Cultural Interpretasians: The Miss Universe Pageant

May 22nd, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

I once had, I guess you could say, the privilege of tagging along with a friend to the Miss Universe pageant, where my friend was a preliminary judge. As you can imagine, it did wonders for my self-esteem to be surrounded by Amazonian women in Lucite mules who, when asked about their greatest flaw, would answer, “I’m too perfect,” one after the other.

Just so my girlfriends who are reading this don’t hasten to the razorblade and Jenny Craig, I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret. THEY HAVE CELLULITE. Like, bitchin’ cellulite. All of ‘em. The cameras may be adding ten pounds to the contestants’ faces, but those lenses are doing wonders for their butt-dimples.

The Miss Universe 2007 pageant is currently underway in Mexico City, and the contestants have already paraded around in their “national costume” for the preliminary judges. This event is as fascinating to me as the Samoans were to Margaret Mead. What do these national costumes say about self-perception and the cultures they represent?

I’m no anthropologist, but here are a few interpretasians.

“That white boy Nick Carter has nothing on this Latina. Endangered coral? Check. Random sea sponge? Check. Flying dolphins? Double check. Salvemos los delphines!”
“Fuzzy things make me happy. Can I give you a hug? How about if I braid your hair? You’re so pretty. My mouth feels like cotton, I could really use an Evian and a lollipop. Which way is it to Burning Man?”–Miss Thailand
“Heeeeyyy. This competition thingy is really harshing our mellow. Where can we get a few cold ones? Who’s up for foosball? Game of quarters? Or should we just make out in that corner and let you guys watch?”

“Allow me to present a haiku, poetry of my people:
flash my kimono
only to reveal more and
more kimono ha!”
“We, the Philippines, are tired of being everybody’s bitch in the Pacific Rim. How do we make a bold international statement? How do we scare the bejesus out of our bullying neighbors?”

“Mimes, my friend. Freakin’ mimes.”

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