The USS Quad Damage

On Beauty and Violence

Are boxers merely brawlers? Is beauty only skin deep?

Kuro5hin is a pretty good website, even though despite the quality of writing the content is pretty low-brow. It’s like all the seedy types from Craigslist and Something Awful congregated to start a community blog. However, it tends to give (sometimes) useful insights into a world I’m unfamiliar with. A lot of the time I regret reading these articles, thinking things like “I really didn't need to know about 80 year old pick-up artists. I think I'm going to be sick on so many levels”.

Recently I read an article about Miss Teen USA on Kuro5hin, specifically Miss Teen South Carolina, who when asked a relatively simple question turned into a malfunctioning ELIZA bot. The arguement goes a little something like this:

  • What happened is completely natural,
  • Just like when Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield ear and everyone flipped out, because
  • Boxers are violent, and behind the veneer of propriety they’re really just brawlers.
  • Beautiful women are stupid, because behind the veneer of propriety the competition is really about “hot chicks”.

This makes me angry for two reasons. First, I used to do a martial art (which Nathan still does, I think), and I never thought it was about hurting others. In fact, the atmosphere was always positive, and about taking care of each other, and trying to improve ourselves physically and mentally. Despite the fact that during sparring, sometimes we got physical, the intention wasn’t to injure, but to play. I’d compare it more to a sport than violent activity.

So if Rugby and Chess are about being bloodthirsty, then sure, so is boxing. After all, things get heated in Rugby as well, and fights break out, but they’re clearly outside the rules. Chess too, is about killing, but ultimately, the game is still a game, just like Rugby, just like boxing.

The second reason is the assumption that just because someone is beautiful, they’re stupid. More specifically, just because someone’s physically attractive, they must be stupid. This isn’t like D&D where you get a certain number of stats and overall everyone’s the same. Some people are attractive and intelligent. Shocking, maybe, but true. At the very least, there’s no way to prove that the physically attractive are stupid, and I don’t think there’s any strong supporting evidence either.

The “game” of “Miss Teen USA” tries to optimise on both intelligence and phyisical attractiveness (it may do so badly, but then rules-wise soccer is a complete waste of time as well). I don’t think Miss Teen SC won that competition, even though she may have done everything else right. I’m also pretty sure there’s plenty very intelligent, physically attractive women in South Carolina who merely didn’t enter Miss Teen SC, so this noob won out. We should be outraged (at least, laughing), just like when Tyson bit of Holyfield’s ear.