Fugs and Fabs of the Miss USA Pageant

These are some of the tannest people I have ever seen in my life.

[Photos: Getty]

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Comments (121):

  1. Jessica

    Miss New York’s outfit has to be a romper, right? If not, holy cats that is one short dress! I honestly don’t know which is worse though. Formal romper or tiny tiny dress? Either way, I think our great state deserved better than that.

  2. maryse

    this is overall just horrible. they all look 10-15 years older than they are and really, how is this pageant still a thing?

    • Unstable Isotope

      I was going to ask why they all look 40 years old.

    • Alicia

      YES – none of them are over 25 I am sure and yet they all look like badly-preserved 45s.

  3. Erin

    1) Can we all just give Miss Utah a break? Yes, the question was a softball, but I, too, would suffer from a deer in the headlights brain fart up there on national TV. Maybe she was expecting Guilanna to ask her to take a stroll through the manicam.

    2) I’m with you, maryse — the make up on these girls makes them all look decades older than they are, not to mention it all makes them look the same. Dark smoky eyes, highly contoured face, overzealous highlighting. Boo.

    3) The ‘dresses’ are absolutely BSC (bat sh*t crazy). Did magpies design them??

    • Jessica

      Weeeeellllllll, the only thing about that, though, is that these girls know they’re going to get asked dumb-ass questions and part of the gig is being able to answer them on the fly and NOT go all Deer in the Headlights. They have to do Q and A in every single pageant. She just froze. Which happens, but they technically should be prepared to BS through that segment. I mean, I seriously personally don’t even care — she’s competing to be Miss USA, not Secretary of State — but it’s also not a surprise that you’re going to get asked a question where the answer is going to need to be something along the lines of how children are the future, etc.

      • Heather

        Yeah, these girls are coached — the question was about gender inequality, and that is so obviously going to get asked that there is no way she shouldn’t have had a pat answer about women’s opportunities in the workplace and yada yada.

        • Carolina Girl

          There used to be a pageant based reality show on TLC and one of the episodes featured a coach from Columbia, SC trying to coach Miss Teen SC on how to answer these type of questions. He asked her something really simple like how would she describe our state, and she answered that it’s shaped like a piece of pie, has beaches at the bottom and mountains at the top, and has a big lake in the middle. Yep. That was right before she went on to embarrass herself on national TV.

        • Mel

          Also, no matter how stupid the content of your answer is, you should at least manage to bury it in a sentence that’s not noticeably wonky. “Create education better” sounds like it was borrowed from a list of Dubya’s most quotable gaffes.

      • Erin

        I get it; I just feel bad for her.

        •  hillary l.

          I would probably feel worse for her if I hated the earrings less. Good taste covers a multitude of sins. Victor Melling would never have let those earrings happen. Or that answer. Just sayin’.

          • Sandra

            As a person who earns a living in the educational system of the State of Utah, can I just say that I’m not surprised? We spend the second-lowest amount per student on primary and secondary education in the country. We get what we pay for. Yeah, I know, awfully political for GFY and I understand if you have to make this post go away, but it is a real issue. Yes, our public school teachers do an amazing job with the resources they do have, but they simply do not have the resources to do their jobs appropriately.

            Regarding the clothes. OH. MY. GOD. And not in either a good way or an ironic way, either.

        • Guerra

          Don’t feel to bad she’s getting more publicity/ attention then the winner. No one knows who that was!

  4. Gine

    I’m not convinced that this isn’t just the same woman in different wigs.

    • gigi

      I totally did a spit take on that comment- I was just thinking about their hair going through the slide show! Dead on!

    • Annie E

      Different yet VERY SIMILAR wigs. Only two or three women didn’t have long, flowing, curly hair.

      • Breda

        Oh no, none of them have CURLY hair – how uncivilized! These are blowouts with a few waves created using a curling iron.

    • Sarah

      I know, thank god for Miss New Hampshire for having cut her hair into a (wavy) bob. And for the Carolinas – I was starting to think this was going to be an all white/heavily tanned affair.

    • kickassmomnyc

      Exactly. With few exceptions, I can’t tell them apart.

  5. D

    In relation to slide number 10, regarding unfortunate names: McAnally reminded me of a customer that once came into my workplace. Her first and middle names were Analia Virginia. Not a name you come across everyday, but nothing remarkable, I thought.

