Not the young lady, but the pageant, the organization, and all the anachronistic nonsense that surrounds it. In a world where women continue to fight for equal respect as scientists and political leaders, these beauty pageants have become more and more a grotesque reminder of what we were, rather than an image of high ideals for which one should strive. Rather than inspiring respect and admiration, the discussions surrounding the various misdeeds of recent participants comes across as a lame Saturday Night Live skit from people who came through a time warp from Mayberry. Take some of the comments from today's Yahoo news story:
"ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Miss New Jersey, trying to keep her crown in the midst of an alleged blackmail attempt, released photos Thursday showing her "not in a ladylike manner."
The pictures include one showing what Polumbo said was her boyfriend apparently biting her breast through her shirt, another of Polumbo in a limousine wearing jeans with her legs spread in the air, and another of her in what appears to be a Halloween costume dress holding two small pumpkins up to her breasts."
Oh, the horror of it all!!! Her boyfriend biting her fully clothed breast! My goodness, the next thing you know he'll want to do that to her (gasp) NAKED BREAST! AAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!
Legs spread in the air. In blue jeans no less! Didn't her parents teach her anything? If you are going to spread your legs in the air, you need to do it on a fall Saturday afternoon while wearing a scanty outfit emblazoned with your team logo while being held aloft by a young man in a similar outfit. Sitting on the young man's hand is OK as well, so long as you yell mightily. Just never in blue jeans!
And holding pumpkins up to her breasts? Didn't we just go through this? No boyfriend's mouths, no pumpkins, no anything anywhere near your breasts! After all, pumpkins are melons...
Poor Polumbo tried this lame defense of common sense:
"It's not in a ladylike manner. I'm not a robot. I'm a human being."
No, the minute you prance around the stage for the judges to observe your bodily shape, you cease to be a human being, and become granddaughter of the Stepford Wives. Miss America is an object. Amy Polumbo was a person.
There were also photos of Polumbo drinking, but the 22-year-old college student said she was of legal age when they were taken.
Oh my god, she had a drink, hide the women and children! What planet are these people from? Have they been to a high school, no scratch that, junior high school party lately? If I had a 22-year-old daughter and all she did was drink, I'd thank my lucky stars.
"Polumbo's lawyer, Anthony Caruso, said that a person or persons claiming to be The Committee to Save Miss America threatened to make the photos public unless she resigned her title."
Save Miss America from what? Living a normal healthy life, which involves, among other things, flirting with your boyfriend, having a drink now and then, and making costume jokes at Halloween? It sounds to me like the CSMM is a group of people clinging to "the good old days", or the revisionist history whitewashed version of it, in rejection of the progress of modern society. I suspect they will go the way of the Shakers.
"The directors will decide whether the photos violate a morals clause in the contract that Miss America hopefuls sign when entering the pageant or its state contests."
MORALS?!?! What morals forbid flirting with your boyfriend, or dictate the proper positioning of blue jeaned legs? What morals say one cannot have a drink? Jesus didn't turn the water into grape juice.
The article, mercifully, ends with some sanity:
"At least two of the board's five directors said this week they don't consider the photos to be a big problem. One board member, Mark Soifer, described the photos as 'kids having a good time at a party.'"
Well Mr. Soifer, I suggest your group render a swift, unanimous, verdict in favor of Ms. Polumbo, complete with a critical word or two for CSMM. Otherwise, Miss America and everything associated with it will become more of a joke than it already is. On second thought, that might not be such a bad thing.