Photo Credit: Denise Truscello/WireImage
Yesterday, my mom and I decided to join the 21st century and watch Sex and the City – Part 1, that is, which my mom has had DVR’d for nearly a year but we’re just now getting around to viewing, considering Part 2 hits theaters next week. On my way home, I got a message from my dear husband which read: "Miss USA pageant is on TV now. Just thought that was something you should know."
Always thinking of me, that guy.
I flew home, clicked my laptop and TV on simultaneously and settled in for some serious garbage TV. Thankfully, I arrived just in time to see the Top 10 contestants parade up and down the catwalk in matching bikinis and heels, a sight which made me reach for my bulk-size canister of mood stabilizers with my left hand and a frozen bottle of Stoli with my right.
But this is not a blog about the ridiculousness that is beauty pageantry. The truth is, Miss USA organization doesn’t make any bones about the fact that theirs is a looks-based contest. After all, the winner, Miss Michigan Rima Fakih, made a glaring error in her final question and she STILL won. (When asked whether she thought birth control should be paid for by health insurance –- an interesting question, considering Miss USA contestants may not be pregnant to compete –- she replied affirmatively, explaining "I believe that birth control is just like every other medication even though it's a controlled substance." Except it’s not. Vicodin and OxyContin are controlled substances; birth control is simply a prescription med.)
Am I being nit-picky? Maybe. I’m sure it's freaking hard to stand up in front of millions of people, lights blaring and a microphone shoved in your face, and answer a random question on the spot. And overall, there was no "Like, such as, the Iraq" debacle. Miss Oklahoma, Morgan Elizabeth Woolard, fielded a question about Arizona's new immigration law and was able to successfully distinguish between state and federal government – something I must admit I have no clue about.
When I was being interviewed by professors and community leaders for University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 1997 Homecoming Court (yes, I was THAT girl), I remember being asked, "If you could be any part of a hamburger, what would you be, and why?" I decided to forgo cracking a joke about my freshman year bout with anorexia and told them I’d be the bun, because I hold everything together. Looking back, I see the merit in every component -– the burger itself is the meat of it all; mustard adds a spicy kick; tomatoes add a bright, healthy freshness -– but I recall being quite proud of my quick response. I’m just thankful my most challenging question was about fast food (I was a nutritional sciences major, after all). God forbid they had asked me a question about geography or U.S history; just tonight, while discussing how the new Miss USA is Arab, I asked my husband how many people live in the make-believe country of Arabia.
Have you ever thought about what YOU would ask the Top 5 Miss USA contestants if you had the chance? Let’s say judges Paula Deen or Johnny Weir asked for your input…would you want to know their take on serious issues, like gay marriage or oil spill cleanup? Or would you be more interested in how many lunges they do to get that preteen gymnast butt? Whether they have a spray tan artist on speed dial? Bikini wax or shave?
I asked a few of my girlfriends for their questions, serious and funny. Here’s what they had to say:
"Why is winning a beauty contest important to you? If you had to pick an alternate contest to enter, what would it be, and why?" - Renata
"Do you give money to the homeless? Why or why not?" – Gina
"How did you feel about the Miss USA-sanctioned lingerie photos? Do you feel pictures like that empower or hurt women?" – Charlotte
"How come you don’t have cellulite?" – Eden
"How have the qualities you look for in a partner changed in the last five years?" - Gina
"Would you rather be skinny and ugly or fat and beautiful?" – Trish
"What do you think are the top three contributing factors to America’s obesity problem and whose responsibility is it to fix it?" - Diane
"If life were a buffet, what dish would you be and why?" – Gina
"Did you get to touch Donald Trump’s hair?" – Charlotte
What about you? What would YOU ask Miss USA? Chime in below.