The politics of beauty

CarriePrejeanMy interest in beauty pageants probably peaked when I was 15. These days, the closest I get is laughing at Sandra Bullock’s send-up of beauty contests (scholarship programs!) in Miss Congeniality.

But I have been fascinated by the controversy over this weekend’s Miss USA pageant, caused when Perez Hilton, a gay pageant judge, asked Miss California (Carrie Prejean) her opinion of same sex marriage, and poor Carrie had the temerity to ignore the cue cards and think for herself!

Her brief remarks have created a firestorm. After the show, an incensed Mr. Perez went on YouTube and called Prejean a “dumb b-ch” who gave the “worst pageant answer ever.” A California pageant official has accused her of lacking compassion. You be the judge:

Perez Hilton, pageant judge: “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”

Miss California, Carrie Prejean: “I think it’s great Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be — between a man and a woman.” — transcript from Catholic Online

Pretty raw words for a beauty pageant. Alicia Jacobs, a former Miss Nevada and pageant judge, talks about her own shock and disgust in a blog entry she called Pretty is as pretty does:

I was STUNNED on several levels. First, how could this young woman NOT know her audience and judges? Let’s not forget that the person asking the question is an openly gay man, at least 2 people on the judges panel are openly gay. Another judge has a sister in a gay marriage. … Did I mention I was STUNNED? I was also personally insulted & hurt. Prejean’s words hit very close to home for me. Some of the most important people in my life, happen to be gay.

Oh, the humanity! Alas, there were too many hurt feelings, and Miss Prejean’s answer eliminated her from the race for the crown.

I think it’s interesting to compare Carrie Prejean’s answer to a similar performance back in August. A young man in a beauty contest had been asked to submit to questioning in a similarly hostile environment. Do you remember? It took place at Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency, on the night of August 16, 2008.

Here’s what happened:

Rev. Warren: “Define marriage.”

Sen. Obama: “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it’s also a sacred union. You know, God’s in the mix.”

Rev. Warren: “Would you support a constitutional amendment with that definition?”

Sen. Obama: “No, I would not.”

Rev. Warren: “Why not?”

Sen. Obama: “Because historically, we have not defined marriage in our Constitution. … I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions.” — Chicago Sun-Times blog

I’ve been parsing those two statements, Prejean’s and Obama’s, for quite some time, and I confess I don’t see a hair’s breadth of difference between them.

Despite the STUNNING callousness of his answer that night, and the young man’s obvious lack of compassion for the gay community, Mr. Illinois somehow managed to win the crown.

Of the two, Prejean’s reply took a good deal more courage. She was being questioned by a gay judge and a gay-friendly jury, after all. She surely knew that the response of her heart was not the answer this audience was looking for.

Obama, on the other hand, was speaking before a largely conservative audience in an evangelical church when he endorsed the traditional view of marriage. How hard was that?

I am inclined to think that Obama got a pass on this insult to his friends on the left precisely because they are his friends, and as such, they could be counted on to know when he was being honest, and when he was just being a good politician, saying what he needed to say to get elected.

The anger focused on Prejean, on the other hand, comes from the realization that she was very likely telling the truth about what she thinks, a truth many find offensive.

It’s an interesting and instructive cultural moment, one of those ‘ah-hah’ moments when the curtain gets yanked aside and we get a quick glimpse of the Wizard back there, desperately trying to make himself look great and powerful by yanking levers and turning valves.

Mr. Perez’s question was clearly intended to co-opt the pageant for his political ends. Jumping on the stage and shouting slogans would have accomplished the same thing, but far better if he could put his words into the mouths of some bright and beautiful young women. He is not dumb; he knew quite well that these contestants wanted desperately to look good in front of the judges and could be counted on to give the right sort of answers. Wink and nod.

Perhaps the Miss USA pageant itself, in selecting him as a judge in the first place, was announcing its willingness to have its little scholarship program co-opted by the cultural left.

