I Vote for Natural Beauty Contests!
March 9th, 2010 / No Comments » / by Madame Katarina
In an October 2009 article called “In Venezuela, Beauty Is Born … and Made” about the Miss Venezuela Beauty pageant, a man who is a media and speech coach was quoted as saying,”There is a saying here amongst women… It’s something like, ‘I would rather be dead than look ugly.’”
A former Miss Argentina named Solange Magnano tragically passed away in November 2009, leaving behind a husband and twins. Cause of death? Liquid had traveled to her lungs and brain (a pulmonary embolism) while in critical condition for 3 days following cosmetic surgery on her buttocks. According to a fashion designer and her close friend, she received surgery on her breasts the year prior. In 1994, this woman won the Miss Argentina crown without either of these procedures, but that wasn’t enough apparently. Argentina is one of the world’s top cosmetic surgery destinations, more and more foreigners are visiting the country to find cheaper cosmetic “enhancements”.
Then of course there’s the seemingly phony sweet attitude of former Miss California, Carrie Prejean, who “was raised to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman”, took a religious vendetta against gays, and then was revealed to have made a sex tape at 17 20 and be counter-sued by the pageant for the not-so-secret boob job that they helped her pay for. (See CBS News Article.) (I know many wonderful homosexual people who are far more moral than that!) It was also reported that Prejean asked the individual she had sent the sex video to if he would say it was sent three years earlier than it actually was, though I’m not sure if that’s proven. Keith Lewis, the executive director of Miss California USA and Miss California Teen USA, also released a statement later regarding her controversial Larry King interview, saying, “The public is finally getting a glimpse of the real Carrie Prejean who lives in her own delusional world…The childish behavior, her negative attitude, the sarcasm and condescending tone, the disrespect and continual lying she is demonstrating now is only a fraction of what we endured during her reign and after.”  Of course… I don’t know what else they expect from a participant of these dog-eat-dog flaunting parades.
The aforementioned article about Venezuela mentioned that ‘ it is said there are as many plastic surgeons as there are dentists’ in the country. It said that the Miss Venezuela Pageant has an official plastic surgeon. He did procedures of half of the finalists and is quoted as saying, “We polish the misses, we don’t change the misses. The beauty is in the girls since the beginning, and my work is only to polish that beauty.” However, the women who have had the procedures done are conditioned and coached not to reveal such. Contestant Adriana Vasini said, “I think the most beautiful thing of a women is the things that she never tells”… but why? Why is it more attractive for a woman to pretend that she has been “perfect” all along?
It is a common idealism for a woman to be mysteriously beautiful. Many people, both male and female, would prefer not to know what has gone into being “beautiful” and are very willing to hold all women to a standard of beauty regardless of how it is attained. They love a celebrity, and then hate her the moment they see her “without her face on”. I’ve seen similar articles to this one on other websites, and people were so threatened by this different way of thinking, they left many hateful comments and accused the writer of being insane.
An ideal of a beautiful woman is preferred regardless of whether it is natural, or if a woman needs to risk her life, inserts dangerous foreign objects into her body, and cuts away at her flesh to do so. A most common response to the issue would be, “She did it to herself, she didn’t have to.” This response is completely insensitive as to just how strong the pressures of the world are, and how unfortunately damaging to a person’s life it can be not to conform to these ideals if they don’t find the right friends/associates. This is not to say that every woman suffers when she gets plastic surgery. Some enjoy it immensely and are very prideful about it. But the psychology behind that still needs to be considered.
I think that because of influences surrounding them through the years, at least some men are subconsciously scared that women will lose their sex appeal if they’re at an equal level with men. Something about women being so different appeals to them, although at the same time they may criticize women for not being more “manly” in some ways …Others are less complicated – they’re just misogynistic bastards!
What is the true purpose of a beauty contest? More pointedly, what is the point of one, if it simply depends on how modified a woman can afford to be? Or on how well she can act and speak exactly the way someone else wants her to?
This is not to say I hate or disapprove of all beauty enhancements whatsoever. I feel that makeup is an artistic expression that can accentuate and increase the aesthetic appearance. Shaving or lazer hair removal, or NOT, a woman should just do what makes her feel comfortable. I am a bit of a fashionista and I know that clothing can be just as artistic and accentuating as makeup. There is more, but my point is that these things are quite insignificant as in respect to modifications. Makeup can be washed off, hair can or cannot grow back, clothes can be taken off… and usually these are not life-endagering.
A former college professor in the Venezuela article said, “The feminist revolution here was very particular, because in no way did we ever get to that point that, in order to win women’s rights, you had to abandon femininity… which happened in some other countries, where women would consider the fact that they put on too much makeup or spent too much time on their hair, that would mean that they’re in some way giving up to the macho side. That was never an issue here — women won their rights and they kept on being very feminine.” As a feminist, I certainly have never felt like I had to be more manly/macho to be strong. And I think that it is true that in some cases women have felt the need to “act like a man” to show their strength, but it is also likely that often what is conceived as expressing manliness is, in some cases, just a woman choosing to be comfortable instead, and possibly prioritizing more substantial things with their time. I recall an article in the past that was talking about the singer Amanda Palmer, which was not trying to be insulting, and it called her “butch” because they knew she’s bisexual and was sitting with her legs spread apart at a play rehearsal. I thought to myself, “She’s not butch! She’s just being comfortable, being herself!”.
Also, if the women in Venezuela really have won their rights, then why is there so much plastic surgery going on? Why are so many of the people that work with the contestants and quoted in that article male? Feminism/women’s rights is a funny thing, because it can go two completely different ways. Either a woman does not have enough freedom to be sexy, or she has plenty of freedom but chooses to express it based on the desires of others. Mistress Ravine tries to find a balance of embracing sexuality, while encouraging to do so with class, style, respect, and caution.
Though this is looking at a much broader scope than the primary subject of this article, and definitely something I’ll need to expand upon in another sometime, one thing I’d like all to consider is this: One of the most evil men to ever live, Adolf Hitler, believed in the superiority of the Aryan race. He believed that everyone in his country should be the same ideal race, and he did not just force out those who didn’t meet that criteria, he brutally murdered them. Now… This is of course on a lesser scale, however: If women are subjected to ideal appearance, which is based on genetics, and are deeply persecuted and underprivileged based on it, , are not the persecutors like Hitler? And in my opinion, and I mean this with no disrespect or insensitivity to Jewish or any other race/religious people, the atrocities and torture that women have gone through for centuries due to their gender in general must either equal or surpass those crimes. Keep in mind that, no doubt, almost every form of prejudice or the torture, has included women, and therefore those women received a double-dose of persecution.
I digress… It seems to me that if a woman is going to compete about her beauty, cosmetic surgery modifications should not be allowed. It seems silly to even compete about beauty in the first place, considering it depends on genetics, economical status, etc. It’s not like we’re animals or produce that were specially bred/grown to be the best in a county fair! Yes we can be raised and train to be proper, hygienic, stylish… and they can serve a greater purpose of inner satisfaction than just to be beautiful. However, I really question the appropriateness and motivation of these pageants anyway, and of course there are many more contests like this in the world including women than men. Honestly, I believe the whole system and purpose of a contest like this should be changed, with more focus on true talent and intelligence, and more on what can be done with makeup and clothing alone. However, in the end, IF one is to compete with their beauty, it makes more sense to me that they do it naturally, BOTH physically and mentally.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 11:20 pm and is filed under Advice & Opinion, Feminism, Important Issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.