The Beauty of Our Own Reality

PsychGuides have published a study of how the BMI of successful contestants in the Miss America contest has changed for the worst over the years, along with some of the risks of an unhealthy BMI. I can’t add to their science, but what I can do is add my voice to the side of healthy body image: none of the contestants is my ideal.

Morph from one Miss America to the next since 1920s

My knee jerk reaction was that I prefer my wife. Pause for lack of shock.

However, being a fair-minded soul, I decided to apply the official criteria of Miss America themselves: “Miss America represents the highest ideals. She is a real combination of beauty, grace, and intelligence, artistic and refined. She is a type which the American girl might well emulate.”

I still think my wife wins. Not because she is objectively better than all the Miss America winners, but because the test isn’t objective. The rotating gallery of winners shows the standard changes year-to-year between judges, and there are many more people in the world who aren’t judges than who are.

Even if you were to accept the Miss America candidates’ physical appearance as objective, there would still be four other criteria in their test: grace, intelligence, artistry, and refinement. So, by their standard, if you can dance well, do complex mathematics, paint creatively, or act politely, you are level with someone who has a particular face-layout.

I hope everyone who reads this has a healthy body image; if you don’t, I hope this helps you.


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