Ok, so Rachel Christie has become the first black Miss England, and I don't know WHAT to think.
On one hand, she's a formidable woman: an accomplished athlete (like her uncle, Linford Christie) who's struggled through a difficult childhood (father fell into crime etc) to burst through the white bastions of Miss England and "to show people, the younger generation especially, that you can do something positive with your life." She's also 5'10", which is awesome.
On the OTHER hand, Miss England, like all beauty pageants, is an outdated parade of female bodies which carelessly objectifies young women.
Should we really be inspired by these sorts of competitions? Prowess on the track is something to be proud of, and in this Male interview Christie says that it is this drive to support herself as an athlete that encouraged her to seek a legitimate modelling career on the side through Miss England. But I have to ask, isn't flaunting one's fortunate bone structure in order to be ranked above other women a high price to pay in order to support yourself, however much you care about your career?
I just don't KNOW. You see, I really am happy for her. I would like to draw something inspiring from this event. I mean, if Miss England must go on, it's surely better that the sorts of women who win it are competent in other aspects of their life, have careers and ambitions, and don't fit the godforsaken whiteblondebigboobedairhead stereotype.
And what's worse, the runner up, Lance Corporal Kat Hodge is, you guessed it, a soldier. Here's a picture of her holding a bloody great big gun like Tank Girl (with flawless eye make-up, may I add). I mean...I'm a pacifist and everything but...oh God she's a woman holding a gun how can I NOT like her? And did you know she received a commendation for bravery when a punched an Iraqi insurgent who'd just snatched two guns from her truck and was threatening to kill her. Scream!
I'm sorry, Object girls I'm with you, but I just can't help but like these women. If Miss England carries on bestowing grace on women of undue merit, I'm afraid I'm going to go over to the other side. I might even enter, I've definitely got the thighs for it.
I suppose the real test is whether they'll ever get round to giving the award to an outstanding woman who doesn't happen to be gorgeous...
autumn readings around the UK, magazines & 'transfeminine brokenness, radical transfeminism' - hi all, huge thanks to the folks who came to the I Write, I Rise reading, with Eli Clare (!) on Saturday at the Scottish Poetry Library. If you missed it, ...
1 week ago