Digital List Price: $28.95
Kindle Price: $15.63

Save $13.32 (46%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Flip to back Flip to front
Audible Narration Playing... Paused   You are listening to a sample of the Audible narration for this Kindle book.
Learn more

The Most Beautiful Girl in the World: Beauty Pageants and National Identity Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
$15.63
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$146.64

Length: 290 pages

The Black Presidency by Michael Eric Dyson
"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"A book that illuminates the beauty pageant as one of the best places to view the tensions surrounding the construction of gender. . . . A thoughful and readable book. Scholars interested in the dynamics of gender and race in popular culture will find the book especially useful."--"American Journal of Sociology

From the Back Cover

"This is work in the best tradition of cultural analysis, refashioning a seemingly banal cultural object into a newly complicated and eye- opening thing. Best of all, not only is this a theoretically astute and original treatment, but the behind-the-scenes vantage on beauty pageant culture and personalities makes this a compelling, and dare I say entertaining, read."-- Laura Kipnis, author of Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America

Product Details

  • File Size: 3138 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (September 30, 1999)
  • Publication Date: September 30, 1999
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003AU4ELS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,436,957 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Taking the Miss America pageant as both an object of study and a lens through which to view issues of race, class, and gender, Banet-Weiser explores how social conditions and concerns are "mediated in and through women's bodies." She attempts to navigate such disparate positions as a feminist abhorrence toward Miss America and a conservative celebration of the pageant, weaving together interviews and criticism and attending to the relationship between contestants' on-stage performances and private identities. Banet-Weiser notes that people dismissed the idea of beauty pageants as object of scholarly pursuit as either too frivolous and meaningless to warrant intellectual attention, or so blatant a reinscription of dominant ideology as to be untheorizable; Banet-Weiser's description of the dismissals of her intended scholarship also provide a barometer for the problems one faces producing a theory of some aspect of popular culture. She acknowledges her own involvement in the dominant beauty system at the outset and keeps us cognizant of her pursuit of "a way to critique cultural discourses and practices that objectify, alienate, or otherwise fragment the female body without treating the contestants themselves as somnolent victims of false consciousness."
Comment 6 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Having recently finished "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," I can say with satisfaction I sincerely enjoyed reading it, with a few criticisms. The definite highlight of the book was Banet-Weiser's fieldwork with actual beauty pageant contestants and the ways in which she brought revealing new insights into the swimsuit, talent, and interview portions of the competition. I found her parallels between the works of Foucault and her analysis of the swimsuit competition in pageants to be especially enlightening. Nonetheless, when she strays too far from drawing clearly defined parallels and dealing with the factual information she gleaned from her fieldwork, she often begins to make logically faulty conclusions, especially when it comes to issues involving race, assimilation, and culture, areas in which the strength of her conviction is not matched by the logic of her assertions. On the whole, though, I found the work to be well-informed, thought provoking, and even fun to read. If you are at all interested in the culture surrounding beauty pageants, I would reccomend that you read this work.
Comment 3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The Most Beautiful Girl in the World: Beauty Pageants and National Identity, written by Sarah Banet-Weiser, focuses on the social issues and concerns, such as race, disability, objectifying the woman’s body, and intellectual attention, involved with the American tradition of beauty pageants. After performing ethnographic research and interviews with contestants and officials, Banet-Weiser breaks down the famous Miss America pageant and gives an outstanding insight to the swimsuit, talent, and interview portions of the competition. However, her analysis is sometimes irrelevant and unreasonable when it comes to the topics of culture and ethnicity. In the chapter “If You Were a Color, What Color Would You Be?”, which discusses the importance of the interview section of the pageant, Banet-Weiser states “What is also interesting it consider is whether this question is ever asked of a black contestant.” She continues to explain how this question subliminally brings up the topic of race because it assumes “whiteness” is normal. I personally feel the analysis here is opinionated and uncalled for. Granted, the majority of Miss America participants are Caucasian, I hardly believe that in today’s society people would consider white skin tones as the norm. As a whole, though, I found this book to be well- informed and intriguing. I am personally doing an ethnography project and choose to read Banet-Weiser’s The Most Beautiful Girl in the World for some intuition and understanding of the beauty pageant culture. This book gave me reliable and useful information that I will be able to use in further research and interviews. Other recommended works written by Banet-Weiser include, Kids Rule!:Nickelodeon and Consumer Censorship and Authentic(TM): The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With The Most Beautiful Girl in the World: Beauty Pageants and National Identity, Sarah Banet-Weiser takes scholars to task for not treating beauty pageants with the intellectual attention they deserve. Beauty pageants, she argues, are far from the anachronistic, anti-feminist, vapid cultural spectacles that many scholars perceive them to be; in fact, they articulate complex notions of national identity and womanhood, mixing liberal feminist ideology with traditional norms of femininity.

Banet-Weiser employs interviews with pageant contestants and officials, cultural criticism, and ethnographic research to interrogate the ways in which race, ethnicity, and disability status intersect with constructions of femininity and nationhood on the pageant stage. Pageant contestants must perform feminine respectability and “typicality,” constructs aligned with white femininity; any difference from the white, heterosexual, able-bodied, feminine norm is muted. Vanessa Williams, the first Black Miss America, who lost her crown in 1984 after nude photos of her were published in Penthouse magazine, and Heather Whitestone, the 1995 pageant winner whose deafness was downplayed on the pageant stage and circuit, support Banet-Weiser’s arguments.

Although compelling, Banet-Weiser’s thesis suffers from a curious lack of attention to the evening gown portion of the Miss America pageant as she focuses almost exclusively on the swimsuit, talent, and interview segments. She also fails to adequately extend her discussion of pageants beyond the Miss America competition. As she repeatedly emphasizes how Miss America is different from other beauty pageants, she undermines any effort to generalize her arguments to beauty pageants as a whole.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in