Hot Mormon Muffins and Models for Jesus: What's With All the Sexy Christians?
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My friend Jim is really good at what he calls “the runner-up smile.” It’s a grin as taut as a mainsail that one has to plaster on one’s face when it is announced that all your efforts, dental work and hours practicing Portia's speech have been for nothing -- you didn’t get the crown. It’s an expression that’s as thin as Saran Wrap and just as transparent.
But what else can they do? They can’t stamp their dyed-to-match pumps on the stage and stomp away or they’ll be considered ungracious. They can’t smile for real because it’s almost impossible to be that phony with adrenaline flooding your system. So how’s a girl to react?
Well, you could wait until you get offstage and assert that you were unfairly treated until everyone knows who you are and no one remembers who actually won (it was Kristen Dalton, by the way). That’s what Carrie Prejean did. She’s the Miss USA runner-up who stated her disapproval of gay marriage, said her views cost her the crown when Dalton actually scored higher in other events, threatened a religious discrimination lawsuit against a pageant company when she was fired for contract violations and of whom a sex tape -- possibly more than one -- has now appeared. It’s the kind of celebrity that has “perishable” written all over it -- and one which we should learn from while we can, since it provides quite an quite an interesting viewfinder of how we judge each other sexually.
Carrie Prejean barely crossed my radar until the sex tape came out, at which time she went into damage control mode, obviously -- and justly -- worried about being judged. “It was the worst mistake of my life,” she said.
I doubt that. It’s not even a bad thing. She’s a grown woman (she says she was a teen but she must have been of age or adult film giant Vivid wouldn't be hoping to release it) trying to make her boyfriend bust his zipper from afar. What could be more normal than that? It’s not behavior we normally associate with God-fearing folk who judge other people’s sexuality…but discrimination is worse than a little lust, a digital age version of “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I’ll start with this finger...”
Lovers have always given smutty presents to their shmoopies, presents that would have shocked the corsets off their contemporaries and the Hanes Her Ways off ours. Lady Caroline Lamb, the married lover of Lord Byron sent him a lock of her pubic hair in 1812 with a letter that read (in part): “'I asked you not to send blood but Yet do -- because if it means love I like to have it.” James Joyce once wrote to his wife “my hands clutching the round cushions of your bum and my tongue licking ravenously up your rank red cunt…” You think if he had a Blackberry he wouldn’t have texted it? Or if they had a webcam they wouldn’t have shot it?
People are not idiots for expressing love and lust meant for their partners. Unless it involves a restraining order, an expression of desire is a wonderful thing. “Never apologize for showing feeling,” Benjamin Disraeli said. “When you do so, you apologize for truth.”
That said, Miss Prejean’s judgment on other people's sexuality by stating that same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to wed is an irony that should be ringing in her ears right now like a tornado alarm through a Spinal Tap speaker since she’s now being judged on her sexual behavior. Fate almost never offers us a life lesson in such a neat package. Usually we have to wrestle with “What does it mean?” like a heart patient whose pulse escalates dangerously while trying to open a childproof med bottle. This one is so easy even a dogmatist could see it: instant karma. If you don’t like feeling judged for who you are sexually maybe you shouldn’t judge other people for who they are sexually. It couldn’t get any fucking neater if Martha Stewart gift-wrapped it: there’s not enough tooth whitener or ersatz boobery in the world to make discrimination a pretty thing.