People sometimes say pageants are outdated and problematic. Normally these critiques focus on sexism, but Miss USA has proven that racial stereotypes are also an issue.
A video of the Miss Universe pageant, which sees beauty queens compete from across the world, gained a lot of attention Instagram this week. It shows the current Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers, speaking to the camera. She says:
Miss Cambodia is here and doesn’t speak any English, and not a single other person speaks her language. Could you imagine?
She does go on to discuss how confused the contestant must feel, but many users noticed the ignorance of her statement.
Diet Prada, the account which posted the video, wrote:
This is basically what normalised xenophobia looks like.
To make matters worse, Summers then mocked of another contestant, Miss Vietnam, saying:
She’s so cute and she pretends to know so much English.
She then imitated how Miss Vietnam spoke. Summers posted an apology after the internet called out her actions. She wrote:
In a moment where I intended to admire the courage of a few of my sisters, I said something that I now realise can be perceived as not respectful, and I apologise.