10 Reasons Watching Miss Universe Is Worth Your Time
With the approach of its 2015 show on Dec. 20, I have been contemplating the many reasons why Miss Universe might be worth watching — besides the fact I enjoy keeping up to date with popular culture. Recently, beauty pageants have received their fair share of contempt, coming under fire for not being as feminist, body positive, or all-around diverse as one might expect from a supposed celebration of women and women's interests. In my personal opinion, beauty pageants should be about crowning a woman of outstanding moral character, who is willing to be a role model to generations of other young women and little girls, while partaking in life-changing, selfless work that benefits others.
Movies like Miss Congeniality and beauty pageant reality TV shows have helped to further highlight some of the more problematic aspects of pageantry. For instance, there is little to no diversity in terms of how contestants usually look, especially as it pertains to size. And obviously aspects like the swimsuit competition seem to be about little else than satisfying the male gaze.
As a feminist living in the 21st century, these kinds of issues surrounding beauty pageants frustrate me to no end. However, pageants aren't all bad. And even if they were, familiarizing ourselves with areas of pop culture and contemporary living that could vastly be improved upon is pretty important if we want them to change. So here are 10 reasons to give Miss Universe your time this weekend.
1. This Year, Miss Universe Is #ConfidentlyBeautiful
This year's contestants have been sharing no makeup selfies tagged #ConfidentlyBeautiful all over Twitter in the week leading up to the show. IMO, this was a great way for the contestants to show their naturally beautiful selves minus the makeup, and it will hopefully inspire other women and girls to feel proud of the skin they're actually in.
2. The Gorgeous Gowns Are Your NYE Dress Inspo
Are you stuck for something to wear during the holiday season, particularly for the pinnacle night that is New Year's Eve? The contestants' stunning gowns should serve as inspiration this holiday season.
3. These Gals Show Solidarity
I have always thought that beauty pageants are largely about stunning women (as defined by social constructs of aspirational beauty) beaming perfect smiles and little else. I also assumed the girl on girl hate in such a competition would be strong. Thankfully, these contestants appear to be supportive of one another, despite competing for the same title. Take a look at this video of roomies Miss Greece and Miss Curacao, taking selfies and showing the camera operator how they spend their downtime.
In addition, many of the women (like Miss USA and Miss Mexico) are quick to share images in support of their fellow contestants on social media, never failing to note when they've clicked with each other or when they're just taken aback by one another's beauty.
4. Perez Hilton Is A Judge
One can only expect the best from Perez Hilton thanks to his hilarious way of discussing celebrity culture, and I'm sure he won't disappoint. Hopefully he'll be flinging his truth bombs all over the stage.
5. The Gorgeous Beauty Looks
The contestants of Miss Universe 2015 will be preened and pampered, likely through a mixture of classic and modern beauty looks. Sure, you might only be able to achieve these kinds of looks with a hairstylist and makeup artist in tow, but they might just serve as wonderful beauty inspiration for any special events you'll be attending in the year to come. If you've got a wedding, a special work event, or an important dinner to attend, let yourself be inspired by all this glam.
6. It Could Help Us Learn More About Other Cultures
I loved this Language 101 video starring some of the Miss Universe 2015 contestants. It was pretty beneficial to hear how to say a variety of different words and phrases in languages other than English. Although we've already seen this year's national costumes, I've got my fingers crossed for some more peeks into different cultures the world over. Previous Miss Universe competitions have also had a segment for national costumes meant to shed light on an element of each of the contestant's culture. The history lessons are there, even if they're coated in glitter.
7. You Can See Some Awesome Artists Performing
If music is more your cup of tea, know that you'll be able to catch performances by The Band Perry, Seal, and Charlie Puth during the pageant.
8. We Can Learn How To Lose Graciously
There are some moments in life when you just have to grin and bear it: Your crush may have gotten a new partner, your BFF may have started dating your sibling, or you may have lost out on a promotion at work. Sometimes, you've just got to keep smiling even when you feel like going on a Hulk rampage. So take a leaf out of these ladies' books and learn how to remain emotionally in control when said rampage wouldn't be in your best interest.
9. Miss Netherlands Could Be A Dutch Jennifer Lawrence
Jessie Jazz, Miss Netherlands, is pretty awesome. Here, she spoke of her comedic adventure to Las Vegas (where this year's pageant is being held) including the moment when she couldn’t carry her dresses anymore, so she had to drag them through the airport on the floor. She told viewers that people asked if she was carrying a dead body, laughing all the while. After this episode, she missed her flight, describing that part as “pretty crappy.” Here's hoping for more comedic relief from Miss Netherlands on Sunday.
10. It Gives You An Opportunity To Play The Miss Universe Drinking Game
If none of the above tickle your fancy, and you reckon the only way you can sit through Miss Universe 2015 is by getting blind drunk, don't worry. There's a drinking game that will get you through it. One of the rules of the Miss Universe drinking game includes taking a drink anytime a contestant says "blessed."
In the end, though, the biggest reason to watch Miss Universe to support other women. At its core, feminist thinking is rooted in lifting each other up, and creating a society in which women feel free and able to express their interests, their likes, and their dislikes — even if and when those interests include subscribing to traditional beauty standards.