Monday, November 17, 2008

Someone tell me, why do I think beauty pageants are creepy?

Because I'm so confused. Every time I try to think of a reason, I also think of something to invalidate it. Like:

me: they're creepy because they celebrate outer beauty and beauty is just something you're born with and have no control over.

me2: but the ability to do math? that's also sort of a talent you're born with. and math contests aren't creepy.

me: yes, but math you have to work really hard at.

me2: but Miss Provo works out 2-3 hours a day. and if working out for 2-3 hours a day isn't work, I don't know what is.

me: yes, but math is actually useful.

me2: well, beauty is useful, too. people enjoy things that are aesthetically pleasing. when you have beautiful people working for you, people like them better and then they like you better and you can do your job better. (or sell products better or teach classes better or finalize deals better.) So beauty is highly useful, too.

my bff thinks that they're creepy because they're selling beauty as sex.

that might explain part of it, but there is still no light bulb clicking on in my head that says AhHA! THAT's it!

So y'all tell me. What about beauty pageants is so dang creepy?!


bff said...

Misquoted again (WHEN will this madness END?):

Creepy = Competition over sexuality. Beauty is part of it, but sexuality is so intrinsically tied to the business of it--think of Little Miss Sunshine (best. movie. ever. just about): one point that movie makes is that little girls should not be sexualized. Notice: little girls are (as per your Lily) BEAUTIFUL. But "beauty" pageants sexualize the contestants. Little Miss Sunshine exposes (pun!) the hypocrisy of the pageant that sexualizes *all* the little girls but the organizers who encourage this skankyness only like it within these arbitrary and bizarre *limits,* so that the grandpa's overtly sexual correography is taken as this big "scandal" when actually the *Whole Thing* is totally FUBAR.


YOU HAVE GOT TO READ SOME SERIOUS FEMINIST THEORY VERY VERY SOON. Not to convert you but to clarify all these issues you are just happening upon in your relative youth (you love it when I play the age-and-experience card).

nevertheless: *mwaaah*


Kerry said...

"because they're selling beauty as sex"

um... isn't that sort of what you just said again?

it was a *paraphrase,* which means *my* version of what you said, not an exact quote.

maybe a better paraphrase would have been, "they're pretending it's about beauty when really it's about sex?" (which is what I meant when I said the "selling" thing)

mwaaah right back at you. you old, old, old lady.

Kerry said...

actually--in case any students read this--I think it was technically a *summary,* not a paraphrase. because my version was trying to sum up what your version said in shorter form. paraphrase is the same length or longer than the original quote. direct quotes are lifted directly from the text.

now stop reading my blog and go do your homework, students!

SpAz said...

Just look at their eyes.

Nothing else needs to be said.


Kerry said...

yeah, that's why I chose that picture. it's like, the camera captured their *true soul.* ;-)

Anonymous said...

good, good, Keep this up! I am going to do an ethnography on "Beauty Pageants: The Social Construction of Beauty" feed back is good!
I also think they are creepy because they try to quantify and objectify something that is totally un-quantifiable and subjective. And because all the girls are sickly-sweet, with no sense of humor, and this is their version of 'fun'...and they try to brain-wash you. And! they make you do a really cheesy dance.

Kerry said...

my bff also mentioned that "sameness" was an issue--like, there is only ONE type of beauty and if you don't fit the mold, you LOSE.

with my math metaphor, that would sort of be like having a competition between concert pianists, mathematicians, and chefs to see who was the "best." obviously there is more than one way to be talented/beautiful.

which could explain a big chunk of my creeped outedness.

Jaime said...

Here's another beauty queen story for you:

My favorite line from the story: Miss Constitution must be "graceful, flexible and most important of all not without sparkle."