John Oliver on this past Sunday’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver beautifully lampoons the Miss America contest (which awards 5 points for the beauty contest and only 5 points for the question portion). He also investigates the just what the Miss America Organization means by calling itself “the largest provider of scholarships for women” when really it’s the largest potential provider of scholarships for women, if it didn’t require inclusion in the contest itself. Now that’s empowerment… get your bikini on and you’ll get a high-quality education. Oh, and Kathy Griffin has a gorgeous cameo. Happy Tuesday morning!
Originally published on The Huffington Post on September 22, 2014. Written by Ed Mazza.
If you want to see everything that’s wrong with the Miss America pageant summed up as brilliantly as possible, click on the “play” button and let John Oliver take you through the inexplicable ventriloquism, the ridiculously complex questions and even the butt glue.
But the worst part is the pageant’s claim that it’s the world’s largest provider of scholarships for women.
“If it’s actually true that Miss America is the world’s largest provider of scholarships for women, that’s a little bit weird because Miss America does not offer scholarships to all women,” Oliver said on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” on Sunday. “Only those who compete in those pageants.”
To compete in the pageant, each woman has to certify that she’s never been married and never been pregnant.
“Which of course makes sense,” Oliver pointed out. “Miss America is supposed to be a role model for children. How can she be that if she’s got a child in tow who’s constantly looking up to her?”
The organization claims to provide $45 million annually in scholarships for women, but Oliver learned that they don’t even come close to reaching that number. And yet, the Miss America pageant really is the world’s largest provider of scholarships for women.
So how can we fix that?
Oliver has a few ideas, which you can see in the clip above.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Miss America Organization released a statement to The Huffington Post, which reads in part:
“As with any scholarship, the full amount awarded may not always be used as recipients’ plans change or evolve. The Miss America Organization works every day to administer these scholarships to young women across the country and encourages our participants to utilize these scholarships provided by colleges and universities nationally who partner to fund education.
The Miss America Organization is dedicated to improving the opportunities available to our program participants and remaining at the forefront of providing opportunities to women.”