So what is it really about Miss Delaware Teen USA Melissa King’s adult video showing that took us all by surprise?
With news that Miss Delaware Teen USA, Melissa King has relinquished her pageant title after a porn video of her starring was found questions have been raised if on some level the beauty pageant has on some level created a double standard as to how we judge beauty and femininity and how far such limits actually go.
Reflects slate: Now she’s being publicly shamed by former friends and international news organizations because a pretty young woman like her can publicly compete for money in a beauty pageant, or she can collect some cash in amateur porn, but she’s not allowed to do both at the same time.
Which raises the question why isn’t she allowed to do both? After all how different are the two events in reality, granted one does not offer explicit sexuality but the notion of sexuality is always present as the young dame is asked to trollop in a bathing suit up and down the catwalk so we can judge if she meets some standard of beauty.
Beauty pageants like Miss USA peddle a particular fantasy: That of the sexy-yet-virginal girl-next door who parades around for the public in skimpy swimwear, but saves sex for that special someone. Franchise owner Donald Trump stands in as the creepy uncle, assessing contestants’ sexual attractiveness and purity. Women who compete in his pageants are required to look good in a bikini; have never been married or pregnant; and be possessing of “good health and moral character,” a qualification that could conceivably bar women for everything from a pornographic past to a physical disability.
And perhaps here is where the problem is, by ceding to Donald Trump and his constituency, young women almost immediately cede their autonomy for the hope of validation from Mr Trump and his peers. And yet the prize for aligning oneself to a patriarchal disposition isn’t necessarily the most appealing one even if often led to believe that shrilling out loud that one was once a beauty pageant winner will suddenly open corridors and the love of the world. If anything perhaps quite the opposite…
And once again a consideration of how thin the line of sexual boundaries and validation comes into focus again:
Pageants and porn are patrolling two sides of a very thin sexual boundary. And for a young, pretty girl who’s strapped for cash and lacking familial and institutional support, only one of those options is offering cash up-front. In the five-minute Girls Do Porn video, King tells the man behind the camera that she consented to do porn because, “I thought it’d be fun” and “I needed the money.” In exchange for a year of promotional work on behalf of the pageant, Miss Delaware Teen USA winners can expect to receive useless commemorative trinkets and copious tools for exhaustively grooming themselves into perpetuity. Listed prizes include a trophy, a crown, a banner, a car magnet, a specially-designed doll, two fancy dresses, two rings, two pendants, a hair straightener, a self-tanning kit, nail polish, lip gloss, a handbag made out of candy wrappers, a “smile enhancement,” modeling and acting lessons, a 20 percent discount on a New York Film Academy workshop, a gym training package, a “wardrobe consult,” a pair of shoes, and some cash reserved for representing their state in the national pageant. The young women billed as Delaware’s rising stars also receive a shot at a $40,000 scholarship that can be exclusively fulfilled, for some reason, at Missouri Presbyterian liberal arts college Lindenwood. So: No real money.
Reflects this blog on moral duplicity of the sexualization of young women:
But let me ask you this, is porn any more “demeaning” or objectifying to women than a beauty pageant? Beauty pageants just reinforce the idea that women should be valued by their physical appearance.
“What about the personality and talent portions?” you’re probably asking yourself.
C’mon, that’s just to save themselves from criticism.
The fact is porn accepts women of all body types, backgrounds, and ages over 18 should they choose to enter the industry. Where as beauty pageants demand that women diet, dress, and doll themselves up in a certain way to conform to conventional standards of beauty.
Maybe beauty pageants aren’t as graphic as the adult industry but they’re just as pornographic.
And then I came across this reflection courtesy of blackbookmag that brought a rueful smile to my face and made me wonder, really what is the fuss really about and could it really have more to do with society’s inability to accept its own moral turpitude?
Honestly, what is the rationale for “de-throning” someone who was never royalty in the first place? Do you really think you’re better than the porn industry, beauty pageant industry? At least porn has the decency to admit it’s built on the backs of amateurs and screws everyone over. Meanwhile three-year-olds are wearing dentures so they can have that perfect smile and you make them pay for the privilege of treading your filthy middle-school auditorium stages.
How about we stop pretending there are any moral distinctions to be made here and just go with a Miss Porn USA contest. Or would that be too real for you, America? Since it’s somehow crossing a line when a lady uses her body for something other than a sash-holder. Quit freaking out like an autistic virgin and embrace the world’s smuttiness already—this is getting awkward.