Quick thing about the Miss Utah deal

In case you weren’t aware, this happened at the Miss USA pageant.

I’ve got a nice long list of why I’m angry about what happened and the response.  Yay lists!

1. “She’s pretty, it doesn’t even matter what comes out of her mouth!”
Right, let’s split that “pretty girls can’t be smart” idea some more, so that the entire world legitimately thinks that if you are more attractive you legit cannot be intelligent.  Stop that right now.  And if your argument is “no but seriously, society will just hand her whatever she wants, she doesn’t have to be smart!” well then okay.  Yes, maybe? But don’t reinforce it! 

2. “She put herself in the public sphere so it’s totally okay to mock her”
Nope nope nope.  You’re still being a punk-ass jerk if you make fun of her for panicking in a charged situation.  Did she hurt anyone?  Did she kick your dog? Nah, she just looked kinda silly for like 30 seconds, and if your response is “LOLOL look at this dumb Barbie” that’s awful.  Don’t do that, you’re mean.

3. “lol bitches be trippin/women be tryna speak”
You know you’re awful.  If I hated myself enough, I’d explore the lowest depths of the internet to see how many “haha get back in the kitchen” comments I could find regarding this young woman, but I don’t hate myself.

4. A Real Housewife asked this question
I…don’t really know what to say.  We have a woman whose reality show title inherently makes her “not the breadwinner” for hr family.  Also Real Housewives exists.  I’m sad and I can’t quite articulate why.

5. The question asked “what does this say about society”
You’re attempting to make a person sum up in less than the time it takes to reheat a slice of pizza a topic that has been the source of countless dissertations, nonstop legislation, and a decades-long battle.  But okay, she’s got this.  Granted, she could have just said “sexism” and dropped the mic but I don’t think pageant contestants are encouraged to use that word and/or drop the mic.

6. PAGEANTS STILL EXIST
WHY WHY WHY.  If I think about this too much my brain gets a little too close to rage-exploding.  The Q&A section exists because otherwise Miss USA and the Westminster Dog Show would have too much in common.  It was made by men for the enjoyment of men, and if the word “poise” is thrown around anymore to excuse parading women around in sexy outfits for the “honor” of being chosen, I will make it my life’s mission to ensure that every time anyone vaguely associated with pageants tries to use the word “poise,” it comes out “porpoise” instead.

I am NOT insulting the women participating.  They made a choice that I would not have made, but that’s because the world at large told them it’s an okay choice to make. 

That would be, harsher punishments for parole violators, Stan.  And…world peace!

Baby’s first half marathon by the miles

I think it’s probably impractical and somehow breaking social rules, but if I could, I would totally wear my finisher’s medal for the next several days.  At least until my soreness wears off.  It is quite heavy and has a bottle opener incorporated into the actual medal, so that makes it even more impractical to wear it around.  I am wearing it as I type this. #yolo

The race I did is called the ODDyssey, and yes, they spell it like that on purpose.  It’s got a costume contest and has optional challenges during the race and just generally doesn’t take itself too seriously.  I’d totally recommend this race to anyone: it was large enough to have pretty great support on the course, but small enough that you weren’t pushing people out of the way.

So, here’s a race recap by time and miles.

Night before: read this month’s Runner’s World which is about Boston, cry like forever (I do not recommend this strategy)

5 AM: Alarm goes off.  I immediately reconsider every life choice I’ve ever made in my sleepy haze.  Maybe I don’t wanna run this morning, bed looks soooo good…

5:30 AM: Out the door because I was a good little girl and pinned my bib on the night before and laid out all my clothes and packed my fuel belt

5:45 AM: Dunkin for iced coffee.  This has become a bit of a prerace tradition for me, even though basically everything that is smart in the world is like “caffeine is TEH WORST dun drink it before a race or u’ll diiiiie” but it empowers me so whatevs.

6:10 AM: Pull into a parking space that is a tad bit far from the finish line (spoiler alert: I hate myself for this later) but will allow me to actually leave the race location without waiting for like an hour to get out

6:15 AM: Force-feed myself an apple

6:20 AM: Get on line for porta potties

Roughly a year later: actually get to USE portapotty

6:40 to like 6:55 AM: Attempt to not panic and get a bit more water in me

6:56 AM: Make friends with girl who asked “so do you see any signs for corrals?  I saw one that was for a 9 to 10 minute mile but I’m at like ‘try to finish, no time goal, my emergency contact information is on my phone screen, got my inhaler’.”  My kind of girl.

6:57 AM: Taking notice of all the people in costumes (this was a costume-optional race), notice a guy wearing very, very little.  Realize he is dressed in the Borat swimsuit.  Attempt to figure out where he pinned his bib and then realize he has a bib number belt.  Overhear a woman say “okay, he wins the costume contest.  Just give it to him.  Then make him change clothes.”

7:00 AM: Panic because I’m still holding on to my crappy water bottle and don’t see a place to ditch it.  Decide to hold on to it for a while.  “A while” turns into like 7 miles but whatevs.

