By: Langan Kingsley

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I Expect More From You, Miss California

During the Miss USA Pageant, Miss California flubbed a question regarding income inequality. She took a long pause before answering, and then stated that there needs to be an end to the “segregation ‘ between the rich and the poor. I, for one, expect a much more informed response from my Miss USA contestants.

The contestants, all of whom are under the age of twenty-seven, have an obligation to us, the Miss USA viewers, to give informed responses to complicated policy questions. Yes, the question of “What should be done about income inequality? ‘ baffles even nobel-prize winning economists, but we ‘re not talking about the freakin ‘ Nobels, here. We ‘re talking about something even more important: The Miss USA Competition.

The Miss USA pageant is a contest where women are legally required to be both unmarried and not pregnant, and, if they win, remain so throughout their reign. It is a contest where there are three categories in which contestants are judged: gown, swimsuit, and personality. It is a contest that is judged by Steve Harvey. It is a contest during which I should be able to receive a thoughtful answer to a deeply complicated policy question from a woman I saw wearing a string bikini only moments before.

Look, I don ‘t care who you are. When you ‘re standing on stage next BET ‘s Terrance J. and Blackface Halloween Costume ‘s Julianne Hough while answering a question from America ‘s Next Top Model ‘s Nigel Barker about how you would close the income gap between the rich and the poor, you sure as heck better have an answer and it sure as heck better not be a stupid one.

You ‘re vying for the chance to compete for Miss Universe. Do you understand the gravity of that responsibility? It ‘s not just the world that ‘s will be watching your every move, but stars and planets as well.

And don ‘t tell me you didn ‘t have any time to prep. I ‘m sure there was some point between fixing your spray tan, rubbing vaseline on your teeth, and making your hair look like you were whipping around after school sitting on the back of your best friend ‘s convertible to peruse the Congressional Budget Office ‘s Report on Income Distribution or the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ‘s Center for Opportunity and Equality. Heck slap NPR ‘s “Planet Money ‘ on the dang JAMBOX and figure it out.

So shame on you Miss California. Yes, you looked smoking hot during that competition, but that ‘s not what beauty pageants are about. Beauty pageants are about using a single round of vaguely political questions to prove to the world that they ‘re not outdated, superficial charades. Plus, it ‘s harder to masturbate to you if we think you ‘re stupid.

Miss California, you should be more than fodder for fail vids and morning show guffaws and light office banter. This is the Miss USA competition. Leave those other shenanigans to the Miss America contestants.

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