A few weeks ago, Binibining Pilipinas took place in the Philippines. It’s the Super Bowl of the nation. The winner crowned in Binibining Pilipinas goes onto represent the country in the next Miss Universe.
A lot of time does pass between winning the country’s title and fighting for the world title. I wonder, what happens if they’re mauled by a monkey in the meantime? They can’t take away her crown, can they? Whatever. This isn’t about unwed women getting too close to zoo exhibits. This is about how much Americans don’t care about beautiful women, unless they’re naked.
When was the last time a Miss America Pageant captivated the nation? We watch highlights for the trainwreck of it. Each year, at least one bimbo from the Bible Belt says something ignorant. It’s the Bucky Dent dinger over the Big Green Monster of the event. Other than watching someone who has gotten by their entire life based on their looks fail, it’s a pretty forgettable event in our eyes.
This couldn’t be further from the truth in the Philippines. They stop in the middle of what they’re doing to watch. If Mount Vesuvius erupted in the Philippines during Binibining, you better believe the casualty-rate would equal 100%. Bodies would stay frozen in time, stuck to their asses watching the TV to see who would win.
The USA does value beauty, but we tend to care about it in other ways. Pageants are very meh to us. We have a “what else can you do?” type of attitude. I don’t think is a bad thing. All humans should be able to do more than look good in a bathing suit and talk about ending famine. They should also be able to act poorly in a cameo and possibly date a B-level athlete.
There are few events in the USA that capture as much attention as Binibining does in the Philippines. The Super Bowl is about it. There are other unexpected events, like a presidential address or breaking news story, that comes close. I believe it’s because we’re so detached from much of what’s going on. Our tastes vary and our options are limited. While Filipinos can do the same, they have a certain national pride when it comes to their beauty pageants.
It’s not only Filipinos who do this, too. Many Latin American countries feel the same. One guess I have is because these pageants are one of the few major things they produce on their own. There aren’t any Hollywood sleezeballs involved. People in the Philippines love their pageants because it’s all about them. For once, they are represented.