The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
Beauty Pageants and National Identity
By (author) Sarah Banet-Weiser
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Most Beautiful Girl in the World by Sarah Banet-Weiser
Book DescriptionSarah Banet-Weiser complicates the standard feminist take on beauty pageants in this intriguing look at a hotly contested but enduringly popular American ritual. She focuses on the Miss America pageant in particular, considering its claim to be an accurate representation of the diversity of contemporary American women. Exploring the cultural constructions and legitimations that go on during the long process of the pageant, Banet-Weiser depicts the beauty pageant stage as a place where concerns about national identity, cultural hopes and desires, and anxieties about race and gender are crystallized and condensed. The beauty pageant, she convincingly demonstrates, is a profoundly political arena deserving of serious study. Drawing on cultural criticism, ethnographic research, and interviews with pageant participants and officials, "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" illustrates how contestants invent and reinvent themselves while articulating the female body as a national body. Banet-Weiser finds that most pageants are characterized by the ambivalence of contemporary 'liberal' feminism, which encourages individual achievement, self-determination, and civic responsibility, while simultaneously promoting very conventional notions of beauty. The book explores the many different aspects of the Miss America pageant, including the swimsuit, the interview, and the talent competitions. It also takes a closer look at some extraordinary Miss Americas, such as Bess Myerson, the first Jewish Miss America; Vanessa Williams, the first African American Miss America; and, Heather Whitestone, the first Miss America with a disability.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520217911
(229mm x 152mm x 16mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 30-Sep-1999
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Sarah Banet-Weiser
Authentic, Paperback (October 2012)
Argues that brands are about culture as much as they are about economics
Commodity Activism, Paperback (February 2012)
Discusses what happens when the most common way we participate in social activism is by buying something
Kids Rule!, Paperback (September 2007)
Sarah Banet-Weiser explores how the cable network Nickelodeon combines an appeal to kids formidable purchasing power with assertions of their political and cultural power.
Cable Visions, Paperback (September 2007)» View all books by Sarah Banet-Weiser
Looks beyond broadcasting's mainstream, toward cable's alternatives, to critically consider the capacity of commercial media to serve the public interest. This work offers an overview of the industry's history and regulatory trends, case studies of cable newcomers aimed at niche markets, and analyses of programming forms introduced by cable TV.
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Author Biography - Sarah Banet-Weiser
Sarah Banet-Weiser is Assistant Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California.
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