Ashley Bond is a native of suburban Streamwood who devoted a significant portion of her life to competing in pageants in hopes of bolstering her chances of success in life. Getting crowned Miss Illinois USA back in December was a sign that she had succeeded.
But now, the woman (right) who represented Illinois at the Miss USA pageant held earlier this week will only have as a claim to fame that she was in the same building when her pageant colleague, Miss California USA Carrie Prejean, put her high-heeled foot in her mouth while trying to talk about gay marriage.
THAT IS THE same Miss California who now claims she lost the Miss USA title (won by a blonde from North Carolina) solely because she expressed her honest opinion, which she claims is backed by the Bible.
Miss California (she may have a real name, but I honestly think most people just think of her as the California blonde) is trying to portray herself as some sort of victim, being penalized for using her right to free expression.
Actually, what she’s being penalized for is being obnoxious enough to think that she can speak out against others, but that no one has a right to criticize her perky self.
It all goes back to Sunday when she was questioned (admittedly, by a snotty weblog publisher who likely is reveling in the stink he managed to create) about whether gay people should have a legally legitimate ability to marry.
IF THE LADY from Southern California had merely said something along the lines of “I do not approve of gay people being married” or “I think marriage is for heterosexuals,” I think she would have managed to tick off some gay rights activists who would have created a stir for a day or two, before moving on to the new “flavor of the month” issue of concern.
But it is the fact that she persists in presenting herself as a victim that is what is most offensive to me, and it is why I am enjoying the thought of her getting dumped on by some of the pompous self-righteous types who populate celebrity-hood in Hollywood.
Her answer to the question itself on Sunday went as follows.
“We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”
FIRST OFF, WE don’t live in a land where people can choose types of marriage. Despite the actions of some states, marriage is largely defined these days as a heterosexual thing, and there are groups working to ensure it remains that way.
I also have a problem with her thought that opposition to gay marriage was “how I was raised.” That sounds too much like the talk of the old Southern segregationists, who always claimed that Jim Crow and the way of life that separated black people was just the way things were in their part of the country.
But what really ticks me off about her answer, and the reason why I finally felt compelled to write about the Miss USA competition at all, is the latter part of her answer.
That clause about, “no offense to anybody out there.”
I’M SURE SHE will claim she was just using good manners. I claim she is trying to tell people she doesn’t want to hear anyone object to her. This pageant winner thinks she has the final word on the issue.
In short, she’s telling them that she automatically pronounces their opinion wrong, and doesn’t want to hear it.
What she is going to learn is that she doesn’t, in the same way that I don’t either. I’m sure I will get vociferous responses to this commentary from people – both to tell me I’m wrong and I’m right, or that I’m boring them and can’t I find something socially relevant to write about.
Like I said, if she had merely said she objects to gay marriage, I’d defend her right to express that thought – even though I personally would think she is nothing more than a twit for believing that. (My own thoughts on the issue are that the only marriage I ought to be concerned about is one involving myself, everybody else’s is none of my business).
BUT IT IS the fact that she tried to pre-empt criticism of herself that bothers me. That irritation is compounded by her continued talk and use of the Bible to defend herself – citing those same provisions that the social conservatives always use when they want to denounce homosexuality in general.
She even went so far as to tell Fox News Channel that she now sees the question about gay marriage as “a test’ by God, to see if she would stand up for her principles on the issue.
Personally, I think God (however one perceives him) has more important things to do than to act as a beauty pageant judge, asking questions of the contestants. But she thinks she passed, as though we’re all now supposed to reward her for thinking that certain people in society have to accept her criticism and keep quiet about it.
That kind of attitude is one I find “un-American.” It bothers me to the point where I find it distracting that the beauty pageant that really amounts to little more than the Donald Trump Show (he’s the producer of the spectacle that dressed all the contestants in bathing suits that looked like skimpy lingerie) has become bogged down in this rhetoric about gay marriage.
EDITOR’S NOTES: First, Miss California claims that she should be the “last word” on the issue (http://features.csmonitor.com/politics/2009/04/20/miss-california-sparks-outrage-over-gay-marriage-remarks/), then she says God is testing her faith by having someone (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,517228,00.html) question her. Personally, I have a hard time imagining God (or anyone else) using Perez Hilton for such a divine purpose.
I’d rather pay attention to Ashley Bond than this California controversy (http://www.missillinoisusa.com/ashley_bio.html), or even the winner from North Carolina.