Sunday, February 28, 2010

Miss Beverly Hills USA Ain't

Lauran Ashley, Miss Beverly Hills, is not from the 90210, 90211, or 90212 zip codes. She’s no more from Beverly Hills than Eddie Murphy was a Beverly Hills cop. For all we know, Ashley has never set foot on Rodeo Drive. She’s resides in plebian Pasadena.

No one would care, much less notice, except that she’s following in the footsteps of Carrie Prejean in expressing her Biblical views about gay marriage.

The Beverly Hills political establishment is shocked and chagrined that she will wear a sash stating “Miss Beverly Hills” at the Miss California USA Pageant.

Of course Lauren’s not from Beverly Hills. The population of 35,000 is roughly estimated to be 40% Persian American, and she is clearly not Iranian. A large number of residents live in rent controlled apartments (Check out “The Slums of Beverly Hills”).

Unfortunately for Beverly Hills, it has not copyrighted or trademarked its name. Since it doesn’t sponsor a pageant of its own, Lauren Ashley is privileged by the Miss USA rules to choose a city of her own.

Beverly Hills should choose an IP attorney of its own. For example, the University of Michigan has trademarked its symbolic Block M.

Beverly Hills should be celebrating Lauren, not for her views, but because she’s a consummate social climber. The 90210 zip code is full of Beverly Hills wanabes. Much of it lies outside the Beverly Hills boundaries. The 90210 residents pay a premium to get a Beverly Hills Post Office address. They may claim Beverly Hills to outsiders, but their services come from Los Angeles, and that’s where their taxes go.

Beverly Hills’ own record is not spotless. The city has outlawed oil wells everywhere within its boundaries except on the campus of Beverly Hills High School. I realize the school district and city won a lawsuit, but a fair reading of Joy Horowitz’s “Parts Per Millions: The Poisoning of Beverly Hills High School” (2007) leaves you wondering. BHHS has many distinguished alumni, but among these are Jack Abramoff, H.R. Haldeman, and the Melendez Brothers.

Why do we even care what Lauren Ashley’s thoughts are? We view these competitions by their historical name,” beauty pageants,” even if the Miss America Pageant now claims to be a talent competition. We should no more care about their political views than those of centerfold models.

We watch them for entertainment, as with a number of classic T & A shows, such as Baywatch and Charlie’s Angels. Hardly anyone watches the political talk shows on Sunday. Donald Trump doesn’t own the Miss Universe Pageant for its intellectual qualities. The original financing of Miss America and Miss Universe was by a swim suit company.

What we see is not always what we get anyway in these competitions. Anorexia and other eating disturbances, hair dye, breast enhancements (cf. Carrie Prejean) and other plastic surgery, hair spray, wd-40 go into the finished product.

Debra Maffett, Miss California/Miss America 1983, really wasn’t a Californian. She moved from Texas because the beauty pageants were too competitive “Deep in the Heart of Texas. “

Nor is virtue necessarily a prerequisite, although Vanessa Williams had to give up her Miss America 1984 Crown because of salacious photos that appeared in Penthouse.

Ignore Lauren Ashley; she’s had her 15 minutes of fame and will not be winning the Miss California Pageant.

No comments: