Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Miss Universe 2005

Melina, Zed and I packed onto my bed to watch Miss Universe last night. I remember doing this with my aunt when I was ten years old! Back then, the girls had "talents" - I especially remember us snarking at the hog callers, lassoo artists, and baton twirlers - and they wore those soviet-quality Catalina swimsuits built around girdles.

This year the biggest sport was trying to decide which girls had breast implants and surgical tweaking of their faces. We've been studying at

The native costumes were fantastic and surprising. They were native, not to any actual community or country, but to the Las Vegas, Paris, and Hollywood girly shows of past eras. We loved them but they whizzed by far too fast. They reminded me happily of the days when "state costumes" of the Miss America contest had fruits and maps glued onto them.

The evening gowns, many slit up to the crotch, seemed to have been concocted by one mind, a mind with a preference for sickly pale shades of yellow and lime.

We were appalled to see that almost all the many, many judges were white, and that most of the contestants were white, and that all the finalists were white. White, white, white. Very few contestants from Africa, and of those, Miss South Africa was a blond. The girls from Latin America, who dominated the finals, were also white white white. Melina: "I thought we got past this a long time ago."

The short host kept trying to point out to us that he was a heterosexual, I'm not sure why he thought we cared. He seemed to have a lot of botox in his forehead - nothing happened when he raised his eyebrows. His blond co-pilot had a nasty, nasal voice and her dress had a sports-bra quality to it. At least it wasn't chartreuse.

I didn't know that Thailand could look so much like Las Vegas. I guess the point was to show us that luxury resorts were ready to take our money again after the disaster of the tsunami, which was mentioned briefly just before a commercial break so you could, at that point, decide to meditate on misery or watch a lady get migraine relief, your choice.

Here you can see a picture of a couple of the girls, captioned: "Miss Universe 2005 delegates appear in bikinis before sacred Buddhist temple, triggering anger and red faces."

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At 9:39 AM, Blogger kenju said...

I checked the plastic surgery site and it is so pitiful to see once decent looking people mutilate themselves through surgery. I'm glad I don't have the money for it - though I doubt I'd have it anyway.

At 9:01 PM, Anonymous colleen said...

Thanks for the update and cultural commentary. I watch the Academy Awards but usually miss this one. As far as plastic surgery, I was shocked to see Meg Ryan did it...I thought she looked great as she was.

At 9:55 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

I was watching it last night, too, and remember thinking that the darkest of the finalists was from Canada. The other 4 were from Latin-America (which is looking less latin and more american every day).

I guess we (latin-americans) can't complain: we swallowed hook, line and sinker the American ideology for... well... everything.

oh... bother... it's not like it's ever going to change... but thanks!

At 11:44 PM, Blogger Lora said...

I know, it's really sad how uniform we are becoming.

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone does seem incredibly fair skinned. Even the Latin girls and India, as well. Its like sending the message that there is no place for girls like me who are the brown colour that all my Caucasian girlfriends aspire to. Its pretty depressing!

At 1:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, to win Miss Universe 2004, Jennifer Hawkins had plastic surgery or else she wouldn't have got a second look. Check out the pics at


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