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Miss USA Barber: We Live in Parallel Realities When Looking at the Image of Women in This Culture

I watched the interview with Miss USA on “Kelly Live” this morning and I must be living in a parallel reality when it comes to choosing women in our culture who are representative of our ideal image of the feminine gender. Miss USA, the new reigning Miss Barber, does not meet my expectations and is perhaps the extreme opposite of that which fits my idea of women which offer up a distillation of our cumulative cultural model for young girls to emulate and men to admire.

Miss Barber complained about her nutritionist who restricted her consumption of Krispy Kreme donuts for five months during pageant training when presented with a half dozen of the least healthy choices any woman in this country could make for a snack or breakfast munchables. Here is an example of feeling like we live in some strange parallel universe: The representative of women give their power away to other people when making significant decisions about the foods they consume to maintain their health and well-being. This young woman craves donuts, yet is willing to forego eating donuts in order to preserve the image that is felt to embody an ideal. As Miss USA, Miss Barber will be eating those donuts which disrupt her metabolic processes with refined sugar, artificial ingredients, and empty calories that do not sustain her beauty, her work schedule, or her spindly frame.

In my universe, the ideal young woman is well-informed about nutrition and exhibits the discipline, the intelligence, and the inherent wisdom to consume healthy foods which nourish and fortify her body, mind, and spirit. Her choices do not depend upon external gratification or adoration by others, her choices do not include processed foods that are known to be injurious to one’s health, and her choices are not gauged by artificial constraints in place that contradict her innate wisdom to live a balanced lifestyle. My concept of the ideal model of young women in our culture would never eat a donut that does not contribute to her well-being. She would welcome an array of fresh organic blueberries, a slice of organic watermelon, a bowl of organic pineapple, and organic strawberries plucked from her sustainable garden. She would enjoy a salad with a grouping of freshly-picked Greens with vegetables and herbs that promote her health and well-being with every bite. She would volunteer in a soup kitchen to feed our senior citizens and homeless with foods that offer solid nutrition with a smile to feed their souls. She echoes the qualities of ancient Greek Goddess, Demeter.

No, I am not impressed with Miss Barber as Miss USA. She seems more like the Greek Goddess Athena. I listened to her answers to questions given to her during the pageant. Her identity is embroiled in her military career and she seems to be trying to prove that she is just as tough as the guys in the military model of our culture. That alone should give us pause… If she is so invested in needing to prove herself in a traditionally male environment and comes from a family who all serve; then it becomes clear that her own sense of self-worth comes from an external source of evaluation – one that is based upon following orders, curtailing one’s own authority to a chain of command, and pursuing a course of action that models behavior of defeating an adversary beneath the guise of protecting freedom. This does not represent my cultural construct of a young woman who represents the best our country has to offer those of us looking for inspiration, inherent intelligence, or progressive enlightenment. No, quite the contrary… Women nurture others, instead of killing them in war. Women imbue new life, rather than terminating the existence of enemies. Women restore the balance of life, instead of destabilizing regimes with military strategies that undermine the adversary’s way of life. Miss Barber is part of a system that opposes the greatest qualities and characteristics of the feminine gender. She would not be my choice to represent young women or any nation. I am looking for a modern-day Demeter!

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