The Miss Universe contest is still sexist like hell, and it’s not what we need right now



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Nowhere is the double gender standard more apparent than in the Miss Universe competition.

While women in all industries face professional obstacles, competitions are one of the only workplaces where they are required to wear dresses when doing so. In this annual competition, women are expected to be beautiful, intelligent and balanced; To look good in a bikini, as a question and answer segment, represent your entire nation and walk perfectly in high heels. Meanwhile, Steve Harvey, the reigning male host, automatically exceeds expectations if he manages to read the right winner (and was somehow hired again after bading his only job).

The only thing more painful than seriously contemplating the feminine ideal that Miss Universe suggests-six feet tall, friendly, perfectly toned, well spoken and uncontroversial-is seeing the Miss Universe competition. And yet, year after year, hordes of catalog models congregate and the world tunes in. The Miss Universe 2017 competition is back in the United States-Las Vegas, Nevada, and celebrates a momentous milestone: most of the countries represented. There are 92 women and almost infinite opportunities for Steve Harvey to pronounce a name wrong. But who could blame Harvey for tripping over his script, with a motley crew of vaguely familiar-looking judges and auxiliary hosts?

Hay Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015; Lele Pons, an "influencer with millions of followers"; "Expert in pop culture" Ross Mathews; Farouk Shami, who Wikipedia informs me is a "Palestinian-American businessman and founder of the Farouk Systems hair and spa care products company"; UFC commentator Megan Olivi; the former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam; and the next top model of the United States Jay Manuel himself. Helping Harvey with his host duties are Ashley Graham, Carson Kressley, and "track coach" Lu Sierra.

It's a race to the bottom to see who can say the most useless fool with the most bald voice while our intrepid team opens the show, grouping the contestants into three regional categories. While the representatives of America, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific take their time on stage, the audience wonders why there is a group of Club Med performers (white linen suits, big drums) doing an interpretive dance routine in the background. Carson Kressley is not trying to be "suspicious", but points out that Europe traditionally does not "rock" him in the competition. All right!

" Steve Harvey has two modes of accommodation: making jokes about the time he made the mistake and reading the wrong Miss Universe, and thanking God for making beautiful women. "

fill three hours of live television, the Miss Universe competition cheats with several pre-recorded video segments. For example, we can catch up with Miss Universe 2016, Iris Mittenaere. Mittenaere reminds the audience that "I am Miss Universe, but I am also a dentist". During her reign, she badumed the cause of free surgery for children with cleft palate. It is also the first European Miss Universe in more than 27 years, probably due to the inability of European women to "rock" in beauty television contests. The following is a truly fascinating segment of Miss Iraq; the country returns to competition after an absence of 45 years. For my part, perhaps naively, I did not expect Operation Desert Storm to make an appearance in this year's competition, let alone during the first hour's block.

Harvey quickly moves the ceremony of the images of a war-torn Iraq, and now we are watching videos of the preliminary competition. The contestants were subjected to many exhausting days of "choreography rehearsal", practicing their walks on the runway in a huge ballroom of the hotel. It's like a model conference of the UN high school, but instead of debating, everyone walks in a circle. Already, the group of competitors must be reduced to 16 women-four from each geographic group and four wild cards. With each new name, Harvey subjects a woman to a bittersweet moment, in which he simultaneously achieves a great achievement and has to speak little with Steve Harvey. During a particularly memorable moment, Harvey asks Miss Sri Lanka to name his eight cats, a truly awful question. He also seems obligated by contract to say "Jamaica" with a Jamaican accent.

Steve Harvey has two modes of hosting: making jokes about the time he made a mistake and reading the wrong Miss Universe, and thanking God for making beautiful women. Examples of choice include "I'm grateful for the Oscars, because I got rid of the hook" and looking at a particularly tall competitor up and down while muttering "it's not good for God." While this year's Miss Universe competition actually tried to deal with the issue of badual harbadment, no one recognized the fact that these women are objectively consistent in their own televised workplace. To make matters worse: they do not have to smile and bear it when Steve Harvey gapes at them: they have to laugh, as if it were funny.

Speaking of feminism, the war in swimwear competition has not yet reached Miss Universe. Even better, before the infamous segment begins, we'll see a montage of bikini contestants of yesteryear. They also called on some current Miss Universe competitors to address the controversial act of judging semi-naked women in high heels. South Africa says it has worked "so much to be fit and healthy", and that it wants to inspire others to do the same. Britain has "chosen to celebrate my femininity" and added: "Celebrate women! Why should we apologize?" For the next ten minutes, we celebrated the women in bikinis and one-pieces, with and without sarongs. Six more women are sent home, for reasons that are definitely much more complex than how hot they are in swimsuits and wedges.

To meet the other contestants, the Miss Universe team has gathered some more videos. Reducing a full human life to a happy minute results in a very strange footage: a mix of very intense memories and exercise shots in slow motion. The most common theme is something that the contestant has overcome. Miss Colombia was intimidated when she was younger. Miss South Africa was abducted and held at gunpoint in her car. Miss Thailand did not know what she wanted to do after college. Some contestants want to motivate young people, while others seek to empower women. Miss Philippines owns a small business, and Miss Spain loves basketball.

The next, Steve Harvey cruelly announces that the national costume contest took place earlier this week, robbing us of the opportunity to see all the Miss Universe contestants dressed as human souvenirs of the airports. He also calls Miss Japan's patriotic attire – a kimono – "quite hot."

A lucky group of contestants is cornered to talk about badual harbadment, participating in the ancestral debate of whether men should stop harbading women or not because they have mothers and sisters or simply because of basic human decency. Then comes the competition for the evening dresses, which features a live performance of Fergie! During this segment, Carson Kressley calls a silver metallic dress with "very simple" feather details. He also explains that "red says you have me in mind", while track coach Lu Sierra shouts: "Look at the face! Look at the face!" Fergie tries to get the best out of a difficult situation, and Steve Harvey announces our last five.

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Now is the time for the last question, also known as good shit. The questions are "from fans through Facebook" and do not disappoint.

Miss South Africa launches a harmless response, demanding "equal pay for equal work" for women around the world. Venezuela has the task of arbitrating if social networks have "a positive or negative effect on the way we judge beauty", responding, "social networks are what we do with them". Thailand asks a question about "the most important social movement" of the day, instead of declaring that "the youth is the future". Jamaica relies on badual harbadment as "a form of abuse," continuing, "no abuse in the workplace or in society should be tolerated." But Harvey keeps the best question for the end, since Miss Colombia strives to articulate, in detail, how she would explain terrorism to a child. You really can not invent this.

Fortunately, Miss Colombia can move forward with Miss Jamaica and Miss South Africa. In the final segment, the remaining contestants are asked exactly the same question, an easy suggestion about their most admirable quality. Jamaica talks about its impulse and its foundation for the deaf, and even signs a little. Colombia is "incredibly pbadionate about everything I do" and Miss South Africa explains that "Miss Universe is a woman who has overcome many fears". After some comments from our backup hosts and a farewell tear from Miss Universe 2016, Harvey takes the stage to make a final joke about announcing the wrong winner before giving Miss South Africa the crown.

And so, three hours later, we're finished.

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