Northwestern Notes: Pageant reaches comical level with awkward political correctness

I have something to confess. For those who know me on a personal level, this may seem almost impossible to believe, but it is true. For I, like the Trekkies, Anime otakus, and X-Philes before me, love a form of entertainment that is embarrassing to admit.

I can't explain where this affinity is rooted and for a young woman who pays about as much attention to her appearance as a truck driver on a week-long haul. It might seem easy to understand why I am not too keen on allowing this dirty secret out.

As hard as it may be to picture, I am indeed one among the many masses who waits every fall to find out who will be the next banner-waver of hometown pride and star spangled regalia. There has always been a special place in my heart for that age-old test of wills - The Miss America Pageant.

Call it archaic, a waste of time, an insult to feminism or what have you, but for heavens' sake don't label it a beauty pageant. As I viewed this year's contestants parade before an audience filled with euphoric relatives, I couldn't help but laugh at the overt attempts of the producers to disclaim the same label that the pageant so proudly bore for so many decades.

It made me wonder if this was a sign that political correctness has finally reached an unbearably comical level.

Think about it, when America's most time-honored beauty pageant is forcing itself to attempt to conform to a set of rules that it can't even begin to comply with, there's definitely a problem.

The producers claim that they are "modernizing" the event, when in actuality they're just covering it with a new label. It seems that beauty queen is an undesirable title these days, so now they are pushing to call them scholarship winners.

Does anyone else see how absurd this is? What's so offensive about describing a pretty girl as a beauty queen when she is willing to strut in front of all of America with a two-piece glued to her butt?

Yes it is true that the contestants do receive money for competing, but why is it such a sin to come out and be honest about what is actually taking place? The basic "scholarship" most of them are given is a mere $5,000. I am willing to bet it barely covers the contestants' expenses.

Sure the girls have talent, are poised and have GPAs that could put many of us to shame, but it is ridiculous of the producers to even attempt to cover what is actually happening in Atlantic City. In essence why are these scholarships really being awarded?

If Betsy Sue from Podunk, Alabama didn't have teeth like a picket fence and skin that would make a Neutrogena model drool would she really be as likely to get that dough?

So until I see a Miss America who doesn't comply with the psychotic physical standards set by the people at Cosmo and other such great institutions, I am going to continue to dub Miss America her true title.

I am asking all of you to consider this: At what point does political correctness lose its power and become plain funny?

Write to Jessie at jerenslow@bsu.edu


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