I wanted to mention the strange saga of Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas 2014, since I ran across it doing the "Miss America" post below.
Apparently one of the reactions to the Indian-American winner was from one "Todd Starnes", some sort of FOX radio shouter. One of the things he was honked off about was that “the liberal Miss America judges were not interested in a gun-toting, deer-hunting, military veteran.”, that is, Miss-Kansas-Vail.
And I have to say this; I loves me some SGT Vail for what has to be the nut graf of the 2014 Miss America competition, an explanation of why she had to sing some opera for her talent rather than her first choice; archery. "I'm singing by default..." she said, "...because there is a clause against projectile objects."
Yessss, Vail for the win..!
Other fun things I learned about the young woman from the Sunflower State:
I love the fact that Theresa is like a real-life Hermie the Gay Elf; her dream is to be a dentist. Okay, a U.S. Army orthodontist, but still...and she has a tatt on one shoulder of...wait for it...the Dental branch insignia.
(Now I may be prejudiced - probably because the dental tech who did my exit exam-and-cleaning at Gorgas Army Hospital in Panama turned the microwave dental-pick thingie up to "deep fat fry" and jangled every tooth-nerve so badly I nearly came out of the chair; she ended up finishing with a metal pick - but...DENTAC? I mean, the U.S. Army Dental Corps doesn't jump to mind when I think of the honor roll of military glory. But, hey, you go, sarge...)
And that's not her only tatt. She's the gal in the swimsuit photo from the Miss America article and you can see that she has that Reinhold Niebuhr "Serenity Prayer" inked down her right side:
I gotta tell you; the mere thought of letting some character with a needle stab that much ink into a place where I can barely stand to be tickled? Eeegah. You may wear too much eye makeup with your fatigues, SGT Vail, but you are harder-core than I will ever be.
Still. I keep coming back to the notion of Miss Kansas as the "real American" because she's a gun-totin', deer-huntin' troopie.
So I looked it up.
The number of U.S. women serving in the U.S. Army as of 2012: 76,694.
The approximate number of women in U.S of military age (between 18 and 49): 71,941,969
So the percentage of women capable of serving that are actually serving in the U.S. Army?
0.001066 or about 0.107% of the potential soldiers in the U.S. female population.
Assuming 53 contestants (50 states plus DC, PR, and USVI) the actual representative number of female soldiers in the Miss America pageant would have been a little more than half a person - 53/100ths of a woman.
So, no. SGT Vail is NOT the real "Miss America", who is probably a community college sophomore in Des Moines.
One last thing before I go.
Our new Miss America got in a little bit of trouble because she, or one of her pals, was caught calling Miss America 2013 "fat as shit". Now I wasn't kidding when I called MA 2013 "queenly"; on the television Sunday Ms. Hagan filled out her white gown quite nicely.
But...fat? You make the call - here she is with a pal of hers in Hawaii this spring; Miss America is on the left in the black bikini:
I do not think that word means what you think it means.
Except...by the standards of the Misses America, the standards that all the women that were up there doing the bachelorette-party-dance on Sunday night seemed to be held to, the standards of Hollywood glamor and fashion photography and diet schemes and Barbies...well...maybe that is fat.
And that seems to me immensely sad.