7:04 AM: Lady who did the National Anthem: you killed it, way to go

7:07 AM: Race starts,shuffling towards the start begins, I actually remember to hit “start” on my watch, I am the smartest woman alive

Transition to mile estimates because I frankly have no idea what time it was for most of this

Mile 0.2: Cannot stop grinning because oh my GOODNESS I am running a HALF MARATHON I am THE COOLEST EVER

Mile 0.4: Smile fades a bit because I get passed by this guy who is pushing a lady in a wheelchair, and he is wearing a tux.  Dialing back my dreams of Olympic glory.

Mile 0.5: Guy jumps in blatantly banditing the race.  He is wearing a rainbow tutu and a rainbow shirt and has Pride info pinned to his back.  He gives everyone high-fives and hugs if they want them.  That is how you correctly bandit a race, everyone.  We all ain’t even mad.  Go on with your bad self.

Mile 0.7: So this happened.  This dude was chatting with a group of ladies that he didn’t know (who had matching sequin headbands, you go ladies), and was basically bragging about his exploits in the running world and “when I ran New York, I…” and just generally acting like he was awesome, which was awk but whatever.  He then jogs like fifteen feet ahead of them, turns back, and while running backwards, says “what’s with all the heavy chicks out today?”  I KNOW.  WHAT THE FUCK.  The ladies basically chose not to engage, replying with “well it’s Philly!  and we’re awesome! so we’re out today!” and things like that, and I really can’t blame them.  They saved their energy for the race they were running.  But like, dude? What went on in your brain that led you to conclude that was a good thing to say?  Andrew came up with the best response when I told him this story: “what’s with all the assholes out today? Mostly in your general direction, really concentrated over there…”
Also, not that it matters, because that is a messed up thing to say regardless, but the dude was not like in Steve Prefontaine levels of shape.  Had a little belly going on.  Made it extra strange.

Mile 2-ish: first aid station comes up.  I always feel like I’m letting them down when I don’t need water at that time.  Like “um, no, I’m good, but I’m sure your water is very delicious and refreshing! I’m sorry! It’s not you, it’s me!”

Mile 2.4: see two girls running while carrying a shield and an axe and wearing Viking helmets.  I love everything.

Mile 3.1: realize if this were a 5k I would have PR’ed!

Mile 3.11: realize that I should not be aiming for a 5k PR because I have ten miles left. Oops.

Mile 4.0: take my first Shot Blok like a good little runner, walk for the first time

Mile 5.2: tiny little uphill and I whine like a lot, but so does everyone around me so it’s all good!  Right?  As long as I’m not the loudest!  Right? Also MORE SHOT BLOKS

Mile 5.9: actual salt is streaked on my arms. This has not happened often and I thought I was dying and then I realized I was not.  Good story I know.  I just thought I was growing scales for a minute.

Mile 6.55: Loudest dude ever was manning the halfway point.  Totes fine with it because he was like “KEEP GOING, DOING GREAT” and I live off of that stuff.  I had like ten minutes of leeway at this point to make a sub-3 hour half so I was both excited and nervous

Mile 7: I somehow miss this mile marker and am convinced for a while that I am actually going backwards along the course because “no no there is NO WAY I haven’t gotten to mile 7 no no no”

Mile 7.2: I realize the father and son(?) in front of me are banditing as well, or may have just been out running and got swept up in the course.  I am not mad until like three miles later when he, his son, and another dude decide to run-chat and do the thing people do on sidewalks when they block the whole damn thing at this spot with trees on one side and gates on the other.  No, I am not going much faster than you are but move or I’ll cut you with my bib because I have one and you don’t.  Yeah, I’ll fight your 12 year old son.  I can take him.  Maybe.  (I’m an adult, I swear.)

Mile 8: oh JESUS THANK YOU MILE MARKER

Mile 9: this is the farthest I’ve ever gone in one shot.  I regret not having gone like 40 miles in one shot so this feels like nothing.  It does not feel like nothing it feels like EVERYTHING

Mile 9.5: yes please with the water, aid station; my stomach is doing its thing where it is hungry so it decides to tell me it is nauseous.  No, you jerk organ, I am just low on blood sugar, so shut up and take your Shot Bloks.  Eat them.  Digest them.  Get your act together.

Mile 9.6: Can I buy stock in Clif? I love them so much right now.

Mile 10: just a 5k left!  Oh God, I’m one of those people who says stuff like “it’s just a 5k left!” and actually means it.  At least I said it inside my head!  Oh, wait, the person in front of me said it out loud to her running partner.  I’m safe.

Mile 10.2: Aid station peeps are cheerfully announcing that the aid station in two miles has Gatorade.  I would share in their enthusiasm if they said the next aid station had rocket backpacks, or stretchers, or Jeremy Renner.

Mile 11: Two miles left.  You can totally do this, and you’d better.  This was the point at which I basically started to run for a minute and walk for a minute because I was pretty sure my knees were going to actually crack at this point.  Every step hurt. But basically this was “if you ran this far and don’t finish…oh HELL no.”

