You’ve probably already seen the Miss Teen USA video that’s floating around the interweb. If you have, you’ve laughed and cringed and shaken your head and thanked your lucky stars that you were born with enough intelligence to know that her addled bits of nonsense are completely tragic and wholly embarrassing. And if you haven’t seen it, well, I can’t prepare you. Here’s Lauren Caitlin Upton, Miss Teen South Carolina, during the Miss Teen USA pageant on August 24:
(video is after the cut)
In case you need a transcript of her answer to why one-fifth of Americans can’t find the U.S. on a world map — you know, to confirm that you really heard what you think you heard — here it is:
“I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some … people out there in our nation don’t have maps and uh, I believe that our, ah, education like such as in South Africa, and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., or should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for.”
Is there really anything to add to the rounds of snark and shame that have been lobbed web-wide? Well, rather than bemoan the state of American education or make a tired joke about beauty pageants, I’ll offer this. She actually answered the question very well. No, not the question she was asked, but this question, which must have been presented in a practice round:
“Why can’t Johnny find his way home? In your answer, please mention at least two countries that have been in the news in the last 50 years; be colloquial while maintaining a show of faux erudition; emphasize your utter inability to grasp anything that’s said to you while the spotlight is shining; and, most importantly, do not even once give any hint of any notion of how to construct a sentence in the English language.”
Yeah. Let’s just engage in a little schadenfreude and content ourselves with the fact that it’s not called Miss Teen Brain USA (and anyway, Lauren didn’t win, though she did make the top five). And let’s reach for the nearest map, almanac or encyclopedia in an effort to stave off this kind of humiliation for ourselves and our loved ones. At the very least, let’s try never to use the words like and such and as anywhere near each other ever again.