Joe Bob's America

Torch Those Bikinis!

June 14, 2018


NEW YORK—I don’t know about you, but I’m circling my calendar and stocking whiskey for the night of September 10, when ABC will go prime-time live from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for the Miss America…

…uh, wait, can’t call it a pageant…

…the Miss America…

…let’s see, can’t say anything about beauty because they got rid of the swimsuit competition…

…the Miss America…

…I almost wanna call it a talent show like American Idol but then again that’s not what the organizers are saying it is…

…the Miss America…

…scholarship competition?—but that would be what they called it last year and supposedly this is the new improved Miss America…

…so the Miss America…

Wait wait wait, I’ve almost got it.

What do you call young women of all shapes and sizes being interviewed on stage by a panel of judges and giving “world peace” answers like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality?

Gotta be a name for that, right?

We need to go deeper. Checking The New York Times—okay, it’s gonna be all about “female empowerment and gender equality,” so I guess it will be open to men for the first time and…

…wow, this is getting weird, RuPaul can go for it…

…and the “empowerment” part indicates they’ll have a few rodeo cowgirls and astronauts competing…

…this is tougher than I thought…

“It’s the Miss America Fake Job Interview Competition.”

Let’s go to the official announcement. I’m checking the press conference comments of Gretchen Carlson, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, the woman who decreed the elimination of swimsuits because “we are not going to judge you on your outward appearance,” sooooo…

…maybe all the contestants are gonna be hidden behind Chinese folding screens so the judges won’t be influenced by their faces or bodies?…

…still looking for clarification…

Here! In the comments of other Miss America officials I’m finding a lot of references to “goals and aspirations,” like low-impact TED Talks. Apparently talking about your goals and aspirations is gonna be the replacement for bust size, ripped abdominals, and the ability to walk gracefully in heels.

Okay, let’s make a list.

The basics are:

1. No swimsuits, therefore no body judging.

2. All about the inside of the person instead of the outside, meaning we need to start telling all the contestants, “I respect you for your mind”—which their Facebook friends and wannabe boyfriends are already doing.

3. They want these women to talk a lot about their future lives and dreams, why they love America, and the philosophical aspects of blah blah blah…

Soooooooo, pretty much the opposite of a beauty pageant. Okay, I’ve got it!

It’s the Miss America Fake Job Interview Competition.

Whichever woman is able to pull off a five-minute bullshit session, especially if she wants to work with handicapped children in El Salvador, can be Miss America even if she weighs 250 pounds.

This is gonna be so great. Miss America is a 1921 tourist promotion that more or less invented the idea of girls in swimsuits acting cute for the camera, and it has now been turned into High School Mock United Nations, but with evening gowns.

Only in America.

Something tells me other countries will not be following our lead. For example, I seriously doubt that they’ll be eliminating the swimsuits when the 32 Miss Mexico contestants assemble in Hermosillo this year. Mexicans love bikinis and they know how to throw a party, so when those women talk about their future lives and dreams, they sometimes do it while still wearing the bikini. The current Miss Mexico, Vanessa Ponce de Leon, has a degree in international commerce and a diploma in human rights and works with children from indigenous tribes—just the kind of stuff that Gretchen Carlson is looking for—but her main credit is winner of the Mexico’s Next Top Model reality show. She’s not giving up that bikini.

But I can tell you who’s really pissed off about this. It’s not what the Times calls “the leering television audience” of the past. (Really? The whole audience? They’re all leering? Even my grandmother, who never missed a Miss America pageant for decades? Grandma, stop your leering!) No, the people who are gonna be pissed off are the contestants in all the state pageants, trying to make it to Atlantic City, who have spent the past year in the gym sculpting their bodies and trying on $500 bikinis that all weigh less than .002 ounces. All the women who have been doing 17,000 sit-ups a day, plus an hour on those “innie-outie” machines—I don’t know what the real names are, but women use them to work their thighs—plus all the usual rope press-downs and reclining leg lifts and light dumbbells that tone the muscles, plus a daily diet that consists of three kale leaves, a handful of chia seeds, and a Balance protein bar.

These women are lean, mean, ready to work that high-heeled bikini walk, and so I guarantee you that on the day Gretchen Carlson announced the rules changes, at least half of them screamed You stupid bitch, I just spent a thousand bucks on Pilates!

How do I know this? Because millions of women who are not competing for Miss America are doing the same thing, just to feel good about their health and fitness and appearance.

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