NBC: Selling Out America's Teens, One Tiara at a Time

August 29, 2007

Miranda Spencer watches the “Miss Teen USA” pageant on NBC so you don’t have to.

Never mind that today’s “Miss Teen USA” pageant sets feminism back 40 years, back when airlines had slogans like, “I’m Kimberly. Fly me!” Or that, creepily enough, you can buy photos of the bikini-clad high schoolers on the pageant website. These young women are being proferred as role models.

I can only think of my spunky, whip-smart 12-year-old cousin Jenny, and hope her TV was broken last night. She doesn’t need to know that in a few years she’ll be old enough for NBC to pimp her out to America.

The photo part kills me. The pageant website also presents a list of beauty tips that seems to miss its demographic: Who knew so many teens needed help reducing the appearance of cellulite?

And yet it ends with this ironic tip: “Always be true to your inner voice. It’s your personality, strength, accomplishments, intelligence, and self-confidence that will radiate from within and make the world notice the extraordinary you!”

Oh, we only wish.

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