Miss USA: Smile and Wave, Just Smile and Wave
In attempts to rehabilitate the image of beauty pageants, emphasis has been placed on the question and answer segment. Asked whether gay marriage should be legalized, Miss California may have cost herself the title of Miss USA by expressing her opinion on the matter. Personally, I prefer the evening gown part of the competition.
Gay marriage is one of the hot button issues of the day. Your opinion can make you seem progressive, politcally correct, morally upstanding, or prudish. You’re either for it or against it … or are you allowed to be undecided?
The question asked of Miss California was a fair one (I guess), but is that the kind of question for this venue? This topic is so volatile in nature, that only the crafty penguins of “Madagascar” (2005 Dreamworks animated film) could have emerged unscathed. Feelings run deep on both sides of this issue. Wherever you stand on the subject, the question I ask is this: should political and moral opinions determine the outcomes of beauty competitions? I’m just sayin’…
Where there is room for one opinion, there will be at least two. Those two will get together and procreate and before you know it thousands of ideas…. Well… anyway, where there are opinions, disagreement is guaranteed. In considering this multifaceted issue , I focused on three areas of concern: discrimination, legality, and religion.
Discrimination: If someone says they are against affirmative action does that make them a racist? My personal opinion on that is, no it doesn’t. Then I must ask, if someone is against gay marriage does that make them automatically homophobic? I’m sure there a several different views on that one.
Here’s another question for you. Had a contestant made racial or anti-Semitic remarks, would that situation have been more offensive, less offensive, or equally offensive? Most people would not want a racist or an anti-Semite to represent the United States of American, even in a beauty pageant. Can a valid comparison be made here?
Legality: Should same – sex marriage be legalized? We live in a society where church and state are kept separate. Should the state grant marriages at all? The state could simply grant civil unions to everyone and allow people to seek marriages from their religious institutions. Should marriages be reserved for more “traditional” couples while civil unions are granted to same sex couples, with each group having the same legal rights? Or do we just stick with the status quo?
Religion: Many subscribe to the view of marriage existing only between a man and a woman, while others believe that marriage is the union of consenting adults with no regard to gender.
Is gay intollerance a religious attitude? Is it a religiously mandated attitude? Is it possible to be religious and accepting of various lifestyles without embracing them personally? I suppose these are the questions that we all have to answer for ourselves.
While we mull this over and resolve the issues on our own, is it possible to go back to a simpler time when pageants were just pageants? Life is complicated enough. How about we let religion and politics do the heavy lifting while pagents remain light entertainment? Let the beauty pageants take the advice of the “Madegascar” penguins “… smile and wave, just smile and wave”.