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June 21, 2011

Things I'm Keeping My Daughter The Hell Away From, Part I: Beauty Pageants

In many ways, sadly, it's still a Man's World, and a great many men still adhere to the hopelessly outdated notion that being a beauty pageant contestant is something that little girls should aspire to. I respectfully disagree; while I'm sure that the ability to walk around in heels and a bathing suit is a valuable Life Skill, I'm steering her in a different direction - an educated, intelligent citizen of the world. Apparently, that's not really a priority for the folks at the Miss USA pageant; they like their gals young, skinny, and God-fearin' (we're assuming that Barefoot and Pregnant comes later, else why bother to have a Mrs. USA pageant?) In this video, Don Draper's idealized future of American womanhood is asked whether or not evolution should be taught in school. (As you watch it, keep in mind that it's not intended as a joke; this is part of the Miss USA marketing campaign, and is supposed to be sending the message that these women are setting a fine example to our kids.) My daughter is three, and she's already got a leg up on 99% of the vacuous bimbos in this video: she knows that dinosaurs existed, and can even name several. 

Damn, that vid's about 15 minutes long. For those of you who haven't the time, patience, or stomach for it, here's the highlight reel:


Chris Rock famously joked that his main job as father to his daughter is simple: keep her off The Pole. Stuff like this reinforces our shared belief. I'm fiercely protective of my daughter, in ways that weren't immediately apparent to me but have crystalized as she's developed into a thinking person. Keep her off the pole, yes; keep her mind sharp and open, and keep instilling in her the belief that she's only a caricature if she chooses to be? HELL yes.


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