Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 13/02/97

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Let's get this straight: I hate pageants

Obviously I wasn't trying hard enough. When I began Gusworld's Dumb Quotes From Pageant Life section, I thought the aimless tone of venality (and the use of the word 'dumb') made it clear that I'm opposed to these things. Apparently not. I received this email yesterday:

Hi, My name is Sue. I am entering my daughter, Britanee, in a Sunburst Beauty Pageant on Feb. 22nd. She is two years old and this is her first time. I do not know very much about "Pageant Life". Could you tell me your thoughts or opinion on Sunburst? Like I said before, this is our first time and your advice would be very helpful. Thank You, Sue.

It's very hard to resist the use of the phrase "get a clue" here, but I'll try.

Let's start with the facts. I know nothing more about Sunburst Beauty Pageants than what I read in Pageant Life. My opposition to this pageant (read about it in the archives) is based solely on the fact that it focuses solely on the 'beauty' of the contestants ("facial beauty is continually stressed to the judges panel" was the exact phrase used). The entire concept of pageantry is dumb, but when the organisers go out of their way to emphasise that there is nothing more to them than a senseless emphasis on the accident of appearance, then a lobotomy seems like the most appropriate option for those organisers.

So, Sue, my thoughts are this: do not enter your child in the upcoming Sunburst pageant, or any other pageant, ever. The last thing a two-year-old needs is to be caked in makeup, draped in satin, and made obsessive about the way she looks. The major decision a two-year-old should be making is whether or not to throw a tantrum in the middle of a supermarket.

Do you want your daughter to be an anorexic by the time she's a teenager? Do you want her to be some brain-dead bimbo who mouths platitudes about the value of friendship and the American way while she struts around the stage in a bikini? Do you want her values so fundamentally distorted that by the time she's 25, she believes she is over the hill? That's the path you'll be setting her on if she enters that pageant on February 22. You're her mother, and at this stage, she's not going to get much say in it. It's your responsibility to make the best decision in her interests, so just cancel the entry, OK?

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