Wow, what a way for Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach to win the Miss Universe title! I don’t really know who to feel sorry for the most, host Steve Harvey or Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo (who Harvey mistakenly announced as the winner) for the mixup, but all three acted with grace on stage despite the gaffe that set off the emotional roller coaster.
Here’s Ms Arevalo’s message following the gaffe recorded on video posted on Twitter by the Miss Universe organizers. “Everything happens for a reason. I’m happy for all; for what I did. For […] this dream come true. So thank you all, for voting for me…” And a clearly mortified Harvey also tweeted, “I’d like to apologize wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia & Miss Philippines for my huge mistake. I feel terrible.”
Well, I did have something to say about all the Miss Universe stuff I was seeing on my timelines today and I was gonna draw upon my colleague Gogs’s timely ‘blast-from-the-past’ post where he poses the question Why Pinoys Are Fixated On Superficial Beauty Contests where in a paraphrase of sports writer Dan Wetzel he expresses his misgiving about these beauty pageants, to wit: “Some people just are born with better looks than others so where is the competition there?”
Well, yeah, babes are pretty much born winners I suppose seeing that physical beauty of the caliber of international pageant competitors and supermodels are pratically structural in nature — something only genetics can account for, for the most part. Thing is, there is that subtle beauty that can be bred into anyone that does not readily reveal itself in the way these contests are run and presented on TV. In that respect, for me the gaffe worked out quite well for Wurtzbach in the priceless way she reacted to the news that she was, in fact, the real Miss Universe this year…
Classy! I’m biased, of course, but Wurtzbach’s real beauty seemed to have come out in those short few seconds Harvey’s error sunk into her. That was what made her a winner!
In modern times the debate over how relevant the Miss Universe conest is has been heated. The contest itself, people argue, the way the contestants were paraded before the judges and those template interview questions they subjected them to don’t really highlight the inner “substance” of the contestants’ beauty. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think those who are over-thinking these shows expect too much of beauty contests. As Benign0 pointed out also in an old article…
Many of the “beautiful” qualities highlighted in beauty contests involving females are fitness indicators. Heterosexual human males have evolved a finely-tuned mate selection mechanism that carefully evaluates prospects on the basis of these — and many of these aim to send out one primary message: this specimen is fertile!!
Well, that is a no-brainer, right? In short, it’s really around the long silky hair, the flawless skin, the statuesque bone structure, the curves (and fat) in the right places, and the grace with which a contestant exhibits these that beauty pageants are traditionally designed to indentify winners. No surprise that all of those are really criteria that the males of our species had evolved to pick the right specimens among us ladies to invest in a chase!
What I found ironic is how most of those who derisively call out beauty contests as relics of a gender-insensitive past style themselves as “feminists”. Such “feminists” fail to see that these contests are actually showcases of the awesome arsenal women have at their disposal. Perhaps if women weren’t too busy baring their claws at each other and, instead, worked together to direct their natural charms towards wielding power in a feminine way (rather than act like and directly compete with men the way some of these narrow-minded “feminists” would have them do), we’d see true girl power at a scale that makes us “equal” to men in our terms. Our natural terms.
Let beauty contests be beauty contests. Ladies, feminine beauty, after all, is the power we have over the boys. Of course it is true that feminine beauty varies across individuals. Some have more of it and some have less — which means some will have more power and some will have less.
Those of you who’ve seen (and understood at the right level) the excellent movie Ex Machina will know what I mean. [Spoiler alert] Ava got into Caleb’s head mainly because she had the right stuff. There’s that same lesson in it that Miss Universe teaches us; and that is that beauty is not an intelligent construct. We just simply know it when we see it. No need to overthink it.
[Thumbnail photo courtesy @TotesMcGotes on Twitter.]
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