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'Great Pretender' Protested

July 03, 1988

Michelle Anderson's subterfuge as a beauty contestant is pitiable and dangerous. The self-image of the beauty pageant contestant isn't one I would recommend to friend or family, but Anderson admittedly hates women and certainly has an identity problem. I share her view that the beauty pageant image of femininity is old fashioned and limiting, but her insensitive disregard for the flesh and blood women who share that image of femininity is cruel. As Tennessee Williams said, the only unforgivable sin is deliberate cruelty.

The other contestants believed in something. Maybe, to some of us, it's as silly as some bizarre religions. It sounds like Anderson only stands against something: about half the human race. Let's hope she develops a meaningful sense of self-worth and respect for those with different views.

JIM TUGEND

Los Angeles

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