Miss Universe 2019: The Also Competed(s)

Congratulations to Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa, the new Miss Universe.  I follow a lot of pageant pages on IG and I knew she was a contender the entire time.  Miss South Africa looked different from the other contestants.  Women in pageants tend to all look alike regardless of race but Zozibini had a look that made her stand out.

I’ve been looking at the media coverage and social media buzz about the new Miss Universe but I cringe at the notion that she isn’t a conventional beauty.  She definitely is.  She’s tall, slender, feminine, delicate and has a soft but determined spirit.  She just styled herself with straightening her hair or wearing prosthetic hair.  She bet on herself as a purely natural African woman and won.  Good for her.

miss universe

But this post is about my favorite contestants that competed but did not win first, second or third place.  These are in no particular order.

Miss Zambia

miss zambia

Miss Zambia showed up late to the Miss Universe pageant and was not able to compete in the pageant.  I was watching other contestants go through registrations and she completely missed the process.  A fan said on her IG that she had visa and financial problems.  But Miss Zambia herself did not confirm or deny that statement.  She never gave an explanation as to why she was late.

Her predicament must have been heartbreaking and humiliating but she took it in stride.  She decided to stick around and support the other contestants anyway.  She seemed very happy to be in Atlanta.  I would have privately melted down and my IG would have gone dark.  Other fans said that she can compete next year.  Miss Zambia didn’t confirm or deny that either.  She just continued taking pictures of her vacation.  It looks like she had a nice time.

Miss France

Miss France 2

Miss France is another trooper.  She fell during the swimsuit competition in the preliminaries.  It wasn’t her fault that she fell because she was one of about five contestants that couldn’t stay on their feet on that stage.  But Miss France took the tumble like a champ.  The way she reacted to the situation endeared her to my heart and I wanted to see her succeed in the pageant.  Even before the fall she was one of my favorites.  I love red hair and I like her hair cut.

 

Miss Portugal

Miss Portugal

Miss Portugal was in the top twenty of the pageant and I wasn’t aware of her until I saw her interview after the first cut.  She has a smile that lights up a room and an effervescent personality.  She seems simple and uncomplicated and I love it.  She doesn’t come across as “woke” at all and it was refreshing.  She’s twenty, sweet and pretty and that was enough to make her a finalist in the Miss Universe contest.  That’s how life works and I appreciate her contribution to the pageant.  She looked like she was having the time of her life.

Miss Japan

miss japan

My impression of Miss Japan is the polar opposite of my impression of Miss Portugal.  Miss Japan seems dark and mysterious.  There are a lot of pictures of her not smiling on her IG.  I don’t think a beauty queen has to be Little Miss Sunshine all the time.  She doesn’t have the typical pageant look at all.  Miss Japan had the most high fashion look in the entire pageant.  I love her long straight hair and blunt bangs.  She also looks like she enjoys expensive things and places.  I think she’s a great role model for women globally.  Take a look at her Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/missuniversejapan/?hl=en

 

Miss Uruguay

Uruguay

I honestly just like the haircut.  I love a good bob and this hairstyle has a lot of volume.  My formative years were spent in the 1980s and this is borderline 80s hair.  This bob definitely made her stand out.  Miss Uruguay has my support.

Miss Haiti

Haiti

I can’t put my finger on it but there is something quirky about Miss Haiti.  I love quirky Black women.  There was a time when quirky Black girls were a presence in popular culture and the world was a better place then.  I need to make a blog post about it but I digress.  She has a interesting personality, great hair and her Carnivale themed national costume was beautiful.  Contestants from the Caribbean usually knock the national costume competition out of the box.

Congratulations to all the young ladies that competed in Miss Universe 2019 particularly Miss South Africa  Zozibini Tunzi.  They are a diverse group of inspirational women and they are all fantastic.

 

Educated Women in Bikinis

I enjoy beauty pageants.  I have been watching them for as long as I remember.  They are the stuff that dreams are made of.  Who wouldn’t like to be named the prettiest woman in the state or country and given a crown and roses?  If everyone was honest we would all admit that we would all enjoy that validation.

