According to an interview by the RedEye, Miss Wicker Park beauty pageant creator Rich Seng’s motives are pure. “My highest motive is the philosophical idea that society can benefit from a return to beauty,” said Seng. (Read the complete RedEye article here: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/redeye/2010/05/beauty-contest-a-walk-in-the-park.html)
After a quick glance at the rules of the pageant though, it is evident that beauty must fit in a 21-36 single female box of beauty. And after glancing over the “contestants” profiles, the true motive of the pageant appears to be one big American Apparel ad.
As a rule of thumb (or middle finger as the case may be), old school feminists have been against the very notion of a beauty pageant. But with the pointy-toe high heels of the third wave comes new acceptance for things girls and pretty including the occasional beauty pageant. But as we try to reinvent ourselves with this unstable mixture of Rosie the Riveter and Megan Fox, let us not forget that even a beauty pageant located in the heart of everything cool and “alternative” is still a beauty pageant. It is still defining beauty by the evening gown a 21-36 year old single woman wears.
If it is real beauty – of a person, of a society, of a talent, of a soul- that Mr. Seng is looking for than he certainly can not limit himself to the restrictions of 21-36 single women who are willing to upload their image to a Facebook-esque beauty pageant site. The point of this revolutionary pageant is to give new definitions of beauty. But why restrict who can enter and where beauty can be found. The truth is you can’t define beauty particularly when it is pranced in front of you in evening dresses.