Here's what the controversy over Miss Teen USA is really telling our society...
We put too much emphasis on looks.
You may be like me and have never watched the Miss Teen USA pageant. You may also be like me and hate feeling ignorant of what is happening around you and research everything. Same girl. So on my hunt to find out what was happening, I became aware of a problem no one is really addressing.
So yes the top five contestants look extremely similar - blonde, light eyes, small.
And the controversy stems from the lack of diversity in the group and from the language the winner has used on Twitter, which is another topic for another day. But what I want to add to the conversation is how our society focuses entirely on what we all look like.
The talk is all about how they look, with most people assuming these girls made it to the top five based on the way they look. No one mentions what they like to do, their intelligence, their community service, their talents.
There are plenty of campaigns for body image, identity, no shaming, all focusing on the way we look and none focusing on the inside.
Yes all the contestants look the same, but diversity is more than just the way we look on the outside. There are so many more components to a person that just the way they look.
We live in a world searching for beauty, and no one has a definite answer. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is the most accurate statement I have ever heard. What I believe is beautiful, on the outside and on the inside, is completely different than what even my friends and family believe. We are all created differently. So in that search for true beauty, we are destined to come up short in someone's eyes, someone who has a completely different picture. You can't blame someone for liking what they like - they can't help it. We should still treat people with respect just because they are human, and we can't all be expected to appreciate things in the same way.
So where do you start? If you want to find true beauty, if you want to be beautiful. Believing the bible to be true... here's a good start:
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." - 1 Peter 3:3-4
"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." - Genesis 1:27
So beauty comes from inside - which is not something we are seeing in our culture today.
"You play basketball? You don't look like you play basketball."
"You're in a sorority? You don't look like you are in a sorority."
"You were in pageants? You don't look like you were in pageants.""
"You don't look smart."
"You look like..."
Sometimes I think our society is so shocked when "pretty" people do something other than be "pretty", and equally as shocked when an "ugly" person does something only for "pretty people."
That makes me sick. It's 2016 and time to stop 1. judging people and 2. defining our worth and others by the way we look.
So someone out there start a "True Beauty" campaign that we can all join and be proud of.
A campaign that supports kindness, love, compassion, intelligence, power, hard work, friendship and all the other attributes that make a person truly beautiful.