Leave it to Trump to even further junkify the Miss USA pageant. First, let me be clear, I am an ardent opponent of beauty pageants. I think they personify everything feminist and out of balance between men and women and our cultural perceptions of each other in this country. That being said, I understand that there are young women who think that strutting around in a bikini on national television is the only pathway to fame for them. They might be right. If they aren’t too bright or talented in a real sense, and they get past their surgical prime, they might not get famous.
So the question arises “is getting famous a necessity for a happy, fulfilled life?” Obviously not. So why do so many young Americans think that getting famous for any reason is an ultimate goal, even if it is for bad, ugly reasons? What are we missing that our teenagers simply don’t understand, even on the most superficial level (the one they best understand) the concept of internal satisfaction? Of being happy with your life because you are doing well, are healthy, have happy relationships, a fulfilling job, good grades, a decent place to live, a halfway nice ride, etc. etc. I am guessing I am not the first parent in history to wonder why children don’t get what it took me a lifetime to learn.
But I digress. So the Miss USA pageant, as tacky and distasteful as it already was, is now promoting photos of the contestants in Victoria’s Secret ad type attire. Keep in mind that the previous Miss USA was de-crowned for tacky pix. The most humorous news bit of the week was watching Donald Trump explain why those pictures and these pictures are just different! His explanation was that those were “over the top” and his were very “artsy”. Wow, maybe we should nominate him to the Supreme Court! He’s got that first amendment jive down just right.
So what began as a demeaning display of faux femininity just progressed to way worse. How best can we reinforce our young men’s skewed ideas of what a woman should look like? How best can we undermine our young women and encourage anorexia, bulemia and bionic boobs? How can we create a set of expectations for our young people that ensures they will never be satisfied either with their un-famous lives or with each other? Just ask Trump.