Saturday, May 2, 2009

Miss Cal's "best possible light"

WHENEVER I happen to come across the words "beauty pageant"  I am stricken by unpleasant thoughts.  Anita Bryant and, oh...Sarah Palin, for example. But for pure public attention, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, is creeping up into third place.   Within moments of her runner-up selection in the Miss USA (!) pageant, she  has  become the queen-ette o f the National Organization for Marriage,  and will be appearing here and there for the organization's programs to protect heterosexual marriage against the intrusion of the same-sex marriage supporters in our national life. The options of day jobs for beauty contestants who finish second are somewhat limited, I'd guess. 

But there is now a second dimension (Ok, read it as a pun, if that  is where your mind leads you) ) for Miss Prejean's , eh, public figure.   She was competing in the pageant with breast implants paid  for by the pageant, which now defends its action as being rather common in the retail beauty business.  I have no reason to doubt that.  But shouldn't we sort of liken it in public deception to steroids for professional athletes to give them greater competitive  advantage?  

So whatever the pardons  for Miss Prejean, I have little choice but to give my Grumpy Abe Linguistic Lunacy award (GALL) to Keith Lewis, the co-director of the Miss California pageant,  who explains:
"We assisted when Carrie came to us and voiced an interest in having the procedure done.  We want to put her in the best possible confidence in order to present her in the best possible light on the national stage."

Of the several definitions of pageantry, I choose the third one:  "Colorful, showy display".  
Sounds about right. Keep in mind the next time that...

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