Was the answer bad? Yes. Could she have done better? Yes. But, was the question fair? No.
Last night’s Miss USA Pageant, which was held in Las Vegas, could have ended better for Utah contestant Marissa Powell. Not just because she lost, but because she completely tanked her interview question.
As a finalist, Miss Powell made it to the Q&A portion of the pageant. For those of you at work, here’s the question she was asked:
"A recent report shows that in 40 percent of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?”What exactly is this question asking? What does it say about society that women are the primary earners in 40 percent of American families with children? Or what does it say about society that women continue to earn less than men? Which question was Miss Powell supposed to answer?
Unfortunately, she didn’t answer either of them. Instead, her reply was:
“I think we can relate this back to education and how we are continuing to try to strive to … figure out how to create jobs. Right now, that is the biggest problem. I think, especially the men, are, um, seen as the leaders of this. And so we need to try to figure out how to create education better, so that we can solve this problem. Thank you.”
What do you expect? A Reuters answer from an up-and-coming economics specialist? This is a beauty pageant, after all. Contestants are given 30 seconds to answer questions on topics around which entire careers are centered. And at least it wasn't this:
And considering that Utah is infamous for its low-budget education system, maybe we should take a cue from Miss Powell and "create education better." Then maybe our beauty-pageant contestants would be better-equipped to answer tough questions instead of becoming the latest Internet prey.
Here’s what it comes down to: We don’t know her. She may be kind, or funny, or maybe even smart under different circumstances. But what we do know is she’s beautiful, she has a constructive hobby, and she isn’t able to bullshit a 30-second response. The question wasn't asking for an intelligent answer, it was asking, "How good are you at speaking in front of a camera?"
It would have been appropriate if she had just swapped a few words; here, let's try it: “I think we can relate this back to (bullying) and how we are continuing to strive to figure out how to (end bullying). Right now, that is the biggest problem. I think, especially (people), are, um, seen as (different). And so we need to try to figure out how to create (tolerance) so that we can solve this problem. Thank you.”
Now, all we can do is wait for Chris Crocker to chime in: