22 April 2009

Jenice Armstrong: Yo, judge, lighten up

WHO'S THE real bitch, I ask you?

The naive Miss USA beauty contestant who bungled the biggest question of her short life?

Or the mean-spirited, celebrity blogger who called her names?

After calling out Miss California on her not politically correct answer about gay marriage, Perez Hilton proceeded to bash her in the most denigrating terms for females in the entire English language. He not only referred to Carrie Prejean as a "stupid bitch" in a post-pageant video tirade, but in a MSNBC-TV interview during which he confessed he'd really been thinking of calling her the "c-word."

It's disgusting and appalling that a grown man who'd been hired to judge all those young women would then turn around and hurl such a mysogynistic insult.

Here's what got Hilton heated: During the interview portion of the Miss USA competition, he'd asked Prejean her views on gay marriage.

"You know what, in my country, and in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman - no offense to anybody out there," she responded. "But that's how I was raised. And that's how I think that it should be between a man and a woman. Thank you."

Not the best answer.

She couldn't come up with a better justification than "that's how I was raised"?

Besides, Beauty Pageant 101 says that contestants don't have to answer a politically sensitive question at all. They should start by repeating the question to buy themselves time to think and then slide into something that hopefully will get the audience applauding wildly. Then they flash their pearly whites, say "thank you" and strut back to their position on stage.

But that's not how she handled it.

You could tell by Hilton's expression that he thought she'd blown it.

Prejean wound up as first runner-up. A has-been who almost was, but never made it. And if that wasn't bad enough, Hilton was about to take her on publicly.

Note to Perez: Tolerance works both ways.

Prejean has as much right to her opinion as Hilton.

Besides, beauty contestants are infamous for botching interviews. Remember the Miss Teen USA contestant who became a national laughingstock for her incoherent answer as to why it was that a fifth of Americans couldn't find the United States on a world map. "I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as, uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq . . . ," she said.

It can be a lot of pressure. I've been in a few pageants and also judged some myself, so I know it's not as easy as it looks. Unfortunately for Prejean, she stumbled miserably in the eyes of the openly gay Hilton. She paid the price for it, too.

But that's the game.

It might not be fair but that's how it's played.

As for Hilton, I don't know if he was serious, but afterwards, he said that if the 21-year-old had won, he would have snatched the crown off her head.

And done what with it? Put it on?

The way this particular Miss USA judge has conducted himself, it's clear he deserves no crown.

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