Thursday, December 21, 2006

Here she is....

Yesterday afternoon, I'm pretty sure I had a brush with a celebrity. I was at the store buying a Christmas gift for my niece when I accidentally bumped into a woman in the crowded aisle. I turned around to apologize, saw the woman and thought "wow, she looks like Marlee Matlin". She gave me a friendly smile and we both went back to selecting our gifts. The lady then began signing to her daughter. I'm 99% sure she actually was Marlee Matlin.

Speaking of celebrities, this whole Miss USA scandal has me in a bit of a tizzy. Many years ago, in the era of Springsteen, Madonna (but way before Nirvana), I was a contestant in the Miss Illinois pageant. I didn't win, but I placed fairly respectfully being a pageant first-timer and I got to make a McDonald's commercial that never aired. I still have my sash. Truth be told, it was right that I didn't win. I didn't want it nearly as bad as some of those girls. They had spent their entire young lives competing in pageants hoping to wear that coveted crown.

Which brings me back to my tizzy. I learned in that single pageant weekend, if you were to win, your behavior would be controlled, scrutinized, watched, chaperoned--whatever you want to call it--and this was at the state level. After the Vanessa Williams Miss America 1983 scandal, I think the world knew that even things you did before you were crowned could threaten your title.

Yesterday some woman was on TV saying people expect Miss USA to be perfect and no one is perfect. I know the world has changed a bit since we all rocked out to Wham and I don't expect Miss USA or anyone to be perfect, but I guarantee you that even Miss USA from a oh-so-small Kentucky town knows that underaged drinking, cocaine use and making out with Miss Teen USA are not acceptable behaviors for a Miss USA or anybody for that matter.

While I agree with Donald Trump that sometimes second chances are a good thing, there are a lot of respectable young women who deserve and would honor the Miss USA title and responsibilities and I think he made a huge mistake. Britney, Paris and Lindsay are all the poster people for bad behavior that we need. Someone with respect for themselves and the title should be Miss USA.

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