Monday, December 30, 2013

Socially-Responsible Objectification

I’ve been offered a unique opportunity to serve as a beauty pageant judge. I considered the offer thoroughly and decided to accept. I know beauty pageants objectify woman. But this pageant is different. Its underlying purpose is to spread political and social awareness and to raise our collective consciousness about a critical matter of public health and safety.

It’s the first annual Miss Stepped on a Landmine pageant. Contestants are the 50 most beautiful women from all over the world who have stepped on a landmine. Thus, they are all amputees.

The pageant is a bold social experiment. To understand the meaning of it all, ask yourself this: What’s the most effective way to draw attention to something?

Answer: Use hot women. Am I right or am I right? It’s sad but true. It may seem cynical and exploitive to resort to base marketing pandering tactics, but drawing attention to the danger and prevalence of landmines is an urgent issue. Urgent issues require urgent action. Miss Stepped on a Landmine objectifies women for a good cause so that makes it all right. Think of it as a glitzy, two-hour public service announcement.

So the Miss Stepped on a Landmine pageant will attract the attention of millions who never otherwise would have thought twice about landmines. And the personal stories of the contestants put a human face on the issue of landmines and bring it closer to home. Like for instance, Miss Stepped on a Landmine Nebraska stepped on a landmine while shopping at Target. Who knew? The story of Miss Stepped on a Landmine Guam has a particularly tragic irony. She is an arm amputee because she was a cheerleader and she stepped on a landmine while turning cartwheels.

The Miss Stepped on a Landmine pageant also sends a strong message of hope about being crippled. It says that even if you’re crippled you still have a lot to look forward to, if you’re hot. Yes, plenty of opportunity still awaits you if you have gumption and a can-do spirit and you’re hot.

The producers of the Miss Stepped on a Landmine pageant are so confident it will be a big hit that they’re already planning more similar pageants. Next up is a pageant featuring hot women in wheelchairs called Miss Never Jump into the Shallow End of a Pool.  They may also put together pageants to draw attention to less critical but still important matters of public health and safety, such as Miss Went Jogging and Stepped in Doo Doo Because Somebody Didn’t Clean up After Their Dog.

So what the hell. I’m accepting my invitation to be a judge. I want to be a part of this visionary project. It’s not often that a man can spend two hours staring at women in bikinis and still feel good about himself.

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  1. Wow. This one is going to eat a hole in by brain, I can tell right now.

  2. So, I'm reading this thinking, "That Mike Ervin sure is inventive! Imagine a beauty pageant for landmine survivors." Then I get this weird feeling that maybe the world is just that strange and maybe I ought to Google "Miss Stepped on a Landmine." As I was typing it into the search box I just knew I had been had, once again, by the devious and ingenious mind of Mike Ervin. I felt like such a fool thinking there really might be such a pageant. And, once again, when it comes to disability truth IS stranger than fiction.

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