Miss USA Pageant Tackles the Wage Gap

pink crownI have no business passing judgement on someone for flubbing the answer to a question on camera in front of a live audience (I can ramble with the best of them), but this clip from last night’s Miss USA Pageant is just too precious not to share. (Thanks to all of you who emailed it to me this morning.)

When asked, “A recent report shows that in 40 percent of American families with children women are the primary earners yet they continue to earn less than men – what does this say about society?” Miss Utah responded, “I think we can relate this back to education, and how we are continuing to try to strive to … figure out how to create jobs right now. That is the biggest problem and I think, especially men are seen as the leaders of this, and so we need to try to figure out how to create education better. So that we can solve this problem. Thank you.”

The clip is precious not because Miss Utah’s answer was awful. It’s precious because an organization that bills its contestants as “savvy, goal-oriented and aware,” that describes itself as “a global community empowering role models of beauty, health and leadership for young women of today,” stumped one of its participants with a question about women’s equality and women in the workplace.

Also precious is the fact the question was asked by NeNe Leakes, a star of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise – because you know, there’s a show with “empowering role models for young women.” And the pageant was hosted by Giuliana Rancic of E’s Fashion Police – because when you think “savvy, goal-oriented and aware,” you think who wore it best.

To be clear, I’m not criticizing Miss Utah for her incoherent response. I’m criticizing the Miss USA organization. If beauty pageants have evolved from bathing suit competitions to scholarship competitions (as defendants of this type of event are always quick to point out), then they ought to have a little more substance and a little less swimsuit.

And world peace.

[hana-code-insert name=’Miss USA’ /]

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marimoon/2381000047/

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5 comments for “Miss USA Pageant Tackles the Wage Gap

  1. June 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    It was kind of fascinating in a train wreck kind of way, wasn’t it. Watching that, and the inevitable clips of Miss – was it South Carolina? from a few years back, I can see how the music could be distracting.

    The sad thing is, they don’t HAVE “answers,” as in, “I’m going to think about the question for a moment and tell you what I, personally believe.” They’ve all been coached and overcoached not to say what they really think (presuming they do have thoughts of their own), because Goddess forbid, what if they spoke honestly about their love for hunting deer (killing Bambi!) or lesbian girlfriends or whatever. They have these predigested, sure-to-be-offensive-to-no-one chunks of drivel, that they are supposed to snap together like a jigsaw puzzle in a heartbeat and speak into the mic, with a smile. I know *I* couldn’t do it.

  2. June 18, 2013 at 5:30 am

    Exactly Beverly. And that’s why I direct my criticism to the pageant and not the participant. They are beauty pageants – no matter how the organizers try to frame them. And ew, why are we having these contests in 2013?

  3. June 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    -I felt sorry for her. I truly did.

    But unfortunately, she was a perfect example of the ignorance of your youth today.

    Just my 2 cents.


    • June 25, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Kim: your 2 cents are always welcome here.

  4. June 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I mean “OUR” Youth!!

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