On Mistakes and Beauty

I think I must be one of the few people who think that the reason Venus Raj wasn’t crowned Miss Universe in this year’s pageant is that she is less beautiful than the other contenders.

What am I talking about? ZaragozaTwins Beauty Contests? Huh?

Apparently, Venus, representing the Philippines, was tipped to win this competition but was pipped at the post by Jimena Navarrete, otherwise known as Miss Mexico. In normal circumstances, in the newspaper the day after a Miss Universe was chosen, I would have merely glanced at the photo of the winner and then moved on. But I read that the Miss Philippines had told the jury that “she had made no mistakes in her life” and this hadn’t gone down well with anybody, thus losing out on being crowned Miss Universe.

People don’t like people who don’t make mistakes? Is that it?

Now, as I see it, if we make a mistake, we don’t usually admit it straight after; that would be uncool, wouldn’t it. But we always end up recognising we screwed up somewhere, at some time, a long, long time ago. To say “I have never made a mistake” is such an outrageous claim, it can only be true.

So I, for one, have to believe Venus, and if she has made no mistakes in her life, she’s right to say so and shouldn’t have to apologise for it or, worse, invent some past misdeed just to please the punters.

I started digging around to find out exactly what she had said, and it turn out that the way the news was presented doesn’t actually match the reality of the situation. She was asked to talk about “one big mistake” she had made in her life, and how she has tried to set it right. Her answer was that there was nothing “major” in her life that she regretted, for which she thanked her family.

What’s wrong with that? She doesn’t come across as the boastful, stupid, demagogic witch that the popular press would have us believe, and I’m sure the jury can’t have seen her in this light, based on the harmlessness of her answer.

Nope, the reason Venus Raj went home uncrowned was that didn’t look as good as Jimena Navarrete, Miss Mexico. Simple as that. Occam’s razor, innit.

Even when a conspiracy theory is wearing a swimsuit, it’s still a conspiracy theory.


I was going to end this post here, but then I got to thinking about mistakes, regrets, etc…

If it’s true that we learn from our mistakes, it’s just as well we make a few, or we’d never learn anything. By saying, “I wish I hadn’t gone and done that”, we’re saying, “I wish I hadn’t learned that”. What Venus Raj, in her simultaneously frank and paradoxical wisdom, is saying is, “I’m glad to have learned things”. She has made mistakes, but nothing she wants to undo.

Maybe that’s why she didn’t become Miss Universe. She’s unrepentant about her learning.

I bet when she got back to Manila, her mother yelled at her for giving such a daring answer – both straightforward and profound – but she should be proud, or at least satisfied, that she replied to a dumb question with aplomb and a philosophical sincerity that no other contestant could match.

There’s a lesson for us all.


And I was going to end this post here, but then I started thinking about José Mourinho.

That’s when I REALLY ended this post.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Rogelio on August 26, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Not sure if I understand your argument, sir. But she is a BABE!


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