The Skinny on Miss Universe Skinny-ism
The Daily Beast" posted a video today of Australian pageant contestant Stephanie Naumoska talking with Diane Sawyer about audience reactions to her physique (which is quite thin). Is it skinny-ism? Is that even a thing? Watch the video and let's discuss:
Is Naumoska a victim? Or is this just the Miss-Universe-contestant pot calling the kettle too judgmental? (Does that even make sense?)
In the interest of full disclosure, I'll tell you that I myself have never been skinny and am therefore biased in this situation and probably not as sensitive to Naumoska's plight as a thinner woman might be. She doesn't deserve to be criticized for her natural physique any more than a woman (or a man) who outweighs her by 100 pounds does, and the fact that she feels attacked for her thinness is a shame.
However, Naumoska appeared on national television as a contender for Australia's Miss Universe, the purpose of which is to find the most conventionally beautiful woman in the universe (although I think only earth-based women are allowed to compete -- take that, Martians!). Naumoska's very presence on the stage in this contest is evidence of the privilege that a tall, thin, white, conventionally attractive young woman like her is able to enjoy. Were she a larger or less traditionally beautiful woman, she wouldn't have been allowed to compete in the Miss Universe pageant (presumably for cash and prizes) in the first place.
Though Naumoska claims to be upset that she was judged for her thinness by people who "didn't know anything about her," part of me wants to say that she signed up for that kind of judgment and therefore shouldn't act so hurt and surprised. This, of course, is the same part of me that wants to grab the Miss Universe creators by their (most likely fake) hair and shake some sense into them though, so you might want to take my opinion with a grain of salt.
I know that there are many thin women out there who are unfairly judged because of their looks, just as there are many people of all types who are unfairly judged for their looks all the time. I guess I just don't see a Miss Universe contestant (someone who is attempting to make a living being judged for her looks) as their best bet for a spokesperson. What would her slogan be? "Don't judge me because I'm thin, judge me because I'm beautiful?" How about we just don't judge her at all?
What do you think? Does skinny-ism exist? Is Naumoska a victim, or a participant?
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