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I almost want to feel bad for this girl. The operative word here is “almost.”
Two weeks ago, Carrie Prejean emerged onto the scene as the winner of the Miss California pageant. She strutted and sashayed her way through the competition, until one question, the proverbial shot heard ’round the world. In response to a question by Perez Hilton regarding her views on gay marriage, she responded as follows:
Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. You know what, in my country, in my family, I do believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman.
I guess if it were any other question where she was the underdog as far as prevailing (and accepted) viewpoints go, I would have applauded her for having the guts to go ahead and possibly piss off a whole legion of people by sticking to her guns. Except this question was about gay marriage…and her answer, though her own honest opinion, was not appropriate in that forum, on that national stage. I think even if she stood by her views but accepted the possibility of gay marriages being a legitimate possibility in this country, it would have been ok. Yet her awkward phrasing of gay marriage as “opposite marriage” and the addition of the every-popular (but never effective) “no offense” made clear that her views on gay marriage are absolute, and negative. She ultimately lost the crown, but gained a whole new legion of fans, mostly the same people who brought us Proposition 8, and are threatening to halt progress in its tracks. She has stuck by her views on marriage, claiming she is a Christian, and those are her beliefs and felt that she was unfairly discriminated against due to her answer at the competition.
Then came the revelation that she had breast implants funded by the pageant prior to the national competition. Talk about role model, and a proponent of natural beauty (as opposed to plastic and silicone-enhanced beauty). Great person for girls to look up to.
Then came the pictures.
The topless pictures that are very much against pageant rules in the state of California (and possibly everywhere?). Prejean claims this is just a ploy on the part of those who oppose her views and her Christianity. She says that being a model and being a Christian is possible, that they are not mutually exclusive titles. While I’m tempted to outright deny it, I’m not a Christian, so I’m not going to touch that issue with a ten-foot pole. I’ll leave that for the Christians to debate.
Miss USA competitors are supposed to be role models for girls across the country. In an age where progress is gathering momentum, where love–straight or gay–is being acknowledged in public circles and in the context of state governments, trying to say that one kind of love trumps another is just wrong. Not even being open to the possibility is just wrong. Progress is about opening yourself up to change, not rigidly holding on to the past at the cost of hindering society’s movement upward.
While (apparently) implants are not taboo in pageants, getting breast implants right before the Miss USA pageant doesn’t sit well with me. Whatever happened to the idea of natural beauty? What will the thousands of girls think when they realize that her breasts are fake. Will they think that beauty only comes with surgical intervention? That beauty, ultimately, has a price tag? Really, implants shouldn’t be allowed in beauty pageants, it just defeats the purpose in my eyes…where the purpose is identifying role models for girls everywhere.
The pictures, though, are a clear violation of pageant rules, no matter how you spin it. If, as she says, it was just lingerie, then the pageant should be flooded with more girls who have modeling experience in that area. Whether or not the rules should change (since after all, pageant participants do model in two-piece bathing suits) should be decided for next year’s competitors. Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is with partial nudity, but when you’re dealing with hard and fast rules and you flagrantly go against them, you should relinquish your title.
On a side note, poor Miss North Carolina i.e. Miss USA 2009, the limelight was unfairly stolen from her and cast on Miss California because of the controversy she has generated. I hope she fares well in the Miss Universe pageant.
I suspect this will be much easier said than done. Try taking away the marriage rights from 18K couples, they’re not going to (and shouldn’t ever) give up without a fight.
Everyone has the right to wed. I don’t care what your book says or my book says, we as people have the right to love, and the right to profess our love through the means of marriage, if we so choose. To deny that is to deny a fundamental human right, and isn’t this country all about equal rights for all?
So much for that theory…