Thursday, July 12, 2007

Here she is...

As usual, the past few days have seen several news stories coming at us over and over again. Lady Bird Johnson. The upcoming release of The Simpsons movie. (The media coverage and product placement leave me pining for the more modest, dignified coverage we had for Paris Hilton's jail time.) And Amy Palumbo.

Amy who?

Amy Palumbo, the young woman recently crowned Miss New Jersey. As you've no doubt heard, an anonymous blackmailer had threatened to release "unladylike" photos unless Palumbo gave up her crown (or tiara, or whatever it is they pin on these women's heads).

Purely as a service to my readers, I've made an extensive search of thousands of documents to locate the photos. (Ok, I googled her name.) Bottom line: no nudity. No "Girls Gone Wild" flashing. No parts of her bare body touching parts of the other person's bare body in out-of-the-ordinary ways. Not one of the photos has anything considered objectionable since the 13th century. And believe me, I looked. Hard. Purely as a service to my readers, of course.

Professionally and personally, Miss Palumbo has been put through the wringer with absolutely no justification. And do you know what?

I don't care.

I mean it. I don't care. My guiding principles - or what passes for them in polite company - have long included a complete lack of sympathy for anyone experiencing problems stemming from their participation in a beauty contest. (Claims that these pageants are about scholarship and social responsibility - nudge nudge wink wink - are nonsense. They are and will always be thinly veiled beauty contests.)

It's not personal. Nobody has had more trouble in this category than Vanessa Williams, and who doesn't like her?

The point is simple. Every time some young woman who may not be a bimbette but is willing to play one on tv is anointed the feminine ideal, it's a slap across the face. To whom? To women of any age, social position, education, ethnicity, marital status, sexual orientation, child bearing history, personal history of things overcome - you get the idea - who exemplify everyday greatness without being twenty-something, without having perfect teeth, and without having 12" hips with a bust measurement that, relative to her body size, makes her liable to topple over at any moment.

Don't get me wrong. Amy Palumbo has shown herself to be a bright, poised young woman who has handled the current crisis with grace. It's just that if we really mean what we say about selecting a woman to honor as representing all that's possible, good and admirable, we've got to realize she may be too busy keeping a real life together - hers or someone else's - to attend the ceremony.

In an unrelated item...

I just saw a magazine article from several weeks ago that said Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn are back together. WHY DOES NO ONE TELL ME THESE THINGS?




paullevinson1 said...

There's a more important principle: that America should grow up, and not be so concerned about racy photos.  The NJ Pageant Board's decision goes a good step in that direction.

oldhousegal said...

Ben-  Unfortunately, far too often, women still get judged by their looks and not their accomplishments.  I was astonished by a story a few years back that talked about what Condi Rice was wearing as she reviewed the troops on one of her overseas trips, something about awesome stiletto heels, and I thought: IS THIS FOR REAL????  To my dismay, it was.

gazker said...

Amy Palumbo? Is she related to Columbo....... Oh no, he's that detective on TV.
Gaz ;-)

astoriasand said...

Unfortunatly too many do judge a book by it's cover.When Miss World used to be covered on TV I don't think I ever read anything nice about any crowned winner afterwards,in the Media.They thrive on this kind of thing.I as in your name say things are " Better Left Unsaid" from my point of view.Grrrrrrr . A wise head keeps a still tongue. Have a great Friday.Take Care God Bless.KATH

rdautumnsage said...

Whatever happened to that wise old adage that "Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder" ? To me it means simply that everything in our eyes finds beauty if we so desire. Beauty was never meant to define outward appearance. I have seen more beauty within the spirit of a homeless woman striving to live, than I have flaunted on a stage. Lately I rarely turn on the news or listen to media hype, simply because I have no desire to listen to inane gossip. How about hype for a woman who gives all her time and money volunteering to help the homeless, or someone who stops to help a victim of domestic violence. The world is getting colder and I'm afraid it has nothing to do with global warming. (Hugs) Indigo

nyuknyukpik2 said...

wow--you're telling me Jennifer Anniston dumped the cute british model already to go back to Vince--how sad!

Sorry--had to get that out of my system.

I linked you from your comments in another journal.

I wholeheartedly agree with leaving Amy Palumbo alone--but then again I thought Vanessa Williams got the shaft.

I think any woman who chooses to parade herself as a piece of meat pretty much opens herself up to getting the shaft--unfortunately.

I teach high school and one of the classes had a Mr. Insert School Name Contest and I went ballsitic.  I refused to allow promotion and discussion of it in my classroom because I was appalled that such things still exist.  I don't think they generated much interest because I have no idea who won.  I was really surprised the school allowed it to even take place.

Ok--so now I've rambled off in your journal.

Stop by and visit me sometime if you have a chance