Oh, Miss Universe: Why do you want to hurt me so? You've embraced a sassy, short-haired Miss Jamaica (which I know is not enough, but, baby steps) and encouraged viewers to write in questions on social media (so modern!), but then you go and break my heart during the question-and-answer portion of the evening. You've got me asking who writes these Miss Universe questions, because this sure was a weird line-up of inquiries.
The first question, read by Vanderpump Rules and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump, asked Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha if the Miss Universe pageant should get rid of the swimsuit competition of the show.
Um, hello. How are you going to ask a woman who has already walked on a stage in a bikini and heels in front of billions of people if she thinks she should have to? She already did! Harushka said basically that it's fine to have a swimsuit competition, and that she's okay with it. That's fine: There are many women who would feel the same, but it is unfair and, frankly, silly to expect an honest answer from a contestant who has wholeheartedly committed herself to the circus of a beauty pageant, swimsuit competitions, and all.
Next up was a question from skateboarder and TV host Rob Dyrdek to Miss Columbia Paulina Vega. Dyrdek said that he knows that men can learn a lot from women, but what is it that women should learn from men? Like, what is this? This pageant run by Donald Trump and based on a competition that is two thirds physical appearance wants these women to talk about the wisdom of men now? I can't even.
Vega kept her cool, answering in her native tongue with a message about equality. Let's be real here: These pageants are all about the male gaze, concocted by men to show off a bunch of ladies in pretty dresses and bikinis. The least they could do is ask questions that weren't so jarringly stupid. The girls are already on stage, guys: Do you want them to renounce suffrage, too? Take it back a little.
And then it is over, and I am left broken and disappointed. When it comes to pageants, the more things change, the more they don't change. And so it goes.