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Beyond the Pepsodent smile

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Posted: Friday, May 15, 2009 10:00 pm

When Miss California Carrie Prejean expressed her opposition to gay marriage, did she harm or help the Miss USA business?

(No one needs to be reminded it's business, do they? Mr. Trump?)

We noticed how much more interesting the Miss USA pageant was this year.

It's ironic that Saudi Arabia would choose a "beauty" pageant format to showcase it's Muslim values just as beauty pageants are falling into irrelevance in Western society.

Let's start on that tangent. There are very obvious contrasts between Miss USA and Miss Beautiful Morals in Saudi Arabia.

At American beauty pageants, pretty young women "tastefully" flash Pepsodent smiles and a fair amount of skin. Usually contestants struggle to answer, as inoffensively as possible, a few softball questions with loosely social or political overtones. Admit it - our pageants don't focus much on "inner beauty."

In Saudi Arabia, the young women are covered in public and judged on their devotion to their parents and the Koran. Presumably those devoted to Judaism, Christianity or a wide array of Western thinking would never be accepted as contestants. The Saudi Arabian pageant reflects the closed nature of Islamic society.

What does Miss USA say about us?

Well, we're more tolerant of free expression and immodesty in our young women but only to a point.

The bathing suit competition is a long way from Playboy magazine, but we're sure many Muslims are offended at the skin displayed at Miss USA pageants. Semi-nude photos of Prejean, taken years before the pageant, offended some Americans and may have violated the pageant rules. But they were tame by the standards of the Internet and the smut we allow in this country.

The limits put on implied sexuality are about right for most Americans. But what about the inner woman?

Prejean's intolerance of gay marriage offended gay rights advocates but was refreshing for those who share her point of view.

Americans don't dictate what our pageant contestants say about religion and politics. But apparently we're not completely tolerant either.

Pageant management found itself in the spotlight and didn't like it one bit.

But for the first time in a long time, the pageant made the front page. Americans, perhaps bored with bathing beauties, cared about a contestant's political views and judgment.

We hope Donald Trump, the celebrity real estate mogul who owns the pageant, will think about this. When he let Prejean keep her Miss California title, is it possible Trump asked himself: Why can't we have a Miss USA who has ideas and opinions? Even if some may disagree, isn't that part of what America is? Diverse, opinionated, smart, outspoken?

Heck, Donald, if you can get it right, there might be more money in it. And what's more American than that?

- Lodi News-Sentinel

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Welcome to the discussion.

11 comments:

  • posted at 12:43 pm on Fri, May 22, 2009.

    Posts:

    Lodi boy let me rain on your parade I’m not using the bible ,Buddhism or the Koran, especially the Koran as any one with a brain knows how Islamfeels about gays and the end result. No, when creation can occur in the rectum then you have an argument till then you have absolutely none, justan oddity of nature

     
  • posted at 10:36 am on Fri, May 22, 2009.

    Posts:

    That comparison is completely unjust. Marriage is between 2 people. Not a several. Most polygamist abuse their wives or brainwash them. Gays just want to make their love official in the government's eyes.Didn't Jesus say to love thy neighbor? Do you think Jesus would turn away in disgust at the sight of two guys/girls in love? Get your head out of the dark ages. The bible is not a weapon. That's why people have built their hatred towards certain groups. They select what scriptures they want to use to justify their hate. Most Christians haven't even read the bible in its entirety.

     
  • posted at 3:26 am on Fri, May 22, 2009.

    Posts:

    Wake up Lodi Boy!! If Gay marriage was legalized then it would seem thesystem would then be required to do the same for Polygamy or other shallwe say unusual relationships… If 2 people of the same sex can be marriedunder the law then who are we to say Joe Blo can’t have 5 wives all legalunder the law…

     
  • posted at 10:42 am on Thu, May 21, 2009.

    Posts:

    And for people who believe granting gays marriage rights would open the door to incest, bestiality, etc. - WAKE UP! Those things happen even without homosexuality.

     
  • posted at 10:41 am on Thu, May 21, 2009.

    Posts:

    You can tell her photographs weren't 'candid' as she states. I mean, does she always pose at every turn?For the gay thing - for some people that's like hearing her say "Whites should only be allowed to marry other whites." People used to think like that, now it's with a different group of people. Leviticus is outdated and written by man anyway. God is far above petty rules. God isn't human, so nothing disgusts him. He's the wisest entity of all the universe.

     
  • posted at 2:41 am on Thu, May 21, 2009.

    Posts:

    Well let’s beat the same old Horse a little while longer… The woman was asked a loadedQuestion by the sub-human Perez Hilton for one reason, to embarrass her and shine thelight on Gay marriage, Bad Idea!! Now we have a new front on the times and trials of being Gay!! ABC News this AM said Idol Shocker America not ready for openly gayStar!! Are you kidding me, have they never heard of Elton John?? And one of the Very best front men, Freddie Mercury of Queen, arguably one of the best rock bands ever..One of these days the Gay movement will realize if you keep rubbing peoples nose in you movement you will never succeed, fly under the Radar and you will get what you want…

     
  • posted at 1:02 am on Thu, May 21, 2009.

    Posts:

    Does Ms. California really make the best spokesperson for your cause? First, when asked "the question" at the pageant, she stammers that she "think(s) it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage." No, we don't live in that land. In nearly every state, Americans cannot "choose" same-sex marriage. Fighting against the rights of Gays to marry means that people will continue to not have that choice." She ends her answer, made to an out Gay man, with "no offense to anybody out there." As if that makes her answer non-offensive. If she had given a racist answer to a judge of color, and then said "no offense," would we still be surprised that she didn't win? (Besides, reports say that she wasn't close to winning anyway, before the QA portion of the contest.)

     
  • posted at 7:33 am on Wed, May 20, 2009.

    Posts:

    Is might just be me, but the thing I have always missed in these pageants is the "beauty". While these women may be remarkable in their ability to lift and carry amazing amounts of makeup, I am afraid that I do not find either their enormous hair or their painted on plastic faces beautiful.

     
  • posted at 9:15 am on Tue, May 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    "Pepsodent Smile?" Good lord, what decade is this? How about Nova smile, or Rembrandt smile, or some other tooth whitener product that all these contestants obviously use.Not all you readers are in their eighties.

     
  • posted at 6:44 am on Mon, May 18, 2009.

    Posts:

    While I did find Prejean's stance on marriage to be refreshing, I would have rather she had just been honest about the photographs. To blame her skin's exposure on the wind only furthers the long-held belief that these pageants are nothing more than a gathering of brainless (albeit beautiful) women who actually believe they can pull the wool over the eyes of the oglers as they strut their stuff in order to win a tiara accompanied by a worthless title.In the end this story does nothing to further women's seriousness as it relates to their gender, but clearly reveals that in the absence of truth and intelligence they very well may simply rely upon their sexuality to get what they want. And that's not very attractive at all.

     
  • posted at 3:56 am on Mon, May 18, 2009.

    Posts:

    As far as the photos "taken years before the pageant". Well, since Ms. Prejean was only 21 at the time of the pageant, and it was a follow up pageant to the Miss California title she'd won some time ago, I don't think too many years could have gone by in the meantime since the photos. Denying their existence was a lie, not a long forgotten indiscretion.

     

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