Mark Grimm


Miss Alabama and the Culture War

Isn’t being beautiful a good thing?

The Internet is on fire over sportscaster Brent Musberger’s gushing praise of the beautiful girlfriend of University of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron.
Katherine Webb
Miss Alabama Katherine Webb has become an overnight superstar following the exposure ESPN gave her at the national college football championship game Monday night.

Musberger has been called “creepy” for his remarks and ESPN apologized, claiming the commentary “went too far and Brent understands that.”

Webb, who has a bachelor’s degree in business management, says the media has been “unfair” to Musberger and she was “flattered” by what he said. She’d like more focus though on the “real winners,” the Alabama team that won the title.

Musberger was over the top and a 73-year-old man drooling over a 23-year woman on national TV is a little, shall we say, awkward. His remarks though were meant as a compliment. Whether you consider dating Webb a trophy or very good fortune lies in the eye of the beholder. Certainly, her modeling career will skyrocket due to the attention.

The incident has sparked a culture clash over the value of appearance. Treating women as objects is incredibly wrong and throwing a football well is not the only way to impress a woman. However, denying the existence of the laws of attraction and the value society places on good appearance is also carrying an unneeded chip on your shoulder.

“It’s extraordinary inappropriate to focus on an individual’s looks.” — Sue Carter, Michigan State University journalism professor in the NY Times.

Really, Sue? Then why do people spend so much time in front of the mirror before a big date?

Being beautiful is a good thing. And being in shape is even more important, especially at a time when America faces an obesity epidemic. We should salute Katherine Webb’s looks and the poise and intelligence she has shown while in the spotlight. Character, intelligence and kindness are traits that matter greatly, too. We should embrace them all.

The writer is a communications/media analyst and adjunct media professor.