Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Entire World of Dog Shows in One Picture

This picture has an iconic feel to it.

Here she is: the frustrated hair dresser, the girl not quite cute enough to be a cheerleader, who might not have gotten invited to the prom, who still needs to work out her frustration at never having been a runway model.

She doesn't just go for a "hairdressers dog," she also dresses up for the shows, pinning her hair into curls in hopes someone will look up the leash as well as down. 

Is it working?  Not apparently.

The fact that so many women flock to dog shows, or used to, has always been a puzzle. 

Is the slow but inexorable demise of dogs shows a sign of better times?

As I wrote a few years back:

The core message of the American Kennel Club is a simple one: beauty pageants are how we should judge dogs.

By extension I assume that the women who attend dog shows also assume that beauty alone is how we should judge women?

If so, what an odd thing, and how very backward.

Could one reason that the American Kennel Club has fallen so far out of favor be, quite simply, that modern American men and women are no longer willing to judge people on looks alone?

If a man cannot be the wrong color, can a dog?

If a woman is more than tits and teeth, is a dog more than gait and ear set?

Think about it.

Maybe the rapid decline in AKC registrations goes hand in hand with the rise of civil rights, and a world that is increasingly run on merit.

Who cares what your dog looks like? What does it DO?

Who cares what you look like? What talent do you bring to this job?

Related Post:

** Tits, Teeth and Trophy Wives
** Mistaking Tits for Talent at the AKC
** Tits and Teeth are Not Talent


Jennifer said...

I generally agree with you about dog shows, and beauty contests but as a woman who has never worn make-up and has had a hand at dog breeding, I find this post offensively snarky and sexist. Why not also demean the three gossiping blokes in the background?

PBurns said...

Dog shows are not normal places, not even in the world of dogs.

While 71 percent of men age 18-44 own a dog (as compared to 60 percent of women of the same age), a 2002 report from the AKC Delegates Meeting reveals that 75 percent of AKC breeders and 72 percent of AKC buyers are women. This is a phenomenal gender bias, and it's about dog showsw, not dogs.

The men are of all kinds, but most are older, and a far higher than average number are gay as was mocked in the movie "Best In Show" and can be seen if you compete or attend.

As "Showsight" notes: "The lower the level of competition, the higher proportion of women. It’s not uncommon to see classes in most breeds made up entirely of woman."

And it's not just gender that skews; so too does race. Whites are about 3 times more likely to own a dog than non-whites. Minorities at dog shows are phenomenally under-represented, while white woman are phenomenally over-represented.

While white women represent about 36 percent of the US population, white women represent twice that percentage of the exhibitors at dog shows.