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22 December 2015, 12:16
It's not the one you think...
Don't get me wrong, I laughed hard when Steve Harvey's mistaken Miss Universe announcement broke online yesterday. Equal parts mortifying and compelling, you simply couldn't look away.
Side note - Steve's long, slow, Arrested Development-esque walk over to Miss Colombia to deliver the bad news was my personal video highlight.
Sadness in his eyes.
And the internet reactions were hilarious too, turning this fiasco into a late contender for meme of the year.
The Miss Universe thing is really getting taken too far but what isn't anymore? This lil meme tho, I lol'd pic.twitter.com/CYaIZWs8wt— (hristy (@ChristyAnn15) December 21, 2015
So yes, all very funny.
But we need to talk about the bigger issue: we are now at the end of 2015. And Miss Universe is still a thing. Holy sh*t. How did that happen?
Just really think about that for a second - in 2015, a contest took place, televised around the world, in which a series of impossibly beautiful women were paraded around a stage and instructed to smile sweetly for the camera in front of an audience largely made up of salivating men and a couple of token women before a "celebrity" panel compared notes on who looks most bangable in a swimsuit. Watching this "live television event" is like jumping in a TARDIS back to 1970s Vegas, with enough misogynist undertones to fill an entire new season of Mad Men.
It's the type of spectacle that is only "classy" when viewed through the eyes of president cosplayer and human poop emoji Donald Trump. The fact that he ran the competition until this year is even less surprising than all those attention seeking, manufactured shock statements he allows to slop out of his gaping face hole at regularly scheduled press-friendly intervals, almost as if they're not actually real. But let's not digress...
In the same week this archaic bloodsport took place, a small independent art-house film entitled Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened in a handful of cinema chains across the world and seemed to do quite well. Good for them.
At the centre of the film is Daisy Ridley's Rey, that rarest of movie characters - a young, confident female with agency. Katniss Everdeen led the way and now Rey takes on the mantle, holding her own in a male-dominated galaxy. And whilst the usual detractors made their unpopular views known on twitter, this new and long overdue move for the franchise was greeted largely with praise. The contrast between the two female role models on screens this week could not be greater.
And don't get me wrong, I'm sure the contestants of Miss Universe are lovely people. Well, actually, I've no idea, but I have no reason to believe otherwise, or to think that they had anything other than a great time competing. If they want to fight over a shiny hat, it's their business.
What I object to is the television broadcast. I know that I am (spoiler alert) a straight white male and so my views on this are never going to be as accurate and relevant as the impressionable girls growing up watching or the women who have put up with this cr*p for years. But, for what it's worth, I hate the idea of my future daughter being told by anyone that this is what you should aspire to - award winning beauty, regardless of what's inside the head. Miss Colombia may be pretty but I doubt she can swing a lightsaber.