Friday, January 28, 2011
The standard feminist take on beauty pageants in this intriguing look at a hotly contested but enduringly popular American ritual. She focuses on 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.