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Is it brains or beauty or both for babes? Carlos R. Davalos | Sat, Dec 22 2012 12:00 PM

Thanks to State Assembly candidate Lorena Gonzalez, I no longer feel conflicted about judging women based on their looks.

Gonzalez is a longtime fan of beauty pageants and a former participant. On Twitter this week she suggested she was looking forward to watching the Miss Universe pulchritude parade.

She wrote that pageants are the original reality TV, the costumes are incredible and watching the show was escapist.

And here I thought pageants were just material for hormonal teenage boys and sad middle-aged men.

I made it through about 60 minutes of the two-hour broadcast. The contestants were pretty. And thin. They wore extravagant  dresses that flattered their wiry frames and excitable bosoms. They shilled in commercials and, after commercials, eventually changed into bikinis so they could bounce down a runway showing off their stomachs and butts and what appeared to be the best plastic surgery money could buy.

It was all about appearances. The hosts gushed about beauty. And crowed and gushed some more.

I don’t have a problem with that. I’ve long been a fan of pretty women and have always supported the right of any female to express her sexuality however she wants, be it in a “slutty” costume at Halloween or a “cute” evening gown that plunges down to the navel and offers support to what God gave them, double standards be damned. But I have to admit I’m still confused.

We’re told there’s more to a woman than what’s under her blouse and brassiere.

For example, when a female reporter this year responded to a viewer who criticized her for being fat, the Interverse cheered and applauded her for being brave and admonished people for being so shallow as to judge someone by their looks.

But there is an entire industry built on judging women, and girls and babies, based on their looks and it’s separate from the fantasies Hollywood sells.

What’s the message I’m supposed to be getting? Is it OK to judge a woman for how much she weighs and how she looks or am I supposed to consider only her accomplishments and forget about appearances? Help me out here, ladies. I’m only a man.

Years ago I busted a former city manager’s chops for referring to former Chula Vista’s Mayor Shirley Horton’s good looks within the first few words of introducing her. Maybe I owe him an apology. Evidently it’s OK to see beauty before ability.

Watching the pageant was an opportunity for soul-searching. I have Gonzalez to thank. I like her. She’s smart, articulate, compassionate. But perhaps most importantly she’s a looker. Some might call her hot. Can’t wait to see more of her on the campaign trail. Preferably in a form-fitting nightgown cut down to there. Or a swimsuit and heels.

Hubba hubba.

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