Finally, a news headline Canadians can be proud of. In a country where recent events in headline news have either been an embarrassing combination of political bickering and infidelity or the overpriced visit of an outdated monarch, there is finally a ray of light for Canadian news.
On Mon., May 31, Natalie Glebova, better known as Miss Canada, was crowned Miss Univ- erse 2005. Miss Canada bared her toned tummy and proved to the world Canadian women have all the symptoms necessary to conform to the sick cultural ideal of beauty based solely upon what a panel of judges want to see and hear.
In the archaic form of entertainment known as the beauty pageant, Miss Canada had the cunning and expertise to win a contest which denies women their individuality and rewards the participant who can be the most like everyone else.
Proponents of beauty pageants will argue the contest is based on more than just looks, claiming the girls have to have a winning personality and intellect. This argument does not hold water after the swimsuit portion of the competition when Miss U.S.A., easily the heftiest of the participants, was summarily eliminated.
According to their website, Miss Universe has the goal of "making the next 100 years the 'Century of Women.'" If the competition is truly based on intellect and the empowerment of women, it's unusual that the group of 17 judges contains four models, a couple washed-up actors, Carson Kresley of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame, three marketers, and a modeling scout, just to name a few. This hardly seems like a group of people concerned with judging people based on intellectual merits.
Intellect in Miss Universe is not only overlooked in favour of beauty, it's downright discouraged. All responses during the question period were replicated from one participant to the next, with slight variations on how all economic and social issues can be solved by helping others and staying positive. Stop the aid shipments! Let's just tell those starving children to turn those frowns upside down!
All the Miss "Insert Country Name Here" clones in Monday night's competition makes the dangerous suggestion that there is one thread uniting all women. According to Billy Bush, host of NBC's Access Hollywood and perky guest-host of the Miss Universe 2005, it is the ever-binding thread of the string bikini that is a commonality for women across the globe.
No matter what proponents argue, beauty pageants are about just that: beauty. Unless contestants are encouraged and rewarded for articulate and intelligent responses during the question period, and not forced to parade their 5ïž´11ï›¸, 120-pound frames about in a string bikini, beauty is what the competition will continue to be about.