Why I Won’t Make Fun of Miss Utah

If you think the acronym “NSA” is shorthand for the 2011 romantic comedy No Strings Attached then you have probably heard about Miss Utah screwing up her onstage question at the Donald Trump-owned Miss USA pageant. If you haven’t heard about it, here is a clip, and also who are you and why are you reading this blog?

Rough.

Now, I’ve noticed that people are taking either one of two positions with this Miss Utah situation (you’ve entered the situation room! What does NSA stand for? Who is Benghazi? I DUNNO!):

They either A.) Have zero sympathy and call her a bimbo, or B.) Give her all of the sympathy because stringing together a coherent sentence on national TV is very nerve wracking.

But I’ve found a third option because I don’t see the deflated breast implant as half empty or half full.

Maybe Marissa Powell isn’t very smart, but she doesn’t have to be. She was campaigning for Miss USA (and probably for a show on FOX News), not Secretary of State.

Or maybe she is smart and that 30 second clip wasn’t an accurate reflection of her intelligence.

Regardless, as an audience, it’s not fair that we watch a pageant where you won’t be taken seriously if you’re under 5’9 without heels and throw them a question on gender inequality (perhaps a subject that pageant girls from Utah aren’t super familiar with?) then tell them to just shut their mouthes and stick to being beautiful when they screw it up.

Surely, there was a beautiful woman up there who could have answered the question eloquently, but don’t eviscerate Miss Utah because she couldn’t. If you want the real answer to that onstage question, then why don’t we open up the pageant to some Bryn Mawr student who doesn’t know the proper form for a squat.

Either way, pageants aren’t a great scale to measure a woman on because being smart or beautiful doesn’t determine the worth of a human being. Apparently, Marissa is a singer/songwriter, an ambassador for a charity that brings rehabilitation medicine to Haiti, and has a terminally ill little brother, so maybe she’s not so bad and we can all chill the eff out on publicly humiliating a 21 year-old. At least she’s out there doing something other than crack. I don’t love pageants, but they are certainly better than crack.

Sooooo, I guess that third option I was talking about earlier is we all enter into a nationwide suicide pact for allowing Donald Trump to decide the criteria for the ideal woman? That sounds right, I think.

Ugh, feminism is hard.

Here’s another idea: instead of making fun of someone, we use all that excess energy to burn TMZ to the ground for posting stuff like this:

Screen shot 2013-06-18 at 11.20.11 AM Screen shot 2013-06-18 at 11.20.40 AMWho’d you rather, guys?! Miss South Carolina !!TEEN!! or Miss Utah?

Rather what?

Hire as the CFO for your Silicon Valley start-up?

Be the godmother and role model to your future children?

Put your penis in?

Right!! Sorry!! That last one is all that matters! Thanks, TMZ!!!!

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Neon Bracelet DIY

As I’ve mentioned a couple times before, I have a pretty sordid past in pageantry (do you want to take a minute with that alliteration?………….. okay, let’s move on). As I have since retired my crown (my imaginary crown that I never won because I’m a feminist, you guys) I now have a surplus of tacky pageant clothes and jewelry that can pretty much never be worn again (except when I dress up to watch Eden’s World when it premieres on Logo in 2 weeks… or as I affectionately refer to it as, Before They Were Porn Stars).

I love a good sexualization of a 6 year old. But, who doesn't?

The jewelry I bought for pageants has been especially useless– it turns out I can’t think of one occasion besides a debutante ball that would require me to wear fake diamond earrings from Claire’s that hang so low they brush my shoulders ever so softly like a tiny baby whisper. My rhinestone bracelet is also something that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in my wardrobe, so I decided to spruce it up with a little nail polish (which turns out to be the perfect painting implement for my petite hands paws…. a moment of silence for that batch of alliteration).

Sure, this bracelet now has the unmistakable scent of ethyl acetate, but it’s so neon and pretty, and when I get compliments on it I can be all smug and say “oooh thanks, ya, I made it,” which is, as we all know, the only reason why anyone would put their time into a DIY project–the smug factor.

True Life: I Was a Southern Debutante

I went through a weird phase my first couple years of college where on paper I was essentially some sort of Mississippi debutante. I had the same personality and same sense of humor as I do now, (at least I think so. Have I changed since I hit it big moderate with all my blogging success efforts?) except I did things that a young woman raised by Delta Burke might be interested in.

It first started when I was in high school and decided that I wanted to go to college in the South. I ended up going to James Madison University in Virginia for a hot, hot second, but got the hell out because I couldn’t bare to hear the words ‘sweet tea’ anymore. I know some Southerners who are quick to point out that their kind are not racist or homophobic, and I won’t counter that. I’ll just say that there was a Confederate flag memorabilia store next to the Victoria Secret at the mall. And at an orientation event about diversity, a kid got up and said into a microphone to a couple thousand freshmen that homosexuals were pedophiles (which was met with exactly half the crowd cheering and a quarter of the crowd booing). Bright side, there was a Chic-Fil-A on campus (which, turns out, they give a lot of their money to anti-gay groups. I’m not trying to make any kind of point here). Anyway, living in the South was not for me, so I transferred to Emerson College in Boston.

I definitely don't belong in the South, but I do have a soft spot for Texas. That's my friend Riley and me on a BOAT. In all my years in NH I have never, ever partied on a boat.

In the span between starting school at James Madison and ending with junior year at Emerson, I dyed my hair blonde, joined a sorority, and entered some pageants. And I did it all with a navel piercing.*

To preface this, I did meet some of my best friends in Emerson’s AEPhi, and embarrassingly enough, I met girls who will be in my Muppet themed wedding one day (embarrassing because it’s cliche to say that, not because I want a Muppet themed wedding), so I don’t regret anything.

