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. 

Let’s put an end to the Miss America pageant by making anyone who watches it feel small and stupid and uninformed.

John Oliver’s takedown of the Miss America pageant on HBO’s Last Week Tonight was brilliant. The Miss America pageant is admittedly an easy target, but Oliver’s segment is both surgical and hilarious.

I could not stop laughing.

The Miss America pageant and all its bastard step children are like moldering, vestigial organs that should have been excised from the cultural landscape long ago.


Though the audience for the Miss America pageant was down 22% from last year, it still drew almost 10 million viewer and garnered its best rating in ten years in the category of adults ages 18 to 49 years old.

Who are these people?

Except I know who these people are. At least some of them. I watched friends tweet about the show while watching it. I heard colleagues talking about the show the next day. At least two people asked me if I watched.

I did not watch. Nor should you.


It will be a long time before pageant contestants are no longer willing to be objectified on national television for a chance at fame and profit. 

But if rationale Americans can come together and agree that this organization and its television show should no longer be supported by the general public, the Miss America pageant could be brought to an end sooner than later.

Let’s do this.

Don’t watch next year. If you hear of friends or relatives who watched, shame them. Make them feel small and stupid and uninformed.

Or show them John Oliver’s segment. Not only will they thank you for the laughs, but perhaps they will come away never wanting to watch the damn thing again. 

How could they not?