Posted On December 22, 2014 By In The Scene, Up For Debate

Miss World Cancels Swimsuit Portion, Oh My!


Let me preface this by saying that I have no issue with beauty pageants…or whatever the politically correct people of the Internet want to call them.

If you’re beautiful with a rockin’ bod, hats off to you, my friend!

However, I do take an issue with the fact that we are still pretending these beauty pageants are anything more than beauty pageants.

Yes, these women are philanthropists and scholars and diplomats and general do-gooders.

But first and foremost, they are beautiful.
They are beautiful women, who are ALSO those other things. Not the other way around.

Because it’s normal to ask dignitaries to walk around in a bikini before they assess foreign policy, right?


So let’s stop pretending. If the Miss World pageants wants to be more than a “scholarship” program for coifed hair and white teeth, then they need to scrap the beauty portion OR the intellectual portion of it, altogether.

Focus on one.

Because let’s face it. These women may have some truly outstanding things to say about what’s going on in the world, but they are only given 20 seconds to do so.

That’s barely a tweet!

How can anyone fairly assess someone’s knowledge of diplomacy when they are given more time to sing Celine Dion’s, “My Heart Will Go On,” than they are to address the problem with racism that it still so prevalent in the “land of the free?”

The fact is no one really seems to take beauty pageants seriously as a form of identifying a noble ambassador for our counties, states, countries, and world.

I was recently on the Miss California Facebook page where they have put up photos of the women who will be competing for the title next year.

And you know what I saw?
Aside from a lot of beautiful women with million dollar smiles, I saw a lot of judgmental people saying, “Yikes! She’s not pretty enough to be here.”

I don’t know those girls. I don’t know what they are studying or where they go to school or what charities they take a part in, but I know that those comments hurt their feelings. And they deserve more than that.

Because let’s be honest, they probably are awesome people who donate their time and energy into the people and projects that really need them right now. They probably deserve the scholarship money that comes with the title of Miss California.

But because they are expected to be beautiful first and foremost, they are immediately criticized by the very people that put them on that pedestal in the first place.

So what if we scrapped it?

What if we scrapped the synchronized dance portion?
And the evening gowns?
And the overall pomp & circumstance?

What if the woman who was crowned Miss World was truly an outstanding woman of and for the world?

Yes, she could also be beautiful, but that wouldn’t matter because we wouldn’t be assessing the flatness of her tummy or the symmetry of her breasts.

We would give her far more than 20 measly seconds to assess what the hell is going on in the world right now. We would allow her a chance to give her perspective and to develop a plan for the future.

There are so many women in this world doing amazing things, but because they don’t have that classic beauty, they are overlooked for being considered someone worthy of representing their state or their country or even the world.

They don’t have the walk or the smile or the wave. Are those the things we truly need in the world right now?

Because dignity, poise, and grace should be so much more than how well you walk across a stage.

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Kelli Johnson is an aspiring writer and the current (self-proclaimed) most kickass substitute teacher of all time. Her obsessions include coffeehouse chatter, Radiohead on rainy days (aka Rainiohead), and coming up with alternative tag lines for the Real Housewives. When she's not molding young minds or crying over her student loans, she can be found watching Golden Girls reruns or frolicking with her sweet tortoise named Spartacus.