Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Mrs. America, the woman, "inform us about our culture's ideals and conflicts", says the writer, and also provides ten causes of "what she is really telling us". A beauty contest purpose is to sell an ideal that represent the "perfect woman icon in any culture". A beauty pageant is a commercial product with a specific average height, weight and age as well as a fair complexion that either artificial or natural must meet the "official inflexible standard of beauty" which is usually matching the "white ideal". Mrs. Venezuela, the most famous in the Hispanic community, or Mrs. Colombia where the pageants are said to be the most beautiful women, also follow the same pattern of Mrs. America, they must meet the "official inflexible standard of beauty"; even in the Hispanic community they are always white, or "matching the white ideal". In the contest of Mrs. World countries are represented by "their white ideal", but not represented by their real race and color.

All races have unique natural beauty, and its own right to express it. It cannot be compared the beauty presence in a black women with an Asiatic, as each one has a unique characteristic of their own.

The contest "a skin show" as described has been caught in "crossfire of colossal cultural battles: woman rights, pornography and changing racial and religious values" The writer cites that "a feminist poet Robin Morgan who claimed that the pageant inspired the formal launching of the woman's movement in 1968", where thousands of women protested against the gala event in picket lines, and boycotting all commercial products related to the pageants. The protestors disrupted the live telecast of the pageants as millions watched it on television.

Since then the contest has changed its ways as presenting the contestant with a political or social platform, and electing Hispanic, Indian or black heritage contestants, but actually it hasn't changed the discriminating, manipulative, and commercial sense of it. The writer emphasizes mostly in the contest racism "almost all Miss America Has been white" or the standard of beauty is to match the "white ideal", although it might sound contradictory to say that women from different ethnic background had been elected Miss. America as well. The contest is going in decadency and "The interest in the title is flagging", it is more commercially profitable to elect a different ethnic background to represent Miss America to target a different audience or a more diverse audience.

Even so millions of people watch it every year, some out of "nostalgia" because they identify themselves with the ideal, or to "applaud or to scorn on the candidates", as well as for entertainment.

The question planted for the writer is "what Miss. America inform us and why do we need to know". "We're a big club house, but we are not sure you should be a member" emphasizing the point of that although all races may compete in the contest they must meet the official standard of beauty, basically matching the "white ideal". Citing an example of a particular town in the southwest where "Monica Lewinsky is considered extremely beautiful for her plump curves and formerly hair" but her beauty does not adequate to the contest beauty standard. The first black winner was "Vanessa Williams, 1984" whose feature matched the "white ideal" