Like every girl who has ever played with the most popular toy in history, I yank her clothes off and try to put on a new dress. I try to tug it over her head, but the waistline gets stuck at her shoulders, her blond mane peeking out from the neckline. No good. Her plump bottom gets stuck in the same spot. Yes, plump.
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Sarah Banet-Weiser complicates the standard feminist take on beauty pageants in this intriguing look at a hotly contested but enduringly popular American ritual. She focuses on the Miss America pageant in particular, considering 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, is a profoundly political arena deserving of serious study. Drawing on cultural criticism, ethnographic research, and interviews with pageant participants and officials, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World illustrates how contestants invent and reinvent themselves while articulating the female body as a national body. Banet-Weiser finds that most pageants are characterized by the ambivalence of contemporary "liberal" feminism, which encourages individual achievement, self-determination, and civic responsibility, while simultaneously promoting very conventional notions of beauty. The book explores the many different aspects of the Miss America pageant, including the swimsuit, the interview, and the talent competitions.
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Sep 08, ISBN years. Christiane Northrup, now available in a new format and package, as well as added meditations. Beautiful Girl presents this simple but important message: that to be born a girl is a very special thing and carries with it magical gifts and powers that must be recognized and nurtured. Through these empowering words and illustrations, little girls will learn how their bodies are perfect just the way they are, the importance of treating themselves with gentle care, and how changes are just a part of growing up. Knowing this will set the stage for her physical and mental health throughout her life.
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