no longer 1854 (the year of the first modern western beauty pageant) or 1921 (the year of the first Miss America pageant, which marked the debut of the swimsuit competition). Women – in the western World at least – can work, vote, have children or not have children, marry or not marry, become presidents and prime ministers.

So why exactly are we still shimmying into tacky outfits, rehearsing bland answers to blander questions and having our bikini lines strategically waxed for the sake of a stupid title and a bunch of cash?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good for other people. I am not, as I type this, wearing a hessian sack and a wimple.

But beauty pageants take it too far.

Any woman who has ever walked down the street already knows women are too often judged by their looks. Beauty pageants take that ugly truth and make a sport of it, encouraging women to parade themselves for an audience like a herd of dozy-eyed heifers at the Royal Show hoping for a sash and a pat on the head.

– Kate Emery, Reporter

What side are you on? Leave a comment or let us know on Twitter

 

 

4 Comments

  1. KeepDreamingGreenQueens02:40pm Friday 27th January 2012 WSTReport AbuseSounds like Kate’s never won a beauty contest.

    Reply

     
  2. Lindsay03:20pm Friday 27th January 2012 WSTReport AbuseYou’re Hilarious KeepDreaming!. Subtly yet effectively just proved Ms Emery’s argument, which I’m quite sure you didn’t intend to. An accidental Genius. Ha!

  3.  

    Oh Bomber. I’m sighing as I type this. Either a thing is or it isn’t. I bet you think that calling an Aboriginal person a “boong” is racist if you think it is and totally not racist if you don’t. Your world sounds intriguing. It must be pleasant there. “If I think a thing is what I want it to be then it is”. Simple, really. Why the fuck didn’t I think of that?

    • Reply

       
    • Lara04:10pm Friday 27th January 2012 WSTReport AbuseI think they can be sexist but really if these ladies want to parade around then they should be allowed to they would, I assume know the kind of cristism they will recieve most likely from other women. My two year old has never seen a beauty pageant but you often find her “parading” around the house in her Little mermaid bikini, my high heels and one of her many plastic tiaras asking us how pretty she is, its scary but obviously a natural thing, she certainly hasnt learnt it from…

      1 Reply

      1. Lara04:15pm Friday 27th January 2012 WSTReport Abusefrom me… I think at least most of these beauty pageant women have healthy looking bodies unlike the catwalk models, starved looking actresses or Lady GaGa. You could have a worse roll model then Jen Hawkins. (for the record I am completely anti child pageants).

         

Ok Lara, I’m going to call you out here (although I’m a little scared that you are the Lara I know, in which case, please deny it and pretend I never wrote this. You are but a cipher, a way of getting my point across. I still think you’re awesome. Please don’t hate me).

You could have a worse role models than Jennifer Hawkins, sure, but you could also have many, many, many better ones. I’m sure models work hard. I’m sure not all really pretty perfect looking people can be models. But really? And it’s not about the criticism the pageant girls cop from women, Christ, we do it to each other All The Bloody Time (OMG? WHAT is she wearing??) It’s about building women’s value around how they look. It’s not about achievement, personal growth, the kind of person you are, it’s how you look in a bikini that matters.

I could wax lyrical about women’s body image, eating disorders, sexualisation of women and children, but I won’t. Sure, deep down we’d all like to pretend we don’t judge people, even in some small way, by how they look. We do. But by emphasising qualities that are not how you look in a bikini, we’re giving all our girls a chance to feel valued and special and aspire to much more than being a size zero and giving out blow jobs after school.

I take your point about little girls being little girls and that’s right. But I’d kinda be disappointed if a daughter of mine made her fortune off her arse/tits/sticky-through ribs and white teeth. Hawkins may have done “well for herself” but she’s cashed in on the easiest thing available to her. Hey, beautiful people make nice pictures. I like looking at them too. We all do. But there are more important things in the world. And beauty pageants ain’t one of them.

*Disclaimer: I have also watched beauty pageants. Also, if you are going to post some snarky comment about how I must be ugly, I’m not. Seriously. People ask me to pose in a bikini all the time**

**Possibly not true.

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About ohhellwhatthehell

I like gin, mittens and otters, not necessarily in that order. Here's some stuff I felt like writing down when I'm not chained to a desk writing other things for a living. Please use caution when using this site; there may be sweary words, cute animals and general bullshit. Don't say I didn't fucking warn you.
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One Response to Shit and the Universe

  1. kate says:

    i think it’s Lara Z. That is all.

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