The fact that she’s even picking up a newspaper: smart and beautiful.. – Miss Universe commentator

18 Sep

The annual Miss Universe pageant has come and gone, and this year’s winner is Miss Angola. Aside from scandals and controversies that will emerge before and after each year’s pageant, making it worthy of a TV soap-drama, the main reason why I never catch the show live and will probably never watch it in my entire lifetime, is that it only serves to perpetuate the perception that women are nothing more than objects to look at and drool over.

This week in class, we learned that perception is the process by which we make sense of the world around us. It can be influenced by psychological factors (through our thought processes, character and experiences) and social factors (such as group culture, context, media).

Consider this: whoever who wins Miss Universe will embark on a year-long humanitarian journey where they lend their face and star power to which cause they choose to support. This is indeed a noble effort. But how much coverage is there after the pageant? How many of us actually know what happens after the winner is crowned. Unless there is some controversy or scandal involving the winner, we really don’t have much of an idea as to what she does after she wins the crown.

Also consider this: if the main idea is that Miss Universe will be a humanitarian after winning, why is there more time and emphasis placed on how she looks like half-naked during the pageant? There are photoshoot(s) featuring the contestants in barely-there swimwear before the pageant, they continue to parade in swimwear during the actual pageant, and half of them will wear skimpy evening gowns later on. How will all this help Miss Universe be a better humanitarian? The segment that can actually evaluate Miss Universe contestants on humanitarian efforts, is the short Q&A session, which is basically useless because it’s reduced to ONE question and most of the time, the questions are dumb anyway.

Yes, I get it. Miss Universe is a beauty pageant.

My question is this: why should it be a beauty pageant? Again, if the main purpose of the winner is to later go out on humanitarian efforts, must she be pretty? Must she be beautiful? Will her beauty put an end to world hunger, HIV/AIDS, etc? Will her beauty comfort those who have been displaced due to years and years of civil unrest? No, it will not. The late Princess Diana and Mother Theresa were not conventional beauties but they made a difference in the world. Why can’t they be the same for the Miss Universe contestants?

Instead, what the Miss Universe pageant does is perpetuate the misconception that if you look good in a swimwear, you can succeed in life. It allows young girls to believe the perception that real women look like the contestants and you need to be slim, svelte, and beautiful.



Sure, you can say that the modeling industry has been doing that for years, but see it from this angle. The Miss Universe pageant has always been branded as a “wholesome, women-empowerment” event. What kind of an event is it really if it allows women to be paraded like cattle?




On a parting note, I shall leave you with these. Do we really want young girls to become women who think of mice that eat moon cheese, who think that a woman’s advantage over a man is that she can strut out in a bikini and who think that a man can’t get pregnant right now, as opposed to them being able to be pregnant in the future?

In my opinion, Miss Malaysia is probably the only contestant I personally think didn’t embarrassed herself in her web interview, and if I have to pick a winner, I’d pick Miss Malaysia.


6 Responses to “The fact that she’s even picking up a newspaper: smart and beautiful.. – Miss Universe commentator”

  1. Nonie October 7, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    Oh wow…Some of the answers by Miss China and Miss Singapore made me cringed. I think they were trying to be cute and funny but they only made themselves look like a dumb fool. Moon cheese? Really? I don’t think she understand the question.

    And you’re absolutely right about the entire concept of the beauty pageant. I understand that they’re trying to make a point that these women are beautiful AND smart but the emphasize is on the former and not the latter. In the end of the competition, it’s about the women parading half-naked to bad music on stage. It’s that very image that stick in the viewer’s mind and not the good deeds they will embark after the competition.

    • philyra91 October 8, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

      Apparently, viewers of the video later said that she was trying for a more original answer. Well, it’s original all right. 🙂

      I absolutely agree with you. The organizers of Miss Singapore Universe did want to try and remove the swimwear segment, but in the end, they still included it in. I think we’re so used to have the swimwear segments in our pageants that now, to take them off would be “blasphemy”. It’s sad really. Women really shouldn’t be viewed as sex objects.

  2. Yeong Kar Yan (@kayarocks) November 5, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    OMG was that clip like… played worldwide? Now the whole world is gonna think SG chicks are dumb. Her answer wasn’t even funny! WTH IS A MOON CHEESE?! D:

    • Melissa November 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

      Don’t worry, there are WORSE videos. 🙂 But yes, they are made available internationally. =.=

  3. ngruifen November 6, 2011 at 1:31 am #

    I agree with you and that is why I never watch those pageants. I didn’t know who the winner was this year until I read this post. To me it’s just the most ridiculous and time wasting affair one can put yourself through, there’s just no value add in life when you’re up there being judged by the world. I mean what’s the point really, affirmation of beauty and confidence? To add to your point, does the world really need physically beautiful people to carry out humanitarian work. I understand that it’s a beauty pageant and it’s nice to see the best looking people in the world in one setting and so some genius prepares a competition for them to rally. So at the end why pay someone to work for a good cause. Can’t the winner just get crowned the title of most beautiful and get on with her life. Is that title not what she wants? Where’s the relation?

    • Melissa November 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

      Completely agree with you! And what about the girls who don’t win? It’s almost saying, “you’re pretty but not pretty ENOUGH”. That’s a horrible message to be teaching young girls. For a pageant that is trying to promote good values, they should really think about the messages they’re putting across. =.=

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