Paul V. Coates -- Confidential File, July 17, 1959
July 17, 2009 | 2:00 pm
New Criterion for Beauty Contestants
I see we're on the verge of conducting another Miss Universe Beauty contest. The ripest, most exotic representatives of international young womanhood are -- at this very moment -- clustered in Long Beach.
They are going to be clothed in skimpy bathing suits, measured by exacting mathematicians, and ogled by scores of professional beauty-oglers, and not a few amateurs.
And I would like to register a protest.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm not yet so old that I want to discourage promenades of beautiful women.
I think we should have beauty contests. They're kicks.
But if I may, I'd like to insert a little phrase which I coined because it makes my point so well. To wit: Beauty is only skin deep.
I mean, selecting the most perfect specimen of womanhood in the world isn't a task we should undertake with only casual surface study.
According to the rules of the game as it's played now, all a girl has to do is parade past some bald heads, be beautiful, a play a tune on the cello, and make a two-minute talk on "The Wondrous Port of Long Beach."
If she's reasonably proficient in these skills, she has a chance to walk off the stage with the title of Miss Universe and the attendant prestige as the world's most desirable woman.
But unless you're one of those way-outs who dig the cello, is she really?
To be the world's most desirable girl, a young woman must have the full potential for becoming the world's most desirable wife, since becoming a wife is woman's destiny.
It seems to me that the judges at Long Beach ignore this fact completely.
As a consequence, I have found it necessary to cover this glaring omission by developing the Coates Marriage Quotient Test for all Miss Universe contestants.
The quiz follows -- and answer the questions honestly, young ladies. If you cheat, you're only cheating yourselves.
1 -- Do you leave bobbypins in the bathroom sink?
2 -- Do you think a wife should be content to live on her husband's income?
3 -- Which of the following would you consider to be the ideal date: Tommy Sands, Gen. Charles de Gaulle, Sen. John McClellan, Charles Addams or C. Aubrey Smith?
4 -- Do you realize that C. Aubrey Smith has been dead for almost 20 years?
5 -- Do you shop for "specials" in the supermarket?
6 -- Do you believe in double beds for married couples?
7 -- Have you ever been arrested?
8 -- Have you ever tossed a Stanley party?
9 -- Do you belong to a Christmas Club? (A "no" answer from Buddhists will not be scored against them.)
10 -- Do you think Jimmy Hoffa is "cute"?
11 -- Do you agree with the philosophy that a woman's place is in the kitchen?
12 -- When your checking account is overdrawn, do you blame (a) yourself, (b) the bank?
13 -- You are traveling in the outside lane, approaching a busy intersection. You wish to make a right turn. Should you signal the traffic behind you with your right or left arm?
14 -- And you say you've never been arrested?
Some Are Non-Americans
The Coates Marriage Quotient Quiz, properly filled out, should give us an accurate basis for selecting a winner. But it just occurs to me that there's only one flaw in this whole thing. Many of the contestants can't read or write English.
That however, isn't my fault. It's the fault of the committee. Why do they have to allow foreigners in a Miss Universe contest, anyway?