On Beauty

finalists of the Miss
Universe 2005
contest pose on the stage at the
final round at Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand Tuesday, May 31, 2005.
They are from left, Miss Mexico Laura Elizondo Erhard, Miss Puerto Rico
Cynthia Olavarria, Miss
Dominican Repubublic Renata Sone, Miss Canada Natalie Glebova and Miss
Venezuela Monica Spear. (AP Photo/Rungroj Yongrit, Pool)

No one has ever accused the Dowbrigade of being just another pretty
face, although we do consider ourself a lover of beauty. After attending
Miss Universe event
last year
in Quito, Ecuador, it was inevitable that we would follow
the current edition, just completed in Bangkok, Thailand, another city
of which we have many fond memories.

We were even more interested considering that this year, four of the five finalists were
from Latin America, which only accounts for about 5% of the planets population.
The question came up in class today: Does Latin America really contain
a predominance of the most beautiful women in the world, or is the Miss
Universe pageant somehow fixed, or influenced by the nation origins of
the judges or sponsors?

The answer, in the humble opinion of the Dowbrigade, is yes on both
counts. Obviously, we agree that the most beautiful women in the world
are from Latin America, having married two of them. Not only are they
exquisite, they are  smart, athletic, and empowered, without having
sacrificed any of their femininity.

At the same time, the pageant itself is obviously influenced by the
standards of beauty in the countries that fund it, and by the comparative
purchasing power of the millions of viewers that actually sit through
the thing on live television. This year’s winner, Miss Canada, was born
in Russia. It is also interesting to note that of the 3 North American
countries, two were among the five finalists. Last year in Quito,
Miss Australia took home the top prize. Not only the Miss
but ultimately
all of our public images of female perfection are provided by advertisers
and marketing professionals.

Quite simply, beauty and sex capture eyeballs and sell products. Back
in college, one of the Dowbrigade’s fields of study was Psychophysiology,
the relation between the human brain and body.  We got to mess around
in a lab with all sorts of mad-scientist gear, used to measure just about
every parameter of human physical response you can imagine.

There were long wires tipped in slippery silvery electrodes, used to
measure everything from Galvanized Skin Resistance (sweat, basically,
used in lie detectors) to electrical responses in the heart and brain
(electrocardiogram and encephlograms), to beams of light that reflected
on the eyeball to record where a subject is looking, cameras to record pupil dilation, BP cuffs, vacuum bags to measure and analyze respiration,
tons more cool toys; But our favorite was the penometer, a wired, smoking-jacket-like
sheath which enclosed the male member and measured its degree of engorgement
while the subject was submitted to various stimuli.

We are absolutely sure that the mega-corporations that sponsor the Miss
Universe pageant have run extensive tests with male and female subjects
from a variety of high-income, high beauty-pagent-viewership nations,
using the Penometer and whatever is its female equivalent, to determine
in an objective way what is the most stimulating standard of physical
beauty available within the strict limits of permissible public broadcast
established by the FCC. Apparently, according to the latest test groups,
Latinas are hot.

The search for physical beauty is an endless and lucrative motor for
the world economy and permeates all aspects of our culture and society.  For
the past several months, for example, we have noticed something different
on the area of Commonwealth Avenue on the college campus where our office
is located.

Last week
we finally figured it out. Gone from #930 was the Boston University Corporate Education
, which for the past decade has trained IT
geeks for major Boston business, and was, we thought, a promising new-wave
revenue stream pointing toward an attractive avenue of future development. Cheesy
and crassly commercial, but a sign of the times.

But the times they are achangin’. In place of the Corporate Education
Center was the following sign:

The BU Corporate Training Center had been replaced with the BU Cosmetic
Surgery Salon
! Wow! Who knew that BU has it own Cosmo Center?  Note
that this is not a center to learn about or how to do cosmetic
surgery.  It
is a clinic offering these services to students and members of the community!
imagine they
are making this a major point in their pitch to the archetypical BU student,
the Jewish American Princesses of Long Island: "And for one, low price
of $60,000 we include a year’s tuition, a boob or nose job, and two other
elective surgeries of your choice."

We must
admit, however, that the one area in which BU surpasses its cross-river
rivals is in the delectability of those members of its community
colloquially know, in the past, as co-eds. Castigate our crude chauvinism
if you must, but BU women are much hotter than those at Harvard or MIT.  Why
this should be remains a mystery, but for examples one need look no further
than BU graduate Geena Davis, soon to reappear as President
of the United States
, but in our mind forever enshrined, together
with Samuel L. Jackson, in
that classic of American cinematography, "The
Long Kiss Goodnight
She remains, in our mind at least, as the premiere kick-ass female action hero,
above pretenders like Sigourney Waver or Angelina Jolie.

We wonder where they moved the computer geeks to.  Somewhere out
of sight, obviously, although we are sure they would have been willing
to collaborate with Advancing the Science of Beauty.

Miss Universe article from the Moscow Times

This entry was posted in Wacky News. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to On Beauty

  1. chick says:

    i love Natalie Glebova since before.. thats why i made a page for her.. thanks for the review heres the link:
    NATALIE GLEBOVA bio and photos

  2. Anonymous says:

    Beauty is a cultural and historic construction that also varies geographically.

    What is beauty in the West would be different in other cultures.

    make up courses

  3. Jason says:

    Beauty the west has nothing on the rest of hte world. Asia girls are the most beautiful in my opinion.

  4. bindu jain says:

    Beauty the west has nothing on the rest of the world. Asian girls are the most beautiful in my opinion.

  5. Haircut Guy says:

    As we all know beauty is relative so no matter what we hear, read or see we’re all going to have our own ideas on beauty.

  6. Nalin says:

    I would like there to learn! It is a pleasure not for the poor!

  7. neybursguy says:

    it IS in the eye of the beholder!!

  8. beauty salon says:

    Pick one item of clothing that’s striking and keep everything else understated. Many people throw loud items together like a shimmery top, shiny trousers and metallic shoes – big mistake!

  9. Sara Lucas says:

    Hey, Im from Hair Lowlights, thanks for the info, It was awesome to finally read a well written article that actually makes sense. I will be back in a bit to read some more. Good research, Regards from Hair lowlights 🙂

Comments are closed.