The Beauty and the Blogger- new spokespersons for marriage rights?

Im not really into the beauty pageant thing. I laugh at the “toddlers in tiaras” shows on tv and the mothers who spend thousands of dollars on their 2 year old beauty queens. “Miss Congeniality” was cute and funny, but not so worth watching over and over. I tend to think beauty pageant girls look more like barbie dolls than talented influential women of the future. yeah… duh… wouldn’t world peace be nice? I know that my stereotypes aren’t really accurate. and im mostly kidding about the tiara’s and barbie doll thing. I know that beauty pageants, just like any thing else, take a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of commitment (and a lot of money). and until recently, i would have gone on with my everyday life passing up the beauty pageant shows on tv… but this year’s Miss USA pageant has hit headline and the 10 o-clock news. but why?

Miss USA 2009 was broadcasted live on April 19 from the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Judges include a previous Miss USA winner, television and radio personalitis from NBC, MTV, Access Hollywood, MSNBC and SNL, a Dancing With the Stars winner, and the notorious celebrity gossip blogger- Perez Hilton.

Although Miss North Carolina, Kristin Dalton, was later crowned Miss USA 2009, the headlines and news read another story…

In the last round of impromptu questions, Perez Hilton asked Miss California (who was believed to be the frontrunner), Carrie Prejean, the following question:

Perez: “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’s answer: “I think it’s great that 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 and my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anyone out there but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be between a man and a woman.”

Clearly, Prejean’s answer sided with opposite-sex marriage losing Hilton’s vote (although she did still manage to be the first runner up). Following the competition’s close, Hilton video blogged on his own gossip site his personal thoughts on Prejean’s answer of which he believes was the answer that lost her the title. Perez, who is openly gay himself, accuses Prejean of being dis-inclusive and ignorant of American rights calling Prejean a number of unprintable words. Both Prejean and Perez have made a number of tv rounds on numerous talk shows and news channels gaining much media attention. Hilton continuing to stand by his beliefs and Prejean by hers. In interviews following the events, Prejean responded to Hilton’s behavior by saying she would pray for him. But has her Christian faith contributed to her belief in opposite-sex marriage? Her answer- of course, but even her own sister is an advocate (although much more credible than Hilton) of same-sex marriage. It is, just as she answered at the pageant, her personal belief of which nothing specific has led her to except her own beliefs.

Watch Carrie Prejean’s interview on the Today show below:

Now, a week later, Hilton’s remarks are hardly an advertisement for Proposition 8. In an interesting turn of initial objectives, Perez is now becoming a hate character of the gay community who do not side with Perez’s response to Prejean’s personal opinion despite the community’s own sexual perference. In fact, Prejean’s answer didn’t sound much different than President Obama’s during his campaign of which he announced he was against Prop 8 and in favor of marriage between man and woman. Prop 8 and same-sex marriage has, in recent years, gained much support as well as debate. But why has America grabbed on so tightly to this particular story of the blogger vs. the beauty?

Meghan Daum, writer for the Los Angeles Times, suggests this story simply “managed to crystallize everything that’s irritating about “news” today. It combined pseudo-celebrities, Twitter, political sanctimony, inarticulateness and Internet-enabled vulgarity and dressed it up as the latest battle in the culture wars.”-Prejean vs. Hilton

Roland Martin, a CNN Contributor, began his article like this: “A lot of folks are always saying they like to keep it real, that they want authenticity and straight talk. Yet when someone actually does it, there is hell to pay. Welcome to the world of Miss California…” –Commentary Miss California. This idea of authenticity vs. superficiality shows, I think, great proof in the saga of the blogger and the beauty. In this case, the beauty gave an authentic answer for which the judge disowned. Hilton believed that had Prejean given an alternative answer (or a superficial one), she may have become Miss USA 2009. However, her authenticity lost her Hilton’s vote and respect of personal opinion.

At the end of the day, after the gossip and the debate, Americans, gay and straight, liberal and conservative, have found themselves with new leading spokespersons: Carrie Prejean and Perez Hilton. Although, Prejean’s words prove to be more efficient and soft to the beliefs of the people than do Hilton’s. Prejean received a standing ovation during her appearance at the Gospel Music Award’s last Thursday for her response to Hilton’s question at the pageant and criticism following the contest. In the end, Prejean has become an advocate and spokesperson for what many believe is morally right, while Hilton remains a celebrity gossip blogger notorious for arousing rage and spreading hate.

For more articles on Miss USA 2009 pageant, Carrie Prejean, or Perez Hilton, see the links below:
Miss USA 2009
Miss USA official website
Perez Hilton’s website
Has the Beauty Beat the Blogger?
NBC San Diego coverage

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  • Shelby Hume

    Good blog Linz! I like this story, I hadn’t heard it yet. It was really encouraging and cool to hear of a woman in the spotlight of America, that could (and did) stand up for what she believes in! 🙂 Thanks!