There She Is, Miss America

The Politics of Sex, Beauty, and Race in America’s Most Famous Pageant

  • Editors
  • Elwood Watson
  • Darcy Martin

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Introduction

    1. Elwood Watson, Darcy Martin
      Pages 1-23
  3. History

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
    2. Kimberly A. Hamlin
      Pages 27-51
    3. Mary Anne Schofield
      Pages 53-66
  4. Gender, Race, and Identity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 91-91
    2. Valerie Felita Kinloch
      Pages 93-109
  5. Personal Reflections

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 135-135
    2. Donelle R. Ruwe
      Pages 137-152
    3. Mark A. Eaton
      Pages 153-170
    4. Gerald Early
      Pages 171-183
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 185-205

About this book


While some see the Miss American Pageant as hokey vestige of another era, many remain enthralled by the annual Atlantic City event. And whether you love it or hate it, no one can deny the impact the contest has had on American popular culture-indeed, many reality television shows seem to have taken cues from the pageant. Founded in 1921, the Miss America Pageant has provided a fascinating glimpse into how American standards of femininity have been defined, projected, maintained, and challenged. At various times, it has been praised as a positive role model for young American women, protested as degrading to women by feminists, and shamed by scandals, such as the one caused by the Penthouse photos of Vanessa Williams in 1984. In this first interdisciplinary anthology to examine this uniquely American event, scholars defend, critique, and reflect on the pageant, grappling with themes like beauty, race, the body, identity, kitsch, and consumerism. "There She Is, Miss America" provides a fascinating examination of an enduring American icon.


Backlash gender identity politics race war Watson World War I World War II

Bibliographic information