Beauty Queens on the Global Stage Gender, Contests, and Power

Beauty Queens on the Global Stage Gender, Contests, and Power
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  • ISBN-13: 9780415911535
  • ISBN: 0415911532
  • Publication Date: 1995
  • Publisher: Routledge


Cohen, Colleen B., Wilk, Richard, Stoeltje, Beverly J.


Beauty pageants--as competition and performance--are wildly popular cultural events world-wide. They have, however, received surprisingly little scholarly attention. What literature there is on beauty pageants has mostly been limited to American pageants. This collection brings together studies of pageants in fourteen different cultures. The chapters range from studies of community queen pageants in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Andalusia and rural Minnesota, to studies of international contests held in Thailand, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Tonga and Tibet, and include a study of a Moslem Philippine transsexual beauty queen contest, and an ethnographic account by a contestant in the Miss Moscow 1989 pageant. These essays discuss the ways gender ideologies are represented and reinforced in beauty pageants and highlight the cultural specificity of notions of beauty and femininity that figure in the selection of pageant queens. We see the strategic and political uses to which pageants are put, by sponsors and contestants alike. Questions of gender aesthetics, performance, and display are engaged in a way that recognizes the agency of pageant participants even as it underscores the ideologies and structures of power within which they operate. Beauty Queens on the Global Stage considers beauty contests as key sites for formulating, negotiating and challenging national and group identities, and shows how identity is portrayed and utilized in an international arena. Each of these essays looks at beauty pageants and contestants in the broader context of struggles over identity.Cohen, Colleen B. is the author of 'Beauty Queens on the Global Stage Gender, Contests, and Power', published 1995 under ISBN 9780415911535 and ISBN 0415911532.

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