This video encompasses so many of my fears for my students

I watch this video from the Jimmy Kimmel Show, and it encapsulates so many of my fears for my students.

  1. I'm afraid that they are growing up in a world with an African American President and legalized same sex marriage (two things I never thought I would see in my lifetime), and yet sexist, stupid, degrading beauty pageants like Miss America still exist and are watched by millions every year.
  2. I'm afraid that they might decide that competing in beauty pageants like Miss America is a worthwhile endeavor.
  3. I'm afraid that they might answer a question in the same inarticulate, imbecilic, and embarrassing fashion as our reigning Miss America.
  4. I'm afraid that they might answer a question in the same inarticulate, imbecilic, and embarrassing fashion as the people on the street who foolishly agreed to speak to Jimmy Kimmel's producers. 
  5. I'm afraid that they might become content creators who think that sticking a microphone in pedestrians' faces and recording them speak like morons makes for interesting or amusing television.

This is why I work my students so hard and insist on making every minute of the school day as productive as possible. The last thing I want is to see one of them appear in a video like this in any capacity. 

Beauty pageants must end now.

I would like to propose that every man, woman and child in the United States sign a pledge refusing to participate in or watch any beauty pageant like the Miss USA Pageant ever again.

Pageants are bizarre and awful. Teams of  judges stare at young women in ball gowns and swimsuits and score them on their physical appearance. In the case of the most recent Miss USA Pageant, the judges included an NFL player, a professional wrestler and at least three reality television stars, so the choice of judges is apparently based upon the probability of increasing viewership for the telecast.

Then contestants are asked to answer randomly chosen public policy questions, which result in embarrassing, incoherent, inexplicably stupid moments like this one from last week’s Miss USA Pageant:

Not as bad as the South Carolinian from the Miss Teen USA Pageant in 2007, but still pretty stupid.

What the hell are we doing?

As the father of a little girl, I’m horrified and disgusted that she will be growing up in a world in which these pageants still exist and are broadcast on national television in primetime.

What kind of person even watches a show like this?

The process of judging young women on their physical appearance is disgusting. The inherent sexism behind the existence of these pageants is appalling. I can’t begin to imagine why a parent would want to involve his or her daughter in the pageant process. 

If we could all agree to never involve ourselves or our children in the pageant process and (more importantly) look away when they air these vile programs on television, then the cattle calls of pretty women in swimsuits strutting across a stage so that a football players and reality television stars can assess their curves will eventually come to an end.