Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Miss Teen "U.S. American"

Every once in a while, a video will sweep the YouTube nation's collective consciousness simply because it's so fascinating that you can't believe what you're seeing. This is one of those times.

After watching it three times in a row, these 48 seconds of recent history inspire an amazing mix of emotions for me. I feel an overwhelming sense of pity for Miss South Carolina, as this video was posted just three days ago and already has 4.5 million hits on YouTube, including a four-out-of-five star rating for all the wrong reasons. The grammar buff in me feels a morbid curiosity and wants to diagram her sentences to see exactly what she was saying. Fortunately, there is a subtitled version of the video online as well (with another 850,000 views). Even if she had gone with her initial ridiculous statement about "people out there in our nation who don't have maps," she could have kept some of the egg off of her face. Unfortunately she had to give an international answer to a national question and take viewers on a tour of South Africa, Asian countries and "the Iraq." Is that where they sell the Apple iRack?

Lest anyone think that I'm being cruel to poor Lauren Sinclair Upton, I know that there is no way this girl could be that stupid. Unfortunately, beauty pageants set these girls up for episodes like this. I understand that these types of beauty pageants are actually scholarship programs gussied up with talent contests and bikini competitions. But I've never understood why they still exist in 2007 or why women would enter them and put up with the public scrutiny that they entail. It just seems excruciatingly 1950s to me. Ladies? Is there something I'm missing here?

When I was an intern at the Daily Herald, I had the opportunity to interview Miss Illinois, who seemed like an intelligent and grounded person who genuinely cared about the Miss Illinois pet project--"youth violence prevention." Fortunately, she also looks good in a bikini, otherwise she might never have gotten to wear that crown.

As for Upton, I think she'll survive. In order to save face and extend her faux pas into a little more free publicity, she appeared on the Today Show this morning to take a second stab at the question and laugh off the incident with Matt Lauer's help. Maybe she should have just posted it as a video response on YouTube.


Bret said...


Bret said...

Another good one, such as:

Martin said...

I don't know if this is reason to keep on or quit teaching Social Studies...

ericaislands said...

Pageants make me cringe! It can make the most confident woman doubt herself (so this confident woman tuned out when it showed up on NBC that particular Friday night.)

Check up on that former Miss Illinois, find out if she is still committed to that pet project of hers.

Fethiye Hande Starmach said...

It is sad, embarrassing and not shocking. As a women I felt it is embarrassing to see another women puts her self into these competition without knowing anything about anything, as a viewer I felt sad that we have a media who shows us these stupid competitions, and totally not shocking because there are so many people out there like her.