Feminism | Posted by Faatimah Solomon on 01/9/2017
What A Hijabi Beauty Contestant Means To Hijabi Teens
Ever since reading the work of authors such as bell hooks, Simone de Beauvoir, and Naomi Wolf, I have dismissed the concept of physical beauty as a trivial social construct. The mainstream narrative of beauty glorifies Eurocentric beauty ideals and promotes unrealistic body types, which in turn plays into deeper, systemic issues of racism and sexism. What I failed to realize by making this assumption, however, is that despite the reality of their roots, physical beauty and outward appearances still effectively play a significant role in how many aspects of societies function — and it is therefore very impractical to dismiss them as petty and irrelevant.
Perhaps I was so willing to ignore these social constructs, though, because I was personally clueless as to where exactly I …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Natalie H on 07/9/2015
‘Miss USA’ Switched Networks, But Should It Be Retired Altogether?
Miss America 2014.
NBC recently dropped the Miss USA Pageant, but the pageant quickly found a new home with cable network REELZ. However, it seems like this could have been a good time to stop televising the pageant altogether — and probably should have been.
Although the pageant often highlights the fact that it provides scholarships to its contestants and is thus an academic opportunity, this argument is undeniably incompatible with the contest’s emphasis on beauty. If the pageant is truly a contest of academic achievement, appearance should not factor into whether or not participants receive a scholarship or have any chance to enter the so-called ‘academic’ competition in the first place. How does the way one’s body looks in a bikini relate to their academic capability?
What’s more, the …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Caitlin L. on 06/23/2014
Why the Entertainment Industry Defining Beautiful Women as Young and White Has to Stop
Does the entertainment industry actually have that much power to teach girls what is beautiful? Certainly, words are impactful but how much do simple images really matter? Are girls really absorbing and comparing themselves to images of women in the media or are we selling girls’ intelligence short by assuming that they don’t understand that these images are not representative of reality?
Thinking about these questions led me to search for an as-yet unexplored historic root of the entertainment industry in actively defining beauty — one that especially validates the outcry against the lack of diversity of representation of women in the media. Examining the history of the display of women to ease social anxiety against whiteness in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries is useful for understanding the necessity of …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Phaydra on 11/11/2011
Who Says Pageant Queens Can’t Be Feminists?
Miss USA Alyssa Campanella
I was recently given the opportunity to interview Miss USA. Since I don’t really keep up on the pageant world I had to do some research. Alyssa Campanella seemed like a fine person – I was mostly curious to ask her about feminism.
Alyssa currently lives in New York City with Miss Universe. She is hardly ever there because of all the fabulous places she “has” to travel to such as Chicago, Miami, the Bahamas, Los Angeles, Cannes and others. Once her reign as Miss USA is over she wants to attend culinary school and has been doing some work with the Food Network to prepare.
Now for the interview:
Pageants receive criticism because they are seen as negative to young women because the focus is …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/19/2011
Beauty Pageants: What You Should Do Instead
Teresa Scanlan: The 17-year-old Miss America
I usually don’t pay attention to beauty pageants anymore. My reasons for hating them are pretty obvious and I’ve written about them here before. They blatantly objectify women. If they’re boosting “self-esteem,” as pageant promoting talking heads often claim they do, then it seems to me that said confidence is mostly based on being held up as a figure of immense beauty in a global society where beauty is valued above all else. And while confidence is great, that’s a pretty shallow and transparent thing to feel confident about. And I get that a woman should be able to do whatever the hell she wants (within reason) and that entering a beauty pageant is a choice, but if we cut the shit the …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Danielle B on 08/10/2010
Anybody Else Freaked Out By Child Beauty Pageants?
I have to ask this question: am I the only one who’s completely freaked out by child beauty pageants? I mean, whenever I’m flipping through our 900 channels (887 of which are useless) and happen across the show Toddlers & Tiaras, I can’t help but watch it. I just sit there with this overall dumb look on my face because I am both mesmerized and horrified by these strange, nightmare-like creatures that are some people’s idea of “beauty.”
I don’t care what the message was in Miss Congeniality, beauty pageants are messed up. Having full grown women prance around in bikinis to prove their self-confidence is degrading enough, but watching little 5-year-old girls do the same seems borderline abusive. These are tiny, tiny girls. Babies. Yet their coaches …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/25/2009
The New Miss Universe Thinks We’re Post-Feminism
Stefania Fernandez, the 18-year-old Miss. Venezuela, won the 2009 Miss Universe crown on Sunday.
Normally, I’d probably just sigh and say something sassy. To me, the reasons why beauty pageants are sexist/anti-feminist and just plain stupid are pretty freakin obvious– such as blatant objectification and valuing beauty above all else. Again, the self-esteem excuse is complete crap. If being judged almost entirely on the way you look is building your self-esteem, well all I’ll say is there’s a hella lot more you could be proud of yourself for than something (like looks) that is mostly beyond your control. I say mostly because I guess starvation, hair removal, and the use of excessive makeup could be in your control, but that’s a WHOLE other story.
I didn’t watch the …