Beauty pageants must end now.

I would like to propose that every man, woman and child in the United States sign a pledge refusing to participate in or watch any beauty pageant like the Miss USA Pageant ever again.

Pageants are bizarre and awful. Teams of  judges stare at young women in ball gowns and swimsuits and score them on their physical appearance. In the case of the most recent Miss USA Pageant, the judges included an NFL player, a professional wrestler and at least three reality television stars, so the choice of judges is apparently based upon the probability of increasing viewership for the telecast.

Then contestants are asked to answer randomly chosen public policy questions, which result in embarrassing, incoherent, inexplicably stupid moments like this one from last week’s Miss USA Pageant:

Not as bad as the South Carolinian from the Miss Teen USA Pageant in 2007, but still pretty stupid.

What the hell are we doing?

As the father of a little girl, I’m horrified and disgusted that she will be growing up in a world in which these pageants still exist and are broadcast on national television in primetime.

What kind of person even watches a show like this?

The process of judging young women on their physical appearance is disgusting. The inherent sexism behind the existence of these pageants is appalling. I can’t begin to imagine why a parent would want to involve his or her daughter in the pageant process. 

If we could all agree to never involve ourselves or our children in the pageant process and (more importantly) look away when they air these vile programs on television, then the cattle calls of pretty women in swimsuits strutting across a stage so that a football players and reality television stars can assess their curves will eventually come to an end.