Why Are There So Many 'Miss Universe' Judges? Sexism, That's Why

Looks like the Miss Universe pageant pulled a fast one on us, revealing at show time many more judges than we thought would be assessing these global lovely ladies. While Miss Universe 2015 had announced a few of its judges prior to the competition, when the day of the competition came and time came to introduce all the folks who'd be passing judgement on women from all over the world, the supply of POVs seemed nearly endless. Why on earth does it take this many people to judge these women? (And that's before I get into the issue of judging them in the first place.)

The judges for this year's pageant are:

  • 19-time Grammy Award-winning musician and producer (and husband of Gloria) Emilio Estefan
  • Washington Redskins wide receiver and Pro Bowl-er DeSean Jackson
  • Creative Director of Marie Claire and Project Runway judge Nina Garcia
  • Skateboarder and TV host Rob Dyrdek
  • Miami Marlins right fielder and two-time All-Star Giancarlo Stanton
  • Boxer and congressman Manny Pacquiao
  • Reality TV star and shoe designer Kristin Cavallari
  • Actor William Levy
  • Reality TV star, restaurateur, and Beverly Hills queen Lisa Vanderpump
  • Host, fashion journalist, and author Louise Roe

It's quite a cast of characters: sport players and TV stars and actors, oh my! Miss Universe had to fly ten pseudo-celebrities in order to accurately look at 88 women in bikinis? Why do we need so many people to judge these women?

It's because this sexist, outdated tradition is a microcosm of the world at large. Women, as a whole, are judged far more harshly than men are, their bodies and minds picked apart and analyzed minute by minute. Don't fit into the image that someone — anyone, really — believes you should be made into? That's too bad. The problem with Miss Universe is that they tout global beauty and individualism as main philosophies, but all the women competing in the pageant fit into the same Trump-approved mold of thin, long legs and tousled hair extensions. I’m all for scholarship programs, but how about a scholarship program that doesn't depend so heavily on swimsuit competitions?