Mile 11.3: Somewhat separated from basically everyone, and I realize my compression shorts are swishing.  (whaddup thighs touching hey bigger runners you feel me? yeahhh) I realize they have probably been swishing for 2 hours.  Has everyone heard me swishing?  Am I one of the “heavy chicks” that jerk guy was talking about? Wait that’s a terrible thing to think?  GAH INTERNAL TURMOIL

Mile 11.31: I am running a half marathon anyone who has anything nasty to say is basically on the level of Joffrey Baratheon, the First and Jerkiest of His Name

Mile 12: One. More. And a tenth.  Don’t forget the tenth.

Mile 12.3: a hill.  An effing hill, now???  Seriously?  Ugh, guys, this last mile probably took me like 20 minutes to finish.  I looked at my watch and realized I was not gonna make it under 3 hours, so my goal was adjusted to just “finish the thing.” And also “make a recommendation that the last mile of a half marathon not contain a 40 Degree Hill of Death as its last thing.”

Mile 12.9: This lady who looks like she finished like 90 minutes ago and is now cheerfully going for a bike ride with her finisher’s medal around her neck is all “you can do it!” and in my head I’m all “I hate you for being done but love you for cheering me on!”

Mile 13: I can run this last part to the finish without dying.  This is a doable goal.

Mile 13.1: VICTORY! Also exhaustion.  Dude with the medals stop texting and give it to me or I will fight you.  I will fight you with all the stamina of a newborn and all the strength of overcooked linguini.  Come at me, bro.

Mile 1,000: I parked my car about another half marathon away and my legs only marginally work.  It takes me forever to walk there while sipping my fruit drink, and once I’m at my car I collapse and call my dad.  He answers the phone, “are you alive?”  Excellent question!

Well, no offense to Eleanor Roosevelt.

 I remember hearing the quote for the first time when watching The Princess Diaries.  Which I saw in the theaters.  No shame, love you forever Julie Andrews.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  Said to a crying Mia, Anne Hathaway’s character, by a pretty rad dude who works for Julie Andrews’ queen character.  His name was Joe.  The scene has a kind of “yeah they’re gonna tease you, but you’re awesome!  Like Eleanor Roosevelt!  And awesome people don’t let crappy people get to them.  So be awesome!  And stop crying and go to high school!”

My initial reaction to that was “yeah!  Mia’s awesome!  Go fight win!  Can Julie Andrews come back on screen now?”  Loved the hell out of that quote.

That is a terrible, terrible quote.  And so are all the ones that are variations on “don’t let the haters stop you from doing your thing.”  (Love you Kevin G.)

This is the first but definitely not the last time I will need to say this: the world needs to stop placing the burden of feeling terrible on the victim.  If someone is awful to you and you feel sad about it, that is appropriate and fine and maybe even good.

I respect the hell out of people, like Ellen Degeneres, who use the expression “my haters are my motivators.”  Some people do legitimately take inaccurate, cruel, terrible things and basically turn that into energy to fight back and keep being awesome.  Seriously, if this describes you, keep killing it and also teach me your ways like immediately.  I am absolutely not telling you to get sad if you’re not.  I’m just saying it’s totally okay to be sad if you in fact are sad, and it’s not your fault if mean things don’t “inspire” you.

When the world encourages that attitude, the “exude positivity regardless of how awful everything can be” is that the world is working at the wrong end of the problem.  That if you’re teased, it’s YOUR responsibility to “not let it get to you.”  To productively channel that sadness and then come out the other side better and different and perfect.

It’s the same concept that some girls and boys experience if they don’t wear the right clothes.  They get teased for not wearing cool things and looking stupid.  They go tell their parents they will get destroyed if they continue to wear their current clothes.  Their parents “fix” it by buying the right clothes, and the teasing stops.  Yay?  Nope, not at all.  The bullies might not be actively bullying, but they’re still being terrible.  They didn’t get any nicer, you’re just now wearing the “right” clothes around the same mean people. 

In time, those people will find something else to be cruel about.  

I’ve seen this in basically all arenas, from abusive bosses to bullying, this concept that we should just ignore it and stay awesome and sticks and stones and you gotta keep ya head up and so on.  The arena in which it seems to show up most is that of weight loss.  I watch the hell out of some weight loss reality shows, including The Biggest Loser, Extreme Weightloss, and MTV’s I Used to Be Fat.  Literally every single one of them has asked their contestants or stars about teasing they received, and use it to “motivate” them during their workouts.  They did this to basically say “push yourself so that these people have no basis in calling you ‘fat cow’ anymore because you’ll be skinny!”

Why on EARTH are they not saying “yo, it’s super cool if you want to get healthy, and if a side effect of that is that you lose weight, cool beans.  But those people, the ones who called you names? Assholes, every one, and you can totally cry about it.  Wanna go find them and punch them?  No, not in your ‘After’ shot, right now.  When you’re still fat.  Because they are not nice people and they have no right to tell you those things regardless of what you look like.”  Probably because the One Republic song they play during the montage doesn’t fit that sound bite, or something.  I don’t know.  

Don’t tell people they need to stay positive when the world is being awful.  All that tells them is that they’re failing on two fronts: whatever they’re being teased about, and ~*sTaYiNg pOsiTiVe*~ 

Nope.  G’head and cry when people are awful.  World?  Tell people to not make people cry.  Much better.