    Until my observant coworker pointed out that if you removed the “ia” from both those names, she would be Anal Virgin. Oh how we laughed! (yes, I’m 12)

  6. Nanny

    That picture of Gulianna is the best thing I have seen today.

    • Art Eclectic

      I had that exact same expression on MY face as I was viewing these sartorial choices.

      • Bambi Anne Dear

        It made my day. Living in Australia we don’t always get these pageants (which I adore) so I saw the speech thing on YouTube- flabbergasted.

        • Jeanette

          White sparkly toilet paper dress attached to shower curtains = $$$$
          Beige frilly toilet roll holder doll dress = $$$$
          Dubious expression on presenter’s face? = priceless

  7. v

    Grammatically are they the ‘tannest’ or the ‘tanniest’ or the ‘most fiercely tanned’ or maybe ‘best spray-painted’? Because they do in fact, look amusing! Looks time consuming.


  8. Beth C.

    1. Giuliana needs to throw out that lipstick right now.

    2. SO. MANY. BEIGE. HOOF-SHOES. Seriously, you have no idea how badly I want these ugly “hidden” platform shoes to go out of fashion. They flatter no one. NO ONE. They just make it look like your feet are actually cloven and we should call for the exorcist.

    3. I feel a little bad for Utah, that was a bit of a two-in-one trick question. At the same time, though, they are supposed to practice for these kinds of curveballs and be ready to throw out the BS. I mean, really, she could have just focused on the first part of the question and taked about how great it is that women are gaining parity in the household and it’s all the more reason to encourage girls in following theior dreams. You know, gloss over the politics and focus on the “we’ve come a long way, baby!” defense.

  9. Heather G

    I’m starting to wonder if spray-tanning has been replaced by being soaked in barrels of tanner or aged cognac or something.

    Also, I am in agreement with the Fug Girls re: Miss Utah. Entering a contest to be judged on several factors, including your ability to answer a softball question, opens you up to criticism when you can’t actually answer a softball question. That female breadwinner statistic got so much press that it made for a very obvious current-event question, and I’m sure other contestants were prepared to give a pat answer to it.

  10. Mouse

    I felt like I was watching a pageant of professional lookalikes – I swear I saw Hannah Montana, Toni Collette, Lucy Hale… they’re all vaguely “esque” of someone famous.
    (Not to mention they’re all – fake hair, fake tans, fake nails, fake teeth…yadda yadda.)

    Very strange.

    Was wondering why some are in full-length and some are in mini (or shorter) length. It seems weird. And I like to believe there were 50 outfits made and they all had to have a hair-pulling, shrieking, nail scratching fight to the death to grab the dress they ended up wearing.

    •  moiraeknittoo

      “Miss Illinois USA Stacie Juris” looks like a Famke Janssen clone in her pic. There are worse people to look like.

    • Bambi Anne Dear

      I wondered if that was the case. What a shenanigans. Surely they drew straws….

  11. jean

    Okay, in theory all these (young?) ladies are lovely, but it makes me deeply sad that “beautiful” in the US equals stiff hair, too much make-up, and those dresses. There was only one that was acceptable (the black one seen from the side–very sedate and elegant and big, but big is okay on stage). I know these women work really hard to get this opportunity, so is that the best they/the producers/their managers could do? I would rather they go WAY over the top than do whatever you just showed us.

    • Celeste

      Not to mention gigantic fake boobs and freakishly blinding white teeth! And why are they all, like 19, but appear to be in their late 30s? They are terrifying.

      • Heather

        Well, I wouldn’t mistake pageants with our national perception of beauty anymore. It’s like a whole other reality, and it’s voted on by totally random and dubiously qualified celebrities (NeNe Leakes? Come ON).

  12. Laura

    Those muscles in Miss Connecticut’s legs? Must.do.more.lunges.

    •  Kacy

      I would slap my momma for those legs! Off to hire personal trainer now!

    • Breda

      The dress is SO ugly, but when you’ve got those quads, I’ll forgive anything you do to show them off. (Also, I love that the woman who won has legs that scream power & strength.)

    • Breda

      Yeah, the dress is hideous, but I’ll forgive a lot if it’s just because you want to show off those quads. (Also, I love that the woman who won has legs that scream power & strength, rather than being as thin as possible.)

      •  hillary l.

        I feel like I saw Miss Conn’s dress on a Barbie 20 years ago. You can untie the tulle bit and use it as a cape. It might also change color in cold water.

