Let me preface this post by putting in a few points on how I feel about the things you know are going to come up in this post. Personally, I think beauty pageants of any kind are revolting for so many reasons. I think that gay marriage should be legal. Just getting that out of the way before I go play the devil’s advocate..
Perez Hilton: Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?
Miss California (Carrie Prejean): Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. Um, we live in a land that you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage, and, you know what, in my country, and in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think that it should be between a man and a woman. Thank you.
I almost feel bad for the girl. While I don’t agree with her feelings on the matter, she’s 100% allowed to voice her beliefs and opinions (I really don’t want to resort to name-calling here), but I’m not sure a *BEAUTY* pageant is the right place. We’re not going to agree with eachother about everything and while life might be easier if everyone just agreed with me, I doubt it would be nearly as interesting and diverse (that was a touch of sarcasm, in case you missed it). If she had been asked this question even twenty years ago, would her answer have ‘cost her the crown’ as the news says it has? What bothers me about her choice of answer is the wording – that’s how she was raised. That’s how I was raised too, but in growing up and developing my own thoughts and opinions, I decided that gay marriage wasn’t a bad thing and that there was no good reason in my mind to stop gays from marrying. Her answer felt so .. pre-canned and robotic and rehearsed and unoriginal. People are arguing that it wasn’t politically correct – well, give me an answer that appeases everyone! Someone, somewhere was going to find whatever answer she would’ve given to that question politically incorrect or offensive. It was a loaded question. Pleasing Perez Hilton would’ve meant pissing off conservatives.
For kicks, let’s look at the requirements for the Miss USA pageant.
Throughout the USA pageant system, from the local level to the international level, contestants are judged in three areas:
Interview Competition – Pageant judges spend time with each contestant to learn about her successes, talents, goals and ambitions. Attention is focused on her poise, charm, self-confidence and her ability to communicate, as well as the substance of her answers.
Swimsuit Competition – Attention is focused on beauty of face, figure, physical fitness, and the confidence with which each contestant carries herself. Numerical measurements are not considered in the judging.
Evening Gown Competition – Each contestant wears a gown she has chosen for herself. Attention is focused on each contestant’s overall appearance, self-confidence, sense of style and the beauty she brings to the gown of her choice.
Emphasis all mine. Do we see anything in there about political correctness? Do we see anything in there about politically/religiously charged questions? No. The interview, as described above, is to be about her, “successes, talents, goals and ambitions.” Just sayin’.. The girl from the state that voted in a measure eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry and goes to a Christian college got a loaded question by a gay man about gay marriage. WHAT DID WE THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN HERE?!
End point – she couldn’t have saved herself from failure on that question, no matter what answer she gave. Of course, she’s since gone on a few interviews and dug herself a deeper hole (not to say that Perez isn’t doing the same all by himself either), but it’s clear that now she’s carrying an agenda when she could’ve been just another pageant contestant who gives a bad response to a question.