Gender And Power In Beauty Term Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Criminal Justice - Juvenile Delinquency Type: Term Paper Paper: #48796584 Related Topics: Botox, Breast Implants, Gender Communication, Gender Difference
Excerpt from Term Paper :

It has kept going ever since" (Cavendish, 2001, p. 66). Morley's wife, Julia (a former beauty pageant winner) joined him in 1970 to help organize the competition to help maintain the contestants' morals and to ensure their modesty was suitably protected ("not invariably with success") (Cavendish, p. 67). Miss World has subsequently attracted television audiences in almost every country in the world and has earned an enormous amount of money for charity (Cavendish, 2001).

During the first few years of the competition, the Miss Great Britain title was a highly prized award, but Cooke suggests that it represented one of the only ways women had at the time to express themselves in a legitimate fashion: "My feeling," she says, is that it was, perversely, a kind of liberation for some women -- a way of making their only assets and their skills (the application of lipstick, the ability to walk gracefully in high heels) work for them" (p. 39). The winner of these early pageants were highly regarded and universally admired; winners got to travel (although under chaperoned conditioned), and were able to attend important civic events. "It was a nice little earner, too. 'Yes, I can open the Leigh Bowling Centre on 10th of January," wrote Gillian Taylor, an attractive blonde winner in 1963. In an effort to counter accusations that the pageant was equivalent to a "female cattle market," the organizers introduced questions and answers of "a high-souled if stilted nature about each girl's ambitions and intellectual achievements" (Cavendish, 2001, p. 65). A review of the judges' scorecards from this era is revealing. A maximum of 20 points was available in each of four categories: 1) daywear, 2) swimwear, 3) evening dress and, 4) the interview (Cooke, 2004).

According to Cooke, in 1981, contestants were asked: "Science fiction, feature films and TV serials are giving an

...

How do you visualize the lifestyle of our descendants in the 21st century?" (p. 40). By the time the event had assumed the dimensions of Miss World though, things had definitely changed. According to Cooke, by the mid-1970s, beauty contests had assumed a definite "whiff of seediness and desperation about them -- a stench strong enough to penetrate through all that facade" (p. 40). These shifts in how beauty pageants were perceived were largely the result of rising criticisms from women's rights advocates who railed against the manner in which women were portrayed in such events, culminating with the throwing of flour bombs at the 1970 Miss World contest held at the Royal Albert Hall and hosted by Bob Hope (Cooke, 2004).

One of the protestors at the event said:

We were clear among ourselves that we weren't demonstrating against the women who were participating in the contest. But we did feel very strongly that for women to be judged just by their physical appearance... did symbolise the way in which women were seen either as sex objects or as domestic drudges, and we wanted to widen horizons for women. (p. 41)

The changes that resulted took longer and were more painful than the protestors could imagine, perhaps, but by 1988, ITV stopped broadcasting Miss World; and the Miss She competition, which was originally launched in 1955 to promote the glossy magazine of the same name (this eventually evolved into Miss Ultra Glow and, finally, Miss Alberto Balsam), was ended in 1989 (Cooke, 2004).

References

Beauty Business, the. (2000, August). Business Asia, 8(12), 36.

Cavendish, R. (2001, April). The First Miss World Contest. History Today, 51(4), 64.

Cooke, R. (June 14, 2004). Girls, girls, girls. New Statesman, 133(4692), 38.

David M. Dozier and Martha M. Lauzen. (2002). You Look Mahvelous: An Examination of Gender and Appearance Comments in the 1999-2000 Prime-Time Season. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 429.

Freese, J. & Meland, S. (2002). Seven Tenths Incorrect: Heterogeneity and Change in the Waist-to-Hip Ratios of…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Beauty Business, the. (2000, August). Business Asia, 8(12), 36.

Cavendish, R. (2001, April). The First Miss World Contest. History Today, 51(4), 64.

Cooke, R. (June 14, 2004). Girls, girls, girls. New Statesman, 133(4692), 38.

David M. Dozier and Martha M. Lauzen. (2002). You Look Mahvelous: An Examination of Gender and Appearance Comments in the 1999-2000 Prime-Time Season. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 429.


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