One Gersh Kuntzman (like there’d be two Gersh Kuntzmans, or Kuntzmen, or whatever) complains in the Brooklyn Paper that Miss America always seems to come from some place like, well, Oklahoma:
Look, I’m not going to pick a fight with my friends in Oklahoma. It’s not Miss Oklahoma’s fault that she’s the latest in a long line of airy blondes with middle-aged-lady hairstyles, a talent for baton-twirling and vaguely Southern accents who have hijacked the notion of American beauty.
This year, it was supposed to be different. By sending the raven-haired, tap-dancing, no-nonsense [Bethlene] Pancoast to the contest, New York was saying “no” to the beauty queen-industrial complex that drives this, our nation’s most illustrious pageant.
Unfortunately, the pageant said “no” right back.
Pancoast, of course, is far too gracious to accept my premise that the Miss America Organization is not only biased against beauty, but also against the northeast (which hasn’t won since 1984).
Let the record show that Bethlene Pancoast is indeed hot. (Actually, every woman from Brooklyn I’ve ever met has been hot, but this is too small a sample to be considered Useful Data.)
And I wouldn’t for a moment suggest that there’s any connection between the following isolated factoids:
- The Pageant is carried on Country Music Television.
- Ms Pancoast lives in Brooklyn, one of five boroughs of the City of New York, which has no country-music radio station.
Nor does she herself suspect a fix:
I really don’t think there’s a bias against us. The thing is, pageants are a much bigger deal in the South. They train for them. A lot of girls down there do it from a young age.
I admit here that (1) I haven’t watched one of these things in thirty years or so, inasmuch as they always seem a tad creepy to me, and (2) Kuntzman may well be right about the notion of American beauty having been “hijacked” certainly the last time I was in Los Angeles, where beauty is a primary currency, all the Major Babes looked more or less alike.