A misty morning does not signify a cloudy day.
This morning I was bored and looked at the trending articles on the Miss USA Pageant, and was surprised at the outrage and disappointment expressed because Miss Indiana, the “thicker” woman who was referred to as looking like an “average woman” didn’t make the top ten or even win.
This irritates me, and, though I’m sure it’ll make me unpopular, I’m going to post about my reasoning. I think she finished exactly where she should have done. Miss Indiana is very pretty, and presumably excelled in many of the less-discussed components of the pageant in order to get to the top twenty.
That said, she was competing in a beauty pageant. I would not expect someone with a “normal” or “average” body type to win. I understand why it’s empowering to many that she competed; that said, I think it’s unfair to those women who are deemed “a bag of bones” or “too skinny”—the ones who made the top ten. These women work very hard to maintain their body type. They do it because it’s pretty, because it’s hard to reach. I’m not saying that Miss Indiana should have worked harder, or that she’s not a beautiful woman, I’m merely saying that her “normal” body type does not make her prettier or inherently better than the other competitors.
I think what also irritates me is the inequality. There’s such a pervasive belief amongst twitter users and other commentators that this woman with a “normal” body type should have gone farther in the beauty pageant, and perhaps even a desire that she should have won. I am irritated because this same line of thinking certainly wouldn’t apply to men. I highly doubt these women would want People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive to be someone with a “normal” body type.
People with accolades for beauty, musculature, etc are not meant to represent the normal, the average. They are meant to represent what is basically unattainable unless you work on a daily basis to achieve that goal. I don’t think Miss USA is an appropriate platform for women’s body image issues. I think Miss Indiana is gorgeous, but I think that many other gorgeous contestants looked better in their bikinis. I don’t think that’s a political statement, and I think we should work to not turn a beauty pageant into one.
I think we should spend less time concerned about women’s body image issues in relation to a beauty pageant, and I think we should also become more aware of the inequality between outcry for fair representation of female bodies and the complete lack of the same call for fair representation of the bodies of men.
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