Miss AmeriCARA

My relationship with Miss America 2018, Cara Mund (North Dakota), began in September 2015, almost exactly two years before she was crowned. I was getting ready to teach my first class at Brown (called “Beauty Pageants in American Society”) and before the semester began I reached out to pre-registered students to see if any of […]

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The Pageantry of Politics

This is adapted from a Facebook post I wrote last week. Monday night Emma Gray sent me a link to her great Huffington Post article about how Clinton’s loss has motivated a new generation of women to consider running for office. I then proceeded not to share it. Why? Because I felt so much chagrin […]

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My Annual Miss America Predictions [edited with results]

It’s both a somber and celebratory day on which to hold the Miss America finals: September 11th. As much as people can criticize (with some validity, granted) various aspects of the Miss America program, remember that we are a country where women can decide to parade on live TV in skimpy bikinis while wearing the […]

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Update to my Psychology Today piece: No More Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikinis

Yesterday on the heels of the Miss Teen USA decision to drop swimsuit and replace it with fitness wear (unclear if that will include a fitness routine or just the attire) I published a piece at Psychology Today. You can read the full version of that by clicking here. Two of the photos I included […]

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The Fix Is In: Miss Universe 2016

To me there are three High Holy Days of Pageantry each year: Miss America is the apex (with a Holy Week to go along with it), then Miss Universe, and Miss USA. It’s no secret that my favorite part of Miss Universe are the national costumes. I actually missed them live this year because I […]

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A Sweet New Set of Miss America Predictions

Today I arrived in Atlantic City for the 95th Annual Miss America Pageant. On the way down I caught up on some New Yorker reading. Last week’s issue had an article on Atlantic City, which somewhat tellingly does not mention Miss America (nor Monopoly for that matter). Nick Paumgarten’s “The Death and Life of Atlantic […]

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Playing around with Books and TV Shows

I’ve been writing elsewhere lately about various different interests– my kids, playing, pageants, figure skating, books, TV shows, and child geniuses. You can check out these three different pieces by clicking on the titles: 1) Play, Outsourced– Written as part of the blog series, 28 Days of Play, about what impacts and at times impedes […]

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The Pageant Formula of Miss Universe 2015

If you follow my writings on Miss Universe, you know that my absolute favorite part is the parade of national costumes. Trump and his minions got with the program this year and showed us the contestants modeling them– not just a picture of them flaunting their version of sexy national dress like last year. Even […]

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Game of Clowns– Oh, I mean CRowns

I have now officially caught up on my TV watching; I was sick for a day this week and ended up binge watching Bravo’s Mrs. Pageant series Game of Crowns. But, really, a more accurate title would have been Game of CLOWNS. It’s like they took the worst elements of so many reality shows (Toddlers […]

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You Gotta Have a Gimmick: Miss America 2015

Last night Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America 2015, making history in particular for being part of a never-before three-peat for a state at Miss America. The reigning Miss America and past two Miss Americas all represented New York (though all grew up in states other than NY, they went there for […]

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