Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 5:11 AM
At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man before my time, I can remember when the girl who won the Miss USA pageant was the one who skyrocketed to fame. But such is our celebration of scandal and shame these days that fame goes not to the girl who wins, but to the one who creates a scandal or makes the biggest fool of herself.
Here, for example, is how I lamented this trend after last year’s pageant:
No doubt Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin, who did not even make the first cut, expects this sensational claim [about the pageant being rigged] to make her more famous than Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo, who actually won.
And she’s right. After all, Miss California Carrie Prejean became far more famous – after claiming that she lost the Miss USA 2009 pageant because she voiced opposition to same-sex marriage – than Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton, who actually won. Can you even remember the name of the girl who won last year…?
(“Contestant Claims Miss USA Is Rigged. Duh,” The iPINIONS Journal, June 8, 2012)
Then, of course, there was the Miss Teen USA 2007 pageant, where Miss South Carolina Caitlin Upton (no relation to Kate) became more famous than any contestant who competed before or since – despite being only the 3rd runner-up.
How? By rambling on like a two-year old (trying to explain why that wasn’t her hand that was caught in the cookie jar) in response to her all-important, final interview question:
[Question:] Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the United States on a world map. Why do you think this is?
[Miss South Carolina:] I personally believe, that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there, in our nation don’t have maps. And I believe that our education, like such as in South Africa and the Iraq, everywhere, like such as… And, I believe they should — our education over here, in the U.S. — should help the U.S., or should help South Africa, and should help the Iraq and Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.
Got that? Mind you, it was completely lost on most of those reveling in her ignorance and shame that her utterly incoherent response was, in fact, a perfect demonstration of why this question was so appropriate.
How? By channeling Miss Teen South Carolina 2007 when she answered her all-important, final interview question:
[Question:] A recent report shows that in 40% of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?
[Miss Utah:] How to create jobs right now, that is the biggest problem right now, and I think especially the men are seen as leaders of this and so we need to figure out how to create education better so we can solve this problem.
I’m afraid you have to see the video to fully appreciate how well she pulled off this trendy I’m-all-beauty-and-no-brains schtick. On the other hand, I suppose it’s better than peddling a sex tape to instant fame….
But she’s getting the last laugh.
Indeed, chances are very good that you know far more about Miss Utah (despite the fact that, in an uncanny bit of symmetry, she too was only 3rd runner-up) than you do about Miss Connecticut (despite the fact that she won). Hell, Miss Utah has been making so many TV appearances this week you’d think she were already making Kim Kardashian jealous….
In any event, it’s dismaying enough that women are still blithely competing in beauty pageants that should only appeal to 1950s male chauvinist pigs. But one can only pity their perpetuation of the traditional notion that the only beautiful woman worth celebrating is one who pretends she has no brains….
Contestant claims Miss USA rigged…