The day before Yesterday, the Miss California Organization disclosed that it paid for Carrie Prejean’s breast implants before she appeared in the Miss USA pageant two weeks ago. “It was something that we all spoke about together,” Shanna Moakler, Co-Executive Director of the Miss California Organization told Access Hollywood. “It was an option and she wanted it. And we supported that decision.” Prejean has become something of a media sensation ever since she denounced gay marriage during the Miss USA telecast. Though she lost the crown (and blames this loss on the fact that she had to answer a question about gay marriage in the first place), things aren’t all bad: Prejean is currently starring in an ad slamming same-sex unions and also reportedly dating Olympic gold medal winner Michael Phelps.
But let’s get back to the boobs. My main problem with this “we bought her breasts” news is it sends a terrible message to young women. I’m not really sure who pageants are for anymore, but I’d guess a large portion of the audience is girls who aspire to be as beautiful as Miss USA. By funding Prejean’s enhancement surgery, pageant officials are essentially saying that a big, fake plastic chest is an ideal aesthetic that females should aspire to. It’s a beauty contest after all, and obviously the experts believed their contestant would have a better shot at winning if she possessed larger melons. One could argue that pageants have always been fake, but something about the extremeness of this, about surgically altering one’s appearance (rather than just applying some Vaseline to your teeth or getting a fake tan), seems to me very ethically wrong. I ask you: Should a pageant pay for its contestant’s plastic surgery?