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The Miss USA Pageant And The Politics Of Beauty

May 19th, 2010 | 7 comments | Posted by Jen

One of the most awesomely fake controversies of the year has got to be the decrying of newly-crowned Miss USA Rima Fakih–the first Muslim-American and second Arab-American winner of the pageant–as a “politically-correct” choice, and the hostility demonstrated primarily by the Right toward this idea of politics mixing with beauty. Because anyone with half a fucking brain knows that politics ALWAYS mixes with beauty.  Apart from a preference for facial symmetry, which has been proven in different scientific studies to be an objective and cross-cultural beauty criterion, humans aren’t born with an innate sense for what’s beautiful.  In other words, beauty is not so much in the eye of the beholder as it is in the thinking.  Our thinking, as in…our ideologies, belief systems, and politics?  Why people are bringing this up now as some kind of newfangled liberal invention is beyond me.  Was it not political that the first Eurasian Miss USA was only crowned in 1984, the first Latina Miss USA in 1985, and the first black Miss USA in 1990?  Did the fact that white chicks almost always took home the title of Miss USA in the thirty-plus years before that have nothing to do with politics, and, more specifically, the political notion that “American beauty” equals Caucasian?

Look, if Miss USA is getting more politically-correct, we should all be singing hallelujah.  Let’s not forget that these women still put Vaseline on their teeth to keep that crazy person’s smile on their faces and they prance around in bikinis and stilettos as though that’s a completely normal thing to do when half-naked in public, so a little swinging of the pageant’s politics toward something more progressive and a little less racist is a Barbie-heeled step in the right direction.

ALSO, just to reel this in from an overthinking place: Continue reading The Miss USA Pageant And The Politics Of Beauty

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