Friday, May 21, 2010
Miss Universe Organization: Or, Why I'm Glad to be a Freak
On CNN, Donald Trump just told me the reason I'm angry about Miss America contestants being shot in an uncompromising photoshoot is that I'm jealous. Now, as a woman, I am obviously livid. However, as a lolita, I am even more angry; excuse you, Donald Trump? I'm jealous?! Yes, sir. That's why I'm pissed that these brilliant, self-possessed women who are engineers and have careers that they worked hard for are being told that actually, you can't have any power in my world unless you take off your clothes.
Now, I find that interesting. As a lolita, I never feel more empowered than when I'm completely dressed, completely done-up, and looking entirely unreal (I've heard gyarus say that they only feel comfortable when they're entirely artificial). I find it hard to believe that there are women who feel like showing off their bodies is what gives them power, when it's the exact opposite for me. Who is right? Is it better to remove all layers of artifice and show your true, uncovered self to gain power from anyone who sees you, or to shut that side of you off from the world and empower yourself only by your own standards? Is it better to be a whore or a freak?
Personally, I'd rather be a freak. I'd rather know that I look beautiful for me, by my standards, even if those aren't the rest of America's (or any other country, for that manner). I don't wish I looked like those women. I love my body, but it's mine. My body is mine for me to treasure and to share whomever I see fit. Maybe someday I'd be interested in showing it to other people, but even if I did, it wouldn't be like that.
I also don't find it wrong to pose for photos in various stages of undress. I don't even feel it's wrong for women to do it lounging on beds in stilettos giving either Marilyn Monroe-smiles or smoldering come-hither looks. That's fine. There's art to that, if it's done right. However, I find that promoting a pageant that already comes under scorn in the minds of feminists in this way is not the best thing for their company or, more importantly, their viewers. I heard a higher-up in the company saying that if you go to their website, you'll see that some of the women are engineers or some of them are x or y, but guess what, Miss Universe Organization? The six-year-old girl who's watching the pageant with her family isn't seeing that. The young men who see advertisements on the subway or in magazines or wherever they're going to promote using these images don't know that, either; all they're seeing is yet another woman being objectified in her panties on a bed. I think that Miss USA could be an empowering powwow of feminine energy if it tried to be- I think it could set an amazing example if, in commercials, they showed these women doing this photo shoot, then get up, get dressed, and say "I do this because my body empowers me. You know what else empowers me? My career as an engineer." Also, I keep using the example of the engineer because I'm on the website now and can't find any information about these women outside of the bedroom. You go their their page and it's just a huge picture like the one above, with a quick bio of their name, age, and state, and then a link to buy their photos. Good job, Miss Universe Organization. Not only are you objectifying these brilliant women, you're keeping their accomplishments secret and making money off of them as well. Five stars and a thumbs up for you!
Good gracious, I am so glad I have alternative beauty standards. Otherwise, if I say these photos and actually CARED that society expected me to be like that, I'd probably be in the bathroom vomiting my breakfast up right now. Thanks America! As always, you're a peach!