  13. Lizzy

    Wow, talk about tackiness! Not only are a majority of those dresses just plain unattractive, but they look cheap, as if they’re made with stuff from the clearance rack at JoAnn’s fabric. So much NO in this slideshow.

  14. Scully

    Miss Illinois…dayum. She’s like a fresh breath of air in that storm of same-ness.

  15. Stefanie

    I watched half the show and I was SO SO hoping this would get a post!

    1. I gotta give a shout out to Miss Wyoming and the fact she got a better than most. That’s more than most Miss Wyomings get in these sort of things.

    2. I missed the first half of the show so I had to no idea they had a bikini wax completion.

    3. I love RI’s dress. It’s giant and sparkly.

    4. I HATED CT’s evening gown. It was ugly and looked like a sheet. But IL’s long sleeves and plunging neck was a show stopper. SO pretty.

    5. Im still loving the bob and Guiliana.

    6. UTAH. Im convinced she would have won had she not flubbed the question so badly. That dress is terrible, that answer was terrible, Guliana’s face in that slide is awesome.

  16. Jenny

    I’ll be honest, the majority of these women scare me. They are just so tanned and crazy eyed and intense and hard looking. Like they’d smile while stabbing their competition in the back and stepping over her corpse to get to the crown.

    • gryt

      They have that “Housewives of [mix of Orange County & New Jersey]” look.

    • mimi

      They’re Orange Jersey, all right. Like a bad mall minx COME TO LIFE.

  17. bambam

    Yawn. Eurovision has spoiled me / upped my crack tolerance.

  18. Squirrel!

    I’m sure there must be a reason behind the interchangeable dress parts (although I don’t know what it is). Are certain fashion designers spotlighted?

    In addition, not only do Montana and Maryland have two different versions of the same (brothel tablecloth) dress, they also have two different spellings of the same name. There’s not enough of anything to go around.

  19. labyrinthine

    JUST SAY “NO” to nude platform heels. My fugging god.

    • Rowynn

      I know, right? If I had been judging this thing, I would have automatically thrown out every girl in platform heels, beige or otherwise. Or at least deducted points for creativity/originality in wardrobe selection.

      • scone

        I think I counted three (maybe four) non-platform shoes in the whole slideshow! (and so. many. beige. shooves.)

        • Margot Liggett Nack

          “shooves.” BRILLIANT. I will be employing that word immediately in all water cooler discussions of the pageant.

  20. CC

    No surprise that pageant ladies look pretty fake, but I guess it’s been a while since I’ve watched one of these shows. I remember makeup being heavy and hair being big and the occasional boob job, but there is a whole new level of fake-ness to pageant women now. Kind of a sad commentary on what this generation thinks is attractive. Lots and lots of exposed boobage that can only be achieved with fake boobs, massive amounts of boob tape, (or both.) Also, with their super-tanned skin, these women look like they have candy coated shells. It’s like that movie “Death Becomes Her” where Goldie Hawn gets sprayed with mortician’s paint.

    Also, were they only allowed to buy their dresses at one particular store? It seems so many dresses were just variations on the same theme. So odd. One store with tacky dresses and lots and lots of beige hoof shoes.

    •  HelenBackAgain

      SO with you on Death Becomes Her. It’s what I think of every time I see pictures of one of these things!

    •  HelenBackAgain

      Totally with you on Death Becomes Her. It’s what I think of every time I see pictures of one of these!

    • Breda

      I think it’s less about what this generation thinks is beautiful (I’m the same age as a lot of these women, and…no) and more that pageant looks are an insular feedback loop. A specific kind of look starts winning all the time, so everyone starts imitating it, and the pattern repeats and amplifies until there’s no way to get any more Barbie.

      •  HelenBackAgain

        Yes. It’s a microcosm effect.

      • Kate

        I’m with Breda on this one. I’m in my mid-twenties and think they all look horrifying.

        Same with kiddie pageants. People outside that little world don’t think that four-year-olds in pounds of slap, with hairpieces and fake front teeth are cute. If you entered a naturally adorable child without any of the above, however, she wouldn’t win.

  21. MelissaW

    Ugh nude platform heels. Tho pageant dresses are sometimes not the most fashion forward of clothing items this is a seriously terrible crop this year. Ick.

  22. Jeff Shultz

    It appeared that the contestants were dressed in “flights” – a group of 3 or 4 wore a related “dress/outfit” out together. So… they probably had absolutely no say in what they wore for the first walk down the runway.
    I also think that Washington was about the only attractive one of the bunch – the others looked like well-tanned pod-people. Washington looked different – much more girl next door. At least in the quick glimpse you were allowed as she walked out.

