Against Beauty Pageants

05/03/2009 By Shawn Burns

I was reading this thing on the Huffington Post about how the Miss California pageant organization helped or encouraged or arranged or paid for Miss California to get breast implants before the Miss U.S.A. pageant. But the weird thing for me was that while the official being interviewed about the breast implants was defending the help to Miss California (“Oh, we are concerned with her overall self-esteem….”) he also listed off other things contestants do to get an edge, especially during the swimsuit competition.

The interviewer asked, pointedly, “Wouldn’t she have a better chance of winning if she were more proportioned?” That is, wouldn’t she have a better shot if she didn’t have implants?

To which the official replied: “Well of course she does. But there’s plenty of ways of getting to more proportion without doing breast implants.”

I want to leave aside how confusing this answer is for a second because the very next thing the official said really threw me for a loop.

“Many of the girls use chicken cutlets.”

I don’t understand why this is even an option in a beauty pageant. Why doesn’t anyone say anything? Are they really that much of a joke that women can stuff poultry down their tops and saunter onto the stage with a Hey, look at my perfectly proportioned totally-not-enhanced-by-poultry torso?

I mentioned this statement by the pageant official to Emily, and her reply was nowhere near as outraged as I was. In fact, she seemed to think it was funny that I cared at all that the pageant enforce some kind of standard.

“Where do you draw the line?” she asked. “Do you tell contestants they can’t dye their hair?”

“Uh, yeah, I guess…”

But, really? It sure seems like this is a clear case in which we should just say no. No to the chicken cutlets. No meat products allowed during a beauty pageant. No murdering helpless animals and stuffing them down bikini tops.

Just no. It makes beauty pageants even more of a joke than they are.


I pressed Emily again on this whole abuse of poultry thing. “But look, even though we can’t draw a line I think we should just keep the poultry out of the pageant.”

“It’s not chicken. Dumbass.”

Guys, apparently “chicken cutlet” is a euphemism for a gel-insert or something.

The more you know. *rainbow*