Slate Magazine (blog)
The Trump Implosion: A Live Blog
Slate Magazine (blog)
It's all falling apart. In the wake of the Washington Post's bombshell tape release, major Republicans are finally repudiating and renouncing Trump. Dozens of members of Congress, governors and assorted GOP leaders have withdrawn their support for the …
Such events are nothing more than an opportunity to ogle gorgeous, scantily-clad women and pit them against each other so why do they still exist?
The most awkward moment of the Miss Universe pageant this week wasnt host Steve Harvey naming the wrong winner on live television – its that in 2015, a pageant still exists that parades women around in bikinis for the honor of winning a sash and tiara. Thats the true embarrassment.
That Harvey couldnt distinguish one pretty woman for another is almost poetic, because in pageants like Miss Universe, Miss America and Miss USA, women arent individuals anyway. Theyre literal symbols unnamed besides the state or country theyre there to represent. Its the ultimate display of women as interchangeable, vying for the right to be the shiniest object in the room.
The contests are an antiquated reminder of exactly what we dont want for women, and they should have no place in our future.
The notion that beauty pageants are anything more than an opportunity to ogle gorgeous, scantily-clad women and pit them against each has long been debunked. Despite long-standing claims that pageants like Miss America are a major source of scholarships for young women, the truth is that they offer only a fraction of the money that they claim they do. Women who participate are also much more likely to spend money than make money on the endeavor the cost of dresses, hair and makeup, entrance fees and more are the responsibility of the contestants alone.
The pageants themselves in addition to the explicitly vacuous swimsuit competition have policies and rules that make clear womens worth is very much dependent on her sexuality and ability to perform a narrow model of proper femininity. It was only in 1999 that Miss America finally did away with a purity rule that banned contestants from being divorced or having had an abortion, for example, and the pageant still has strict morality clauses.
In 2002, Miss North Carolina Rebekah Revels was forced to turn in her crown after it came out that her boyfriend had taken topless pictures of her, and after being crowned Miss USA in 2006, Kentuckys Tara Conner was embroiled in a scandal because she went to clubs, drank alcohol and perhaps had a few sexual escapades. How dare she!
Then co-owner of Miss USA, Donald Trump publicly forgave Conner and sent her to rehab. Ive always been a believer in second chances, he said at the time. Later, Trump reported that he was considering giving his permission for Conner to pose in Playboy. Showing off your body is fine, it seems, so long as the man in charge gives you his blessing.
Despite the progress women have made over the years, there are still plenty of reminders of how far we still have to go. And feminists are still fighting against some of the same big issues like the wage gap and sexual violence that they were decades ago.
But it seems strange that during a time when we may soon see the first female president and when feminism is more culturally powerful than ever before, that we cannot seem to figure out a way just to do away with something as obviously misogynist and retrograde as beauty pageants.
Lately, the old adage of its not what you know, its who you know, has become more, its not who know, but who you can connect with on social media.
Gone are the times when you have to personally mail in head shots, or walk in to a recording studio with your demo CD (do people still make CDs?) in order to gain recognition.
For whatever your skill is modeling, acting, journalism, photography, art, music, etc. theres a place for you to create yourself on social media.
However, since the Internet is readily accessible and available, that also means that it’s incredibly saturated, with thousands of other talented individuals also hoping to make it big.
Most Millennials recognize the importance of utilizing social media, but not all know what to do to set themselves a part from an equally talented crowd.
I recently dropped in on a photoshoot for model Abigail Ratchford’s 2016calendar.
She hasused social media to bediscovered, and it has helped herlaunch a promising modeling and acting career.
Just her Instagram alone now has 2.2 million followers, and is sure to continue growing.
Abigail shared with me these three tips on how Millennials can make the most of social media to get discovered and launch their career.
Girls need to find their certain category. If youre going to be a glamour girl, go all the way. Or, if you love fitness and nutrition, then go further with it, Abigail suggested.
While this is directed mostly for models, it can be generalized, too.
Find what youre good at, and focus on a subcategory of it.
Photographer? Use social media to showcase your awesome portraits of people, or to showcase your skills of taking photos of the cityscape.
While you may be great at multiple facets of your trade, its better to have a centralized theme across your social media outlets.
When I first started, I would look for girls that had big followings, and ask them if they wanted to do a share for share, said Abigail on the importance of networking with similar individuals.
Just as you go to a networking event in person to meet people, you can do the same online.
If you know of someone with similar goals, (i.e. someone else who is trying to be an actor) message him or her!
Why not succeed together? You two can grab a cup of coffee and pitch ideas to one another about skits or script ideas.
Then, when your skit is finished, you can each post videos on your social media channels and tag each other. Now everyone following them has been exposed to you and vice versa.
This also works when reaching out to people with talents that are different than yours, but are equally beneficial.
For example, in Abigails case, she first got noticed when her photographer friend posted photos of her on social media.
Every model needs a photographer, and every photographer needs a subject to shoot.
Similarly, if youre a musician, youll need a producer, and if youre a producer you want to produce for as many musical artists as possible.
If I dont have any pictures to post, Ill go to Funny or Die or Vine accounts that have hilarious videos and Ill post them, Abigail shared.
Of course you should focus on your specific talent, but everyone loves a funny or newsworthy post now and then.
Sharing something you personally laughed at, or offering an opinion on relevant material, helps people see you are relatable and more than just a person with talent.
It also helps gain follower engagement, rather than just likes.
When you showcase yourself as an approachable, relatable person, youre less of a distant figure on the Internet and you boost your marketability factor.
Youre in control of (social media). Before social media you had to be discovered or you had to book a big role to get the exposure. Now you have the opportunity to create yourself,Abigail concluded.
When it comes to social media, you are your own manager, agent or PR rep.
You have free reign to be whoever you want to be.
While becoming a household name (in whatever industry youre in) isnt always easy, smart social media practices can most certainly help boost your career.