I value pageants because they are a conspicuous display of hyper femininity.  I’m all for it and I hope they never change.  I don’t think that women get very many opportunities to be in the spotlight and pageants give them a platform.  Miss America and Miss USA are the two biggest pageants that come to my mind and they are distinct brands.  Miss USA contestants are the girls that boys liked in school and Miss America contestants are the pretty girls that teachers liked in school.  Both are great.

Recently a representative for the Miss America pageant remarked that “Educated women don’t parade around in swimsuits”.  That quote is actually part of a sentence and the remark was taken out of context but nonetheless I will share my thoughts on the controversy not the comment itself.

I found this remark to be a bit hypocritical since the Miss America pageant only recently took the swimsuit competition out of their pageant.  But my real concern is the contestants of the Miss USA pageant that got all up in their feelings because they are personally offended by Miss America’s quote.  Miss USA which feeds into the Miss Universe competition still have swimsuit competitions.

I follow pageant fan pages and several beauty queens on IG.  A lot of the Miss USA title holders have posted messages of themselves in bikinis and listed their academic accomplishments.  They posted long IG rants about how the Miss America Organization’s notion about educated women in bikinis is dated, sexist and hostile towards women.  The Miss America organization is absolutely right.

I agree that a woman can be smart and sexy.  A woman can be flirtatious and competent.  It’s unfortunate that the world sees women in a one dimensional way but feminism has not changed that.  Feminism is making things worse because much of their focus in on looks and sexuality.

Here’s the hypocrisy of Miss USA and Miss Universe contestants.  Most of these women are absolutely brilliant.  Many of them have impressive careers, educational backgrounds and compelling backstories.  But most of the ones that I’ve heard about after their reign has ended go into entertainment or they marry a wealthy man.  I think that marrying well is the real end game for women in the Miss USA/Miss Universe pageant system.

There is nothing wrong with any of that but they got their new opportunities because they look good in a bikini not because they studied hard in school.  Miss USA contestants are smart enough to know this and they are bluffing the world with politically correct feminist rhetoric that sets other women up for failure.  I think that this is the case for feminism in general.  Sorry but women in most day to day situations can not present themselves as sex objects and be taken seriously as intellectuals.  For some reason the bikini cancels out the intellect.

Feminism tries to have it both ways.  They want to tell women that they can be taken seriously as a woman in a bikini.  That simply isn’t true unless you are a swim suit model or perhaps an Olympic swimmer.  If you disagree imagine wearing a bathing suit to a job interview.  Even if you are applying to be a lifeguard that wouldn’t go over well.

I think women should use all of the tools at their disposal to open as many doors as possible including sex appeal.  But women need to be realistic about the way women are pigeonholed.  Feminism isn’t changing the way women are perceived when they put forth sexualized images of themselves.  I think that women need to present themselves the way they want to be perceived. Consider your goal and dress the part.

If anything feminists are encouraging women to use their bodies to gain love, acceptance and opportunities instead of using their minds.  That’s why the body positivity movement is popular.  Women that don’t fit the mold of a beauty queen want to be able to feel validated for how they look too.  That’s what today’s feminism is all about.

If you want to be taken seriously as a professional dress the part for the profession you choose.  But when it’s time to party or have a day at the beach have fun with fashion and enjoy yourself.  You can’t always take yourself seriously.  There’s a time and a place for everything.

I just wish the beauty queens that protested the remark from the Miss America Organization were a little more honest and thoughtful in their responses.  They could have said I was competing to be Miss USA, not a receptionist at an accountant’s office.  There are scholarships, fame, travel, jewelry and meeting with wealthy men at stake.  I will broker world peace in a suit that grazes my knees later.

I honestly don’t know why they responded at all.  The remark from the Miss America Organization seemed pretty innocuous to me and it fits their girl next door brand.  Miss America is a non profit organization that is focused on community service.  Miss USA is more glitz and showbiz.  Fighting for your right to be seen as a professional in a bikini is not a hill I would want to die on.  That’s why I have a hard time taking feminism seriously.

 

 

Feminists like to make conversations like this a matter of sexual assault and rape.  I want to make it clear that I don’t think that sexual assault and rape has anything to do with clothing or lack thereof.  People that jump from a statement of dressing for respect to sexual violation are trying to silence opposing thoughts with emotional blackmail.