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'Great Pretender' Protested

July 03, 1988

You need look no further than the playgrounds and streets of Los Angeles to put the question (of what is wrong with beauty contests) in perspective: The same obsession that compels young men to submit to a system that encourages squandering their formative years in futile preparation for hopelessly improbable futures as jocks drives young women to emulate the contestants in the endless "beauty pageants." These pursuits displace learning goals for junior and senior high schoolers and, since youth is a prerequisite, college and apprenticeship, too, are set aside.

The Times dismisses the effects of the beauty pageant business on the entirety of women, young and old, with a beep from its patriarchal word processor, then turns to the business of filling its pages with ads depicting the same ideal women and girls linking goods and services to promised sex.

Admit it or not, the contestants are the standards to which all women are compared in their daily lives.

LOUIS ST. MARTIN

Pomona

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