    •  jay

      I have never heard that term used to describe people like that before, only liquor. (and I like it!) Speaking of liquor, a flight of scotch would have made this whole thing a lot more tolerable.

  23.  Lucille Austero

    Maybe it’s because we just had a Sandra Bullock posting but all I can think of here is Miss Congeniality.

    • Trace


    • M.Amanda

      On the Miss Texas picture I couldn’t stop myself from being a little surprised not to see the redhead from Miss Congeniality.

  24. HKS

    I am still in awe over the tanning on these ladies. I am brown-skinned by ethnicity (Indian), and so many of them look darker than me. (Which is ironic since so many women in India are trying to lighten their skin to look much whiter than these ladies).

    Also, in that NPR link posted about Miss Utah, the author pointed out that all she had to do was give a completly bland response like, “It shows how important family is” or “It’s why America is the best country in the world!” or something non-responsive like that, and no one would be talking about her answer. It’s completely f-ing up like she did that has caused people to talk today.

  25. AM

    I found it sad that it’s in the frickin’ 2000s, and yet women are less individuals than ever. Everyone is thin, super-tanned (stop doing that-a little is fine), big breasts with pushed-up cleavage, long hair pushed to one side, straightened. I could also be watching The Bachelor or a dozen other reality shoes. It would be cool to see someone with short, spiky hair, red curls, glasses, or just anything that made someone stand out as as Individual, not a Stepford women. I grew up watching Miss America on TV a long time ago and it seemed there was more individuality than, not now. It’s nice there are no women of different skin colors and ethnic backgrounds, but they don’t seem to embrace their differences. Just my rant for today.

    • Kate

      Again, I’d be hesitant to take pageants or reality dating shows as representative of “these kids today”. My pixie haircut and glasses are serving me well, but then I was too busy getting a law degree and establishing a career to spend hundreds of hours doing squats so I could smile and wish for world peace.

  26. Esme

    As a Delawarean, I can tell you that, no, Delaware NEVER wins any of these things. Back around 1000 years ago, there was a Miss Delaware in the top 10 of the Miss American pageant, and people are still talking about it.

    • nichole

      There’s always hope – I used to say the same thing about Rhode Island (or any New England state for that matter), until lo and behold last year she won. And she’s an alumna of my high school.

      •  HelenBackAgain

        Liked for being generally adorable, and also, correct use of “alumna.”

    • Bambi Anne Dear

      Jerry Seinfeld’s still hoping for another win I’m sure.

  27. AM

    I mean there ARE more women of different ethnicities today, which is good.

  28. Cat

    Ugh, the nude platform horse shoes are killing me. I know they that they all have to wear the same thing (or variations thereof) but yuck! Can that trend die already?

    Otherwise, yes, most of these are probably pretty girls, but sheesh… it’s hard to tell because of all the spray tan and hair spray.

  29. betti

    Giuliana’s dress looks like it belongs on Peaches and Cream barbie.

    • Lori

      Do not sully the memory of my beloved Peaches and Cream Barbie! :-)

      • Margot Liggett Nack

        Giuliana’s dress reminds me of the peach-colored Kleenex-and-scotch-tape dresses my sister and I made for our off-brand Barbies in the late ’70′s.

  30. Tessa

    I do love the blue dress on Miss Illinois – so gorgeous.

    Everything else? Ick.

  31.  maryloubethune

    Tacky beyond words. The girls all look so plastic and scary. And their names- proves to me they were bred to it… who names their girl Kacie ? Someone who wants her to be a cheerleader, beauty queen type.

  32. Katherine

    Honestly, there’s not a single girl in that slideshow that, were I to pass her on the street, I’d give a second glance at. The sad part is, I suspect if you washed half of them off and put them in normal clothes, they’d be rather pretty, if not exactly stunning. But as is? They look like real housewives, not pretty young girls. Sad and tacky.

    • Lynne

      I have to disagree with you..all the girls were not tacky..for one Miss Rhode Island is only 19 and looked sweet, Miss Massachusetts is 20 and very beautiful with a very plain elegant gown.

  33. cynicalsmirk

    I truly don’t see the relevance of these sort of contests, but at least we get to laugh at their tacky bad taste :)

  34. Dazie

    Miss Maryland. Oh Honey No.

