I see that, for the second year in a row, politics has intruded upon the Miss USA contest. After last year’s tedious debacle with Carrie Prejean and the gay-marriage question, you’d think they would have learned to steer clear of hot-button social issues.
In the final round of this year’s contest, the beautiful blonde who came in second was asked what she thought of Arizona’s new immigration law. This is a subject that has spurred heated and unpleasant discussions across the land, but Miss Oklahoma was up to the task. She began her answer by saying “I’m a huge believer in states rights,” which means, she explained, that she thinks it was okay for Arizona to pass the law. Now, that strikes me as a singularly politic way of avoiding the parts of the issue that are upsetting to people without ducking the question.
The ultimate winner, Miss Michigan, was asked if contraception should be paid for by health insurance. She thought that it should be. She explained, “I believe that birth control is just like every other medication, even though it’s a controlled substance.”
Controlled substance? Missed the point? Never mind. That dark-haired beauty, Rima Fakih, who hails from Dearborn and was educated in Catholic schools, will take her place as the first Arab-American Miss USA.
As it turns out, these political provocations were simply distractions from the real story. Miss USA is no longer about lovely, wholesome girls looking for scholarships. Under “the Donald’s” new rules, posing for soft-core underwear ads was part of the talent testing — presumably, he does not want to exclude any hot and sexy young woman with a few nude pictures in her past, a little porn in her portfolio, or a stint as a stripper to her name. Indeed, becoming an underwear model is now considered a perfect career aspiration for contestants — which is good, because that was the substance of the pageant.
Happily, this means that Miss Michigan’s exploits as a pole dancer won’t disqualify her from the title.
The decline and fall continues.