Yesterday I was going to write a post about rocks. And then I was going to blast the Miss USA competition and the contestants out of the water. But now, I’m going to write, instead, about the Miss USA competition in an apologetic format. You see, before I started drafting last night’s post I put up a Facebook status; it was in response to the host of Miss USA saying, “and here we have gathered the fifty-one most accomplished women in the nation!” or something to that effect, to which I posted something to this effect: “These fify-one women are not the most accomplished women in the nation. The fifty-one most accomplished women in the nation are currently in universities or out in reality, not strutting around a stage to Katy Perry.” I felt that it was a little rude when I posted it, but not rude enough to withhold it from my feed. So I went ahead and posted it and thought nothing of it.
But then I went to sleep. And woke up. And saw that a really good friend of mine had posted a comment in response saying, “But you don’t even know these girls…”or something like that. And I thought about it, and realized that he was right and I had been being something of a bully.
I’m someone that argues against all forms of judgement and bullying and I had been caught, red-handed, doing both. I had been caught being a hypocrite. And as someone who goes around saying that she’s not a mean person, I had been caught being blatantly mean. I promptly deleted the status, but deleting the status did not immediately delete my feelings of shame and guilt.
Granted, there might be a grain of truth to what I posted. There are millions of incredible, beautiful women around the world right now proving themselves. But the community around them knows that they are beautiful and incredible and they know that they are beautiful and incredible and they do not need a beauty pageant to validate that truth. I should not grudge these fifty-one women- however spacey they may ostensibly seem or however ditzy the host’s script might portray their lifestyle to be- the opportunity they had been given. By winning this pageant they are opening to themselves a world of opportunity they would not have had otherwise. I cannot deny them that, can I? And I cannot face value shut down their lives as insignificant and petty just by the way they answer one question and strut on a stage for one night, can I?
There are still moments that I laugh and doubt entirely. Like the girl who listed her “Passion” (not her “Hobby” but her “Passion”) as self-help books. Or the girl who listed her “Passion” as quoting celebrities. Or the girl who listed her “Passion” as astrology.
But this is a formal apology. An apology to the contestants and an apology to my facebook friends. A promise that I will try my hardest to be less mean and to not deny any woman- Miss USA or no- her right to being incredible and beautiful.
Congratulations, Miss Rhode Island. You were beautiful. (And you play cello, I’ve always dreamed of playing the cello.)