None of them apparently considered the possibility that, hidden among all those plastic smiles, there might be one contestant with a mind of her own, and the backbone to say what she really thought.

They won’t let that happen again.

Photo credit: San Diego Christian College

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  1. In case you didn’t get to catch her on Good Morning America, she was AWESOME in her response to this whole thing.

    Click here to watch.

    While I did not watch the pageant, I have to admit I was blown away by the whole thing when I saw this video clip. I just thought you all might like to see how God works, even in something like a beauty pageant! I was most impressed with how forthcoming Miss California was in speaking about her faith and how she wouldn’t change what happened. I also think it so interesting that the man who asked the question and subsequently dogged her for “not being more prepared with an answer” was so wrong in this thinking. She was quite prepared and most exemplified 1 Peter 3:15

    “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to

    everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence”

  2. the gay guy is a clown. I find it odd that when the silent majority speak up and speak their mind we have a jackass like this Hilton cat and others beating down a person’s opinion. The dirt bag should have gotten with his other transgendered, bi-sexual-gay, lesbian buddies and with the help of the other Hate America first crowd, jumped [on] Hussein Obama for his same comment.

  3. Mr. or Ms. Perez … [is a loser].

    Miss California is Real American. She is my WINNER. YOU ARE THE WINNER.

    Love You.


  4. Miss HIlton: I am sure you prefer to be called this way not Mr. Hilton. You are not smart enough remember Prop. 8 won in California. Perhaps you think that Miss California is really very eager to win the title that you expect her to answer your question in favor of you. You were humiliated with her straightforwardness and her belief about marriage and she was biblically correct. Miss Hilton God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Adam and Eve and Eve. The purpose is to multiply. The BIBLE is the book of all books. Bravo Miss California you are really the winner not only with your looks but overall your Christian value is the real winner.

  5. As shocking as her answer might have been given the present circumstances, for an ad lib response, it was pretty clear and well thought out. Still, given the pro gay panel present, their reaction wasn’t that surprising. As for Obama’s comment, there’s no surprise there as well. The media has always covered up, or at least toned down, any kind of negative imaging that might arise from or about their “Messiah”

  6. What have we become. We live in a society where people who have little to no regard for morality are awarded for being brave and progressive, and people who stand up for what is right in the sight of God, are vilified for being narrow minded , even accused of being a hate monger, and, get this, if the excuse for a an administration led by Obama gets their way, we may even be considered a domestic terrorist. You know, the Bible does speak that in the last days, good will be called evil, and evil good.

    What we have become

  7. You’re very right to call that freak, Perez Hilton, a “dirt-bag”.

    (He’s also a pig and a pornographer, in addition to being a little dictator and a slanderer.)

    He likes to misuse photos taken of other people and draw very crude, sometimes even lewd and abusive and obviously pornographic / sexually graphic graffiti on those pictures.

    He has done this to many people, including Ms. Prejean. I saw that Perez-manipulated picture, at his dirty little gossip website. His graffiti-style manipulations are downright Sick! I’ve decided to not describe in words what I saw, but suffice it to say that it was gross! Very apparently, he wanted to demean her, because she wouldn’t cowtow to his totalitarian piggery!

    His use of gossip and nasty graffiti reminds me of how school-aged bullies, especially bully-type girls, would use gossip to destroy or otherwise harm other kids.

    (BTW, I hope that lawsuits be taken against him, and be all subsequently won against him — so let the screen-captures and other forms of evidence-gathering begin against that pig! Keep everything in context, don’t exaggerate what he says — just show everything he says, what a slandering pig that he truly is, how he’ll demean or try to demean anybody who doesn’t give little Perez-brat what he wants. Show everything — the truth itself will show what a sick freak that he is! Just my humble suggestion of what to do to that tort-feasor named “Perez Hilton” or Mario Lavendiera.)

