Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2015 Miss USA Pageant Earns Lowest Ratings Ever.

The night of Sunday, July 12 saw the latest installment of the annual Miss USA Pageant. The event, which aired on the Reelz cable network, drew only 925,000 viewers. This marks the lowest ratings numbers the program has ever had. Admittedly, the program was held on a third-class cable channel. The Miss USA Pageant normally airs on NBC, but they recently cut ties with Donald Trump, whom owns a stake in the pageant. Honestly, I suspect the low numbers for the pageant can't wholly be attributed to its move to cable.

As the old Bob Dylan song goes... The Times They Are a-Changin'.

2015 Miss USA Winner Olivia Jordan of Oklahoma.

The pageant saw its best ratings nearly four decades ago. In the 1970's, the Miss USA Pageant easily earned 40 million viewers per telecast. Though, the ratings for the pageant have been in steady decline since then. Last year, the ratings were definitely better than this year -- 5.5 million. But, you must consider that the 2014 edition was broadcast on a national over-the-air network. Essentially, it was free. Beggars can't be choosers for content, am I right?

Americans have been in the process of moving on from beauty pageants for a long time. Less and less, women are objectified as hollow know-nothings. A pageant dedicated to women strutting in bikinis, evening gowns and answering softball 'world peace' questions simply doesn't work in the modern world. Women are more than just objects of beauty... and they shouldn't be treated as such. Pageants represent a time when women weren't respected as equals to men. Honestly, I'm surprised the notion of beauty pageants has lasted this long.

I feel compelled to point out that while I find the concept of a beauty pageant to be archaic, the contestants are largely intelligent, hard-working, motivated women with a drive to succeed. The contestants recognize a path to earning notoriety, opening business opportunities and continuing their education -- I simply can't fault them for that. I just find it unsettling that the contestants have to render themselves to the lowest common denominator of existence -- letting judges decide who looks better in a bathing suit. Give me a frickin' break!

If beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, how can there be any sort of an objective beauty pageant? It just doesn't make sense.

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