On the Miss America issue and beauty pageants in general

 
“If we don’t have swimsuit, we’re leaving out a vital part of Miss Texas and Miss America,” said Dana Rogers Martin, Miss Texas 1983. “It’s about fitness and nutrition. I’m hoping it will come back.”
 
My dear Ms. Martin, fitness and nutrition can be seen without having to wear a swimsuit! Just have a look at every athlete in the Olympics!
 
Really, beauty contests were created to objectify women’s bodies. It’s sad that so many women find fulfillment in joining and winning a beauty contest. All it is, is winning the approval of a board of judges who think your outer appearance is more important than who you really are inside. Western society has objectified women by extolling beauty, and Hollywood has played a huge part in solidifying the image of a beautiful woman, to the exclusion of any woman who was not white, not tall, not slim or shapely, not symmetrically balanced from head to toe, spreading that belief around the world. It was a huge step forward when women who were not white were selected as winners in international beauty pageants. And yet, most pageant organizers have acknowledged that, as an ambassador of goodwill, beauty contest winners need more than just physical beauty, hence the interview portions and talent portions. Lately, we’ve seen more women competing who’re smarter and more accomplished than in the past, which is a good sign. Removing the swimsuit competition acknowledges that women don’t need to expose themselves to show how beautiful, healthy, talented, and smart they are, and how they can be the best goodwill ambassadors to travel the world over. But really, I think that a truly progressive century will be one where there is no need for beauty pageants or swimsuit competitions.

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