Miss Universe vs. Sports Illustrated: The Ultimate Goal of Swimsuits?

In honor of tonight’s Miss Universe pageant I wanted to share a clip from earlier this month about Sports Illustrated’s 2018 Swimsuit Edition open casting call. This five minute Good Morning America segment with the six finalists manages to capture basically all the major streams of my research: pageants, femininity, smart women, sports, and competition […]

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Another Summer of Dance on TV (the Fall, too!)

For most of my life summer has been associated with dance– from dance competitions when I was younger, to So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) on TV beginning in my mid-20s, and on this blog. This past summer it felt to me like dance was everywhere on TV, not unlike the summer of 2014 […]

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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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My Favorite Reads in 2017 (thus far)

It’s been a minute since last I blogged. And since that post was about books I figured I’d do a reentry with another post on reading. I’m a bit behind my usual pace of reading this year– and the reasons why are similar to my reasons for being bad about posting. These include: 1) obsessively […]

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The Best Books I Read in 2016

As I have for the past few years, I kept track of the books (only the books, not magazines!) I read in 2016. I read slightly more than my average of two books per week this year, partly because I am doing a lot of “work” reading. So out of 106 books here are my […]

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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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Updated Toddlers & Tiaras Drama

After a three year hiatus, my (least) favorite show is back: TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras. Season 7 is slightly revamped and for better or for worse, it more accurately portrays some key aspects of the child beauty pageant community. Now, I’ve gone on record before that I think Toddlers & Tiaras is pretty damaging to […]

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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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PLAYING TO WIN Turns 3 (and 4!)

It has been almost exactly three years since Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture was released. And people continue to read it, which is definitely an amazing feeling. In fact, sales are up this year! Mostly this is thanks to professors assigning the book/excerpts in classes, and I can tell you that […]

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Random thoughts after Week 1 in Rio

We are one week into the Rio Olympics and I have some thoughts– well, a lot of thoughts, but here are some serious (and not so serious) personal highlights. I’ll focus on the big three that sociologists like to think about: gender, class, and race. I’d like to thank various journalists for giving me a […]

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