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 […]


Mess America: But Still the Largest Source of Scholarships for Women

Tori Cowen, Fox Tampa Bay

The past month has been full of “pageant scandals.” From discussions about bodies, state-hopping, age of contestants, and tabulation errors, I can scarcely recall a time that both Miss USA and Miss America were so talked about in the news. Unfortunately it’s all for negative reasons and not for positive ones… The Miss USA  pageant […]


Friday Night Tykes: The Male Version of Toddlers & Tiaras

Friday Night Tykes

I’ve often said that in many ways the hyper-masculinity of youth (tackle) football– especially in the South– is the analog to the hyper-femininity of child beauty pageants. Esquire TV’s controversial series Friday Night Tykes proves it. The 10-episode series, plus a review and discussion show called Tackling Tykes that does a great job summarizing the […]


Why do people watch Miss USA? by Stacy Revere for Gerry Images

Another year, another Miss USA crowned. You likely won’t remember,  or ever know, but Miss USA 2014’s name is Nia Sanchez and she represented Nevada. Her crowning has made a few headlines, like this article about her final answer on sexual assault on campus (though George Will is the one really making headlines about this […]


Books Are Living Things: Playing to Win continues to spark conversation

Book cover

As my friend and scholar/writer Margarita Mooney likes to say, “Books have long lives.” While Playing to Win is still less than a year old, I can see how this is true as the book continues to inspire questions, dialogue, and conversations in a variety of settings. In the past two months I’ve been lucky […]


Teaching for a LIFETIME: My thoughts on Dance Moms, Bring It!, and Kim of Queens


Welcome to the world of Anti-Abby Lee Millers… Ironically brought to you by the network that made her famous, Lifetime. Building off the success (or infamy) of Dance Moms (a show I’ve written about quite a bit), the network debuted two new series this year: Kim of Queens and Bring It! Given the descent of […]


Back to Blogging after Babies, Boobs, and Blissful Nights


The last time I blogged I mentioned I would soon be delivering and nursing. Since then my second son, Quenton, has been keeping me busy. And who could resist this punim?! I hypothesized I’d be reading more (wrong!) and I never imagined it would take me 4+ months to return to blogging! With two little […]


My Reading List in 2013


This past year, for the first time since middle school, I kept track of the books I read. And I am SO happy I did! It made me read more critically and it helped me make better recommendations to friends. I’m definitely doing it again this year, a year in which I suspect I will […]


Competition, Competition, Competition: Sibling, or Otherwise


This may be my last regular post for some time. I’m preparing for the arrival of my second son next month and want to enjoy the holidays, Carston’s second birthday, and the end of this pregnancy (as much as that is possible!)– especially before potential sibling rivalry/competition appears in my home! In the competitive spirit […]


(Competitive) Afterschool Activities and Inequality: More Thoughts

Family sports Mary Ann Chastain for AP

While my favorite part of having now published a book is hearing what people think (even though I recently got my first not-so-great Amazon review) after they have read the whole book, I also love connecting with those who may never read the book by publishing pieces connected to the book. Of course, any short […]