Random observation

So, Miss USA has been caught drinking. Donald Trump was this close to firing her but, gracious man that he is, decided to stay his hand, allowing her to stay as the symbol of... something or other.

I've got to say, I've never properly understood the purpose of the Miss USA and Miss America pageants, which are apparently both owned (and poorly brand-differentiated) by the Miss Universe organization. Cynic that I am, I thought they were nothing more than a (great) excuse to get a bunch of pretty/hot girls into a room and make them walk around in bathing suits. I never believed that the "values" portion of the competitions were the actual centerpiece driving the competitions; rather, they were an adjunct put in place so that older, red state-ish Americans that watched the shows could feel like good Christians while they compared Ms. Kansas and Ms. North Dakota's rack size. Either that, or they were put in place to make sure that the girls had enough poise and diction to string together sentences that weren't blitheringly stupid.

Lest you think that I'm just being a cynical prick, let me quote some relevant Wikipedia articles.

Re: Miss USA

Unlike the Miss America pageant, there is no talent section at Miss USA. Delegates are required to compete in Evening Gown, Swimsuit and Interview.

In more recent years, the importance of the interview portion of the competition has been greatly diluted. From 1975-2000, all delegates who made the initial cut were tested in an Interview competition in some format. As of 2001, the interview portion was taken away and only the "final question" left. The finals judges thus only hear the final candidates speak.

Re: Miss America

Since the pageant's peak in the early 1960s, its audience has eroded significantly. In 2004, when its audience fell to fewer than 10 million viewers, its broadcaster, ABC, decided to drop the pageant. "Broadcasters show data proving that the talent show and the interviews, the pageant's answers to feminist criticism, were the least popular portions of the pageant, while the swimsuit part still had the power to bring viewers back from the kitchen. So pageant officials - who still require chaperones for contestants when they are in Atlantic City - are thinking about showing a little more." [1]

With all this in mind, it strikes me as being a sad state of affairs when the population cares more about the substances that a girl ingests than the things that she has to say. Talk about female objectification. Anyway.

Side question: What is this "job" that Miss Universe did so poorly? Waving her hand in that weird sidewinder pattern? Someone fill me in.



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