    I mean- she looks great. But the “dress” is sleazy. SLEAZY MISS AMERICA I DON’T THINK SO.

    And hooves. Really. GAH.

    And I hate Giuliana’s hair.

  35. Jen S 2.0

    I came very very close to choking on the grapes I was eating at “I am fairly sure I have staggered around atop this exact print somewhere in Las Vegas.”

    Yes, you have. And so have I. At the Wynn, I think. Good times.

    • One of the Leahs

      Maybe it’s because I haven’t done any face-plants in LV that I actually like Nevada’s dress.

      I will say that the granite in the ladies’ room in the LV airport totally convinced me that Blue Pearl would have been as tragic choice for my bathroom counter. It was a contender at the time…

  36. Sabrina

    Miss Illinois’s dress is so gorgeous but it was so tight on her she could barley walk.

    The top three (Alabama, Connecticut, and Illinois I think?) could have been triplets they looked so similar.

  37.  karacocoa

    What’s with all the giant shoes? I thought we were done with the massive platforms/shooves.

    • H.C.

      I had the same thought; maybe the pageant probably couldn’t afford to hire a tailor to hem those long dresses, so they sent a PA to the nearest Payless.

  38. M.Amanda

    I really liked Miss Rhode Island’s dress. Very pretty.

    In the July issue Glamour endorsed shorts suits, rompers, and bare midriffs. Losing respect…

  39. Sajorina

    That is a lot of WTF? rolled into HELL, NO! The only one to do it right was Miss Illinois… That dress is GORGEOUS! But everything else was an assault to my senses, especially those disgusting shoes everyone is wearing and all the neon jewelry! Ew! FUG!!!

  40. kissmyang

    Please don’t take this the wrong way Fug Nation, I really mean no offense (personally I think everyone should be included in everything) but all I could think about while laughing my way through this slideshow is “are we sure these are actual anatomical “girls”? xoxo

  41. LouisaFinnell

    I find it a little disturbing when the clothing, hair, makeup, and spray tan are so distracting that I begin to wonder what someone REALLY looks like.

  42. Dani

    Fifty versions of the same woman. Like a pageant version of “Groundhog Day.”

  43. Eli

    Hah. Miss Arkansas’ face. She is looking off stage like she has just seen someone eating a cheeseburger and she will murder them for it because she hasn’t had a carb or meat since 2009.

  44. Sunshine

    Okay, first of all, EVERY SINGLE ONE of these women have legs that I would swap 20 points off my IQ for. But my God, these dresses are fugly! Most of them look like hookers w/about five lbs. of make-up on their faces. And so many bleached blondes. Ugh.

  45. kickassmomnyc

    I can sum up the tackiness and predictable “look” of Miss USA contestants in two words: DONALD TRUMP.

  46. Robin

    Why is Miss Georgia wearing a casket lining? Is her pet cause the plight of funeral preplanners? I am concerned.

  47. Melinda

    So many stripper shoes. So much hair. Why is Miss USA still a thing, again??

  48. Fey

    These poor girls need some coaching from Kramer

  49. Bambi Anne Dear

    As so many of these girls are super tan, I was wondering if a British TV show called Snog, Marry, Avoid shows in the US. It’s here in Australia and I’m somewhat addicted. It’s a make under show for the seriously fugged-out over-tanned, over-made up, inappropriately dressed young women (and the odd man) in England. I kid you not, the looks are seriously disturbing.

    I fear Miss Utah’s brain may have been weighed down by the spades of make up and hair extensions. Someone on YouTube remarked that he thought for a moment she was a drag queen.

  50. stephasaurus

    ooo, gurl. i hope montana tucked real good cuz in about half a stride that superfug dress is going to show off not only her hoof shoes, but her moose knuckle too.

  51. Mara

    That’s not a dress, Idaho.

    •  vandalfan

      I was all “Good, it’s alphabetical and we’re in the M’s, The Great Potato has lucked out.. Oh, no!’

  52. Mara

    …And New York.

  53. Me(lissa)

    As noted above, they all look like the same woman in slightly different wigs…I’d amend that to “the same man.”

    I strongly suspect they’re all much prettier without all the gewgaws and paint.

    • jody

      Exactly my thought. They are no longer women, but female impersonators.
      Now don’t get me wrong, I love female impersonators. I just would rather they actually be men.

    • Crystal

      $20 says you could air this as RuPaul’s Drag Race, and no one would know the difference.

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