Monday, June 4, 2012

Miss USA Pageant Circuit Never Fails to Make Me Cringe

Listen...I don't want to hate on pageants. I'm a big proponent against the disparagement of traditional femininity. But pageants and the Miss USA circuit in particular (run by the wonderful *gag* Donald Trump) keep giving me fodder for big time eye rolls. They're making it easy to just dismiss them all together.

So it's no surprise that Miss Ohio, Audrey Bolte, had this to say Sunday night when she was asked if women are portrayed positive in the media, and if so, to cite a positive female role model:
"I think it depends on the movie. I think there are some movies that depict women in a very positive role, and then some movies that put them in a little bit more of negative role. But by the end of the movie, they show that woman power that I know we all have. Such as the movie 'Pretty Woman'. We had a wonderful, beautiful woman, Julia Roberts, and she was having a rough time, but, you know what, she came out on top and she didn’t let anybody stand in her path."
I don't know what's worse...that Bolte answered Pretty Woman for this question or that she reportedly later said she didn't know that movie was about a prostitute who was essentially rescued by a rich dude. I mean, if you're going to cite a movie as the answer to a question on national television, you had better be damn familiar with the movie. Even if it's a really horrible example to cite: at least know the material!

To be fair--all of the media snark and cyberbullying that follow these pageant gaffes don't really help anyone. It feels like it's constructed to make these women fall into the "stupid hot girl" trope and make sure that at least one of them each year goes home feeling like shit about herself. I mean, I couldn't tell you who won Miss Teen USA in 2007, but I sure could do a mean impression of Miss South Carolina's horrible "such as...South Africa...such as...and the Iraq" answer.

So I'm not going to dwell in my disdain for Bolte's answer anymore...but I'll leave it at this: if you're asked if women are portrayed positively in the media and your first thought is a Julia Roberts character from the 90s who depends on a wealthy man: JUST SAY NO.


  1. Hahaha, that last line made me crack up. Because when I first read the question, my immediate thought was, "The answer is 'not really, NO!'"

  2. I think Miss Ohio was noticeably and visibly nervous, which I don't think should excuse her bad answer completely, but I think it should be taken into consideration. It's easy to sit in front of your blog thinking of the perfect lines to say, no offense to you or anyone, just saying, but it's a whole other thing when you are in front of the whole country vying for a title. I feel the other women did very well with their answers.

    1. Hey Ashley--I figured you'd chime in on this one. And I agree... of course the pressure of national television is huge, but these women are supposed to be prepared for questions of this nature and perform in a highly polished manner under pressure. I don't expect everyone to have perfect answers. But I just think it's sad that she could rise to the top of her state competition and still fail so miserably at a very female empowering/female focused question.

  3. Whoops am I becoming that predictable haha? But yeah I agree they should be more prepared and be able to think on their feet.

  4. I just knew you are very familiar with pageants :)


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