    This guy is spiritually and morally Sick, and it shows in his despicable behavior, both on his website and off it. I’m tempted to label him a Psychopath, but maybe it’s enough to call him a Freak of the lowest order.

    So, I think you’re right to call that (Perez Hilton) freak a “dirt bag”.

  8. The difference is simple — the great majority of people have beliefs, while Obama and most politicians express convenient beliefs to get themselves elected…

  9. Its funny how the gay mafia wants all of us to embrace their beliefs and how they totally are against even the notion that some (in this case a majority of us) may have different opinion. This just shows the ignorance of these people and I wonder if they even understand that such outbursts of anger and intolerance to other people’s opinions is only working against them. This creature named Perez Hilton is nothing more than a piece of human garbage and the only reason why he and others like him have any say today is because they are all emboldened by the radical socialist government we have that lacks any morals and human values…so this Hilton-creature feels very comfortable knowing he is a part of the chain. As to the Hollywood reaction with all the so called “celebrities” competing against each other on who can better bash this poor girl who DARED to speak her mind, its nothing new…when WE THE PEOPLE would stop supporting this garbage by not going to their movies and concerts and not buying their DVDs, they will stop…its that simple! Their “ideology” would not withstand the “dollar” test.

  10. Ok, forget what the bible says about marriage. I agree wholeheartedly with it but everyone has the free will given by God to choose what they believe even though at the end of this life our lives will be laid open before Him who will judge the living and the dead.

    I do find it funny though that the gays and liberals call Carrie insensitive, and intolorant and disrespectful of others views and are doing their best to slander and discount her views on marriage.

    Well, what did they just do to her? She respectfully expressed her view and look what about hipocracy.

  11. Good for Miss Prejean. If they were not prepared for the answer then they should not have asked the question! This is typical of the liberals in this country. Does anyone really care about the pageant anyway, especially now?

  12. 37

    As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark

  13. How could it be a stupid answer, the truth is the truth. If the puke Hilton dude or whatever he is, don’t like it, he can go to hell!

    Great job Ms. California, great answer! Yes!

  14. Hmm, what is a so-called gay or lesbian?????

    Man or a woman??? The confusions start here!

    It appears to be the homosexual’s way to get away from they really are; homosexuals.

    Homosexuality is a behavior not a race. Its against nature period!

    Great job Ms. California. You told like it is, marriage is between a man and a woman!

  15. Mar 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

    Mar 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

    Mar 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

  16. Well said!

    What is happening in our country? I was raised with the belief that our freedom is the beauty of our country. We are all entitled to our opinion, including Miss Prejean. Good for her, for first of all having her own strong opinion, and second for standing by her beliefs. Perhaps she won more that evening then she ever dreamed possible.

  17. Perez’s question very clearly asked “Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?” If he was not prepared for her to answer honestly, he should not have asked the question. And if the pageant committee allowed the question, they should by all means allow her to answer. I am so sick of immorality being boosted to such stardom by ignorance and attention grabbers. Anyone outside the norm can keep pushing and pushing until they are accepted as “normal” but when someone doesn’t share the same views, and says the same, without pushing I might add, they are immediately ridiculed and defiled as insensitive and not politically correct. Being politically correct is ruining our country. Every citizen has the “God Given Right” to stand up for their beliefs, even Mr. Perez and that’s exactly what he asked her to answer, “did she think”. I haven’t seen her retaliating against him or anyone else with the same beliefs or lifestyle. Grow up Perez! Stop acting like a spoiled child! It is the people who stand up for God and Jesus Christ without fear who will be looking down on the destruction of this world and it’s immorality. I pray for all of you everyday.

  18. God bless this beautiful young woman for her faith and courage. By the way what is a gay man doing judging a beauty pageant? What’s wrong with this picture. Talk about a setup. He should’ve been at a Chippendale’s show instead. Funny how the gay community has carte blanche to treat their oppostion any way they please; but if they get a taste of their own medicine they go crazy. Just wondering…