Yesterday, Jeff and I made ourselves sick with the amount of TV we watched. I hate when that happens. I just didn’t know when to quit. I think this is how Jeff put it: “I feel gross.” And frankly, I did too. I think what really pushed it over the edge was watching Miss America…Live!, the culmination of a 4-week Miss America reality show and 2-hour re-creation of the Miss America Pageant.
Let me start by saying that I love beauty pageants. I grew up watching the Miss America pageant. And, I loved every minute of it’s plastic glory. I dreamed of saying:
“I’m Tyler Lee, a 5th grader majoring in music, and proud to be from Pleasantville, IOWA, the town where the name says it all and the state where the corn is tall! And, I want to be your next Miss America!”
I would sit in overly-eager anticipation waiting for the real Miss Iowa to take her turn at the microphone. I would sit and think, “Now she has a chance!” And, every year the title would go to some bimbo from Oklahoma or Texas or California. Oh, Miss Iowa often made it to the final 10, but the crown would inevitably go to someone who could sing “opera” or play the “violin,” never to Miss Iowa, who could only juggle flaming ears of corn. Have you ever juggled flaming ears of corn?
I didn’t think so.
And, I wasn’t disappointed last night to see that Miss Iowa was just as plastic as always–even after the 4-week reality series that was aimed at teaching the contestants how to be more real. I knew it would never work. Miss Iowa wouldn’t crack. She was totally a Stepford Wife. Minus the husband, of course. And, she was a finalist. But, alas, she didn’t win. But, she could have, if they hadn’t made this ridiculous push to make the contestants “real.”
I guess “real” to whomever runs the pageant means that girls wear jeans and tank tops, and that they are allowed to do their best stripper walk during the swimsuit competition. I kept on waiting for someone to drop it like it’s hot. Oh yeah, we also got to hear why they chose their evening gowns. Which, just made them seem more annoying and less worthy of the title Miss America.
I think what I always loved about the pageant as a kid was the fact that they didn’t quite seem real. I think that they called it “poised.” I would sit and wait for someone to mess up or trip or stutter. Then, I would think…Amateur. But, those days are gone. They’re all amateur. Except for good ol’ Miss Iowa. Tough as nails, nothing could wipe that smile off her face.
Here’s a great clip from the 80s. Do you remember when they would actually sing the opening song? This has everything that was great about the pageant…