Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Beauty Pageant Blues

An article last year by Christopher Ingraham in the Washington Post looked into the history of the Miss America Pageant; specifically which states produced disproportionately a number of winners. After genuflecting to the usual liberal-feminist-Blue State standards by referring to the "retrograde and frankly creepy  gender politics of pageant culture," he noted that New York State won for three years in succession; and New York, Illinois, California, and Ohio produced more winners than the other 46. Furthermore, several states such as Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, New Mexico, Washington, and Louisiana never had a pageant winner; and the only one to win from New England came from Connecticut.  He did observe that Mississippi and Alabama each produced an unexpected number of winners, despite being less populated states.

Why the unexpected number of winners from the Deepest South in the past? Ingraham attributed that to more pageant activity there. And also cited a 2013 article by Blain Roberts in the NY Times which dutifully managed to attribute the Deep South's affinity for beauty contest to its racial past, and old values that enshrined the stereotypical Southern Belle! It turned out that Roberts recently wrote a book with that particular thesis. 

But what is the truth of the manner? I wonder what William of Ockham would have concluded? His dictum Entia non sunt multiplicanda sine necessitate (one should not multiply entities beyond those necessity). In other words, Bill of Ockham said that when interpreting things, we should go with the simplest of explanations. Now I happen to think that Bill's Rule (to refer to it in 2015 standards of casualness) is a good one, not only for philosophy and science, but for writing snarky blog material as well. Is there a possibility that New York has a surfeit of beautiful women now, just like Mississippi did in the past? Or is that conjecture too outr√© for these p.c. times?

Anyway, in these modern times in which women are encouraged to adopt new social roles, it seems rather self-defeating to close off other categories. After all, some might become supermodels, without having been discovered on camera by a randy announcer trying to having something to say during an utterly boring National Championship game! Hum...she was a Miss Alabama!


Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

New York attracts modeling job aspirants.

TexWisGirl said...

elvis might be on to something, there.

Anemone said...

Pageants are big here in California.

Cloudia said...


( '>

ALOHA from Honolulu,

Dixie@dcrelief said...

I can't bring myself to suffer through watching any more pageants. And the children's are even worse.

Banana Oil said...

North Dakota never had a winner. Florida had two, same as Alabama.

Grand Crapaud said...

Choosing the simplest explanation usually works best, even when the answer makes people uncomfortable.

Deena said...

Beauty pageants are something to watch when nothing else is on.

Mike said...

Missouri wins every once in awhile.

Bilbo said...

Do the ladies use Ockham's Razor before competing in the swimsuit event?