There she is, miss America, there she is, our ideal,” they sang when I was young and faithfully watched the miss America Pageant every year.
And in my childish mind I bought into the “ideal” thing beauty pageants tend to teach: if you look good, you are, by necessity, good. and good things will come to you.
Now I can say, with the wisdom of many decades, half of them spent living in Wapiti where I hope that real values still count: “Ha.”
Image is nothing; substance is everything.
But being beautiful can’t hurt, I suppose. Personally I would not know, though I am pleased when I see a deserving woman who happens to be beautiful living happily ever after.
There is one such who comes to mind in Cody. you see her all the time around town, wearing jeans and sporting a Western look, with cowboy boots and a silk scarf tied around her neck rancher-style.
She is no longer young, but is lovely both outwardly, with a slender figure, blonde hair and a ready smile, and in her heart. Her name could be Darlene, Susan, Barbara, DeDe, Colette, Mary … she is not alone in her category, which is not a competition in any case.
She has a handsome husband and apparently plenty of revenue, but she shares with everyone, giving quality used clothing to a waitress she likes who wears her same size, buying meals for others, being friendly and ladylike to everyone, having a good sense of humor with the ability to chuckle at herself, and keeping a lilting laugh at the ready for all she encounters.
That is beauty that starts inside and radiates outward, which is the best kind, and the most difficult to attain because it doesn’t come in bottles, tubes, creams and lotions, but is intrinsic to the person.
The dictionary (dot com) defines beauty in part as “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as in shape, color, sound), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).”
I read that, and then I read about miss Universe Canada. (You knew this was coming, didn’t you? this paper only seeks out highly intelligent and intuitive readers, after all.)
There is no doubt that pageant contestant Jenna Talackova, 23, has physical beauty. But so what? It’s the product of plastic surgery, to the extent that she (he?) was born male and originally named Walter, according to an interview with People magazine online, which cited an ABC television interview with Barbara Walters.
Talackova told Walters she knew at age 4 she was “in the wrong body.”
Miss Universe Canada officials apparently initially believed she still was in the wrong body, since their rules state contestants in the may 19 event must be “naturally born female,” so they booted Talackova from the contest. Then, caving in to some sort of pressure, they changed their minds and apparently their rules, and will allow her to compete next month.
For Talackova it wasn’t enough to be given a new identity via surgery that removed male organs and a prominent Adam’s apple, inserted breast implants and performed other cosmetic tricks, including the probable use of female hormones forever, that made her look womanly. she wanted to force the pageant founders to change their regulations to suit her unusual circumstances.
Thinking back to the dictionary definition of beauty, I have to say that Talackova’s situation fails to evoke intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind. Instead, it leaves my mind uneasy.
If Talackova, who was born a male, can look so good after surgeries, how good could the born-female contestants look with some enhancements? and that begs the question, what is a pageant about anyhow?
They should either change the name of the event to the “Best Plastic Surgery in the World” or possibly the “Bodies by Dupont Competition,” or go back to the old-fashioned stuff.
“Our ideal” should be a great deal more like Cody’s version of beauty – that is, a sincere person of character who, by the way, is attractive to look at, rather than the stitched-up, nipped in plastic version Talackova represents.
Which one, after all, would you want your little girl to view as ideal?
Pageant contestants take ‘plastic’ too far – Cody Enterprise: Opinion