I blurred out some faces to protect their identities. Plus I don't want to give their faces free advertising. The one on the far right is future bridesmaid, Michelle. Also, the editing in this photo is against everything I stand for, and I didn't do it. I just needed to say that for my own peace of mind.

That’s me and my pledge class on the night we first started pledging or as I remember it, the last time all the sisters didn’t hate me. Without getting too into the traditions and stuff, there were a lot of rules and dumb stuff to memorize, which I… did not. By the time I graduated, most of the sisters hated me less. (How can you hate someone who has so many funny voices up her sleeve?! Have you heard my Cher impression)?

I was just not cut out to be in a sorority. I’m a lone unicorn– independent. I like to back out of any and all social functions at the last minute. Those qualities are not conducive to being a good sorority sister since to be in a sorority you are expected to socialize. Bleccch.

Then I did pageants, which you can read all about in this post. Another thing I was not cut out for.

Who is that person???

Shortly after this pageant, I started to move out of my Mississippi debutante phase. Right now, I’m in whatever phase it’s called when you live at home with your parents, wear sweat pants all day, and your main hobby is maintaining a blog and drinking by yourself. So, like, a very sad phase.

*It’s important to note that the navel ring has since been removed. 

My Dark Past in Pageantry

I have always considered myself to be something of a feminist. I was raised by a feminist (have my mom tell you the story of how she got her middle school to change the skirts only rule. It’s very Now and Then. I imagine my mom to be the Christina Ricci character who does not grow up to be Rosie O’Donnell. No offense to Ro’ but, like, c’mon, that was bad casting.), my views on anything regarding my lady bits is very feminist-y, and you know I voted for Hillary in the primary. Despite all this, I do have a track record of like, blacking out and doing something very un-Gloria Steinam like. Specifically, I have a dark past in pageantry.

My time in that world was brief- when all was said and done I had been in 3 pageants. I lost all of them so I think that was really feminist of me. I mean, I wasn’t trying to lose, but its the outcome not the thought.

To be honest I can’t really go all the way back to the day where I first became interested in entering pageants. I had always watched big pageants with my mom on TV so I guess we can chalk it up to the media and it’s ideal of beauty brainwashing me or something. I just remember wanting that crown, which is ironic because I feel like an idiot wearing one of those headbands that go around your forehead, so I can’t imagine why I wanted a moderately sized head piece covered in rhinestones-wait, sorry, answered my own question.

I had entered the preliminary local pageants that qualified you for Miss NH America, which is actually a great resource for college scholarships. I had entered with the only semi-truthful pretense of winning said scholarships, but again, I would say 80% of my motivation was a crown and knowing I WAS. THE. PRETTIEST!!! (Yo, I used to be one little chubber wubber, sometimes you need a little validation).

I can’t even explain to you how unprepared I was for this whole ordeal. Not unprepared in the sense that I showed up in an old one piece Speedo for swimsuit, I’m not out of touch with reality. I was unprepared in such a way that I would have to alter my personality in every way if I ever wanted to win.

To be a successful pageant lady, it seems to me (and now, correct me if I’m wrong here because since I never won I probably only think I know what I’m talking about) that you have to have a certain level of non-threatening diplomacy, which I have none of. To best illustrate how naturally non-diplomatic I am, I’ll tell you a story about how I almost got kicked out of girl scouts (Please note: the opinion of the following 8 year old does not necessarily reflect the opinion of this 8 year old 15 years later). Remind me to tell you the full version later, but I’ll try to keep this to all punchline, no set up. Basically, during a badge ceremony in front of all the parents, we were supposed to each go up and say our wish for the world. I had just found out what capital punishment was and thought it was a great idea (I was really afraid of OJ Simpson coming into my room and murdering me at the time). To my mother’s beaming pride, I said, “my wish for the world is that all murderers be executed by law,” (jk, she was mortified). I can still hear the crickets. My troop leader then proceeded to debate me on the subject (hey! I’m 8, leave me alone, I just have a rational fear of OJ!) and then said if I pulled something like that again I would be kicked out of girl scouts. I mean, I thought what I did had a level of kids say the darndest things precociousness, but I guess I have no self awareness.

Anyway, my point in all this is that I have a hard time giving non-threatening diplomatic answers when asked the hard hitting questions. Like during my first interview for one of the pageants I did. When asked who I would like to meet, living or dead, I panicked and said Steve Martin. This isn’t necessarily untrue, but like the second I said it, I knew I should have said Ghandi!

I spoke with another contestant after and asked what her answer was, and of course it was Jesus.

Jesus! How am I supposed to compete with Jesus!?

Answer: Steve Martin does not compete with Jesus as much as I want him to.

Overall, I began to realize that pageant gals need to have a level of poise that I just don’t have. I was hoping that people would find a pageant girl who does Cher impressions refreshing, but they in fact did not.

Now that I look back on it, I kind of can’t believe I ever walked around on stage in a bathing suit, and was like “hey, former pageant lady and 3 gay guys, how do I look almost naked? A 7.2?” Anyone who knows me kind of can’t see it either.

So to distract you from the fact that I have no real ending or point to this post other than what you would have already guessed (that I’m a laughable pageant queen who kind of hated every minute of it), I leave you with the idea that somewhere there is a video of me singing my talent, “Stupid Cupid.” To give you an idea of how embarrassing that video could potentially be, here is a picture of me performing it.

I just. I can’t.