Monday, May 17, 2010

Our Collective Reflection in the Sparkle of a Tiara

Who would have thought that the schlack of the Miss USA pageant would serve as a mirror for Americans to look at themselves and the issues that affect our country? Yep, the sparkle of big white...teeth, the shimmer of flowing hair extensions and the radiance of spray-tanned flesh not only celebrate gay men's notion of femininity, they're also the heat index for our country's most pressing problems. Based on the outcome of last night's pageant, where Miss Michigan, a Lebanese immigrant, won the crown, it looks like the debate about what it means to be American is going to be a scorcher. While Americans are trying their darndest to not look at people of Middle Eastern descent with suspicion, boom! the new face of American beauty could easily get pulled over in Arizona for a review of her immigration documents or be detained for a thorough once-over by the TSA.

You may recall the row that ensued last year between celeb-blogger Perez Hilton and Miss California, Carrie Prejean (she of lofty Christian values, silicone boobs and just-leaked coochie photos), who expressed an opinion against same-sex marriage. Hailed by the right and mauled by everyone else, Carrie didn't need to win a crown, she just got on the fast-track to political pundit status.

And so it goes this year, the year of suspicious packages and legalized racial profiling. If there's an issue America doesn't want to talk about, or, hell, if there's an issue America isn't talking about enough, Donald Trump's solution is to throw a bikini and a tiara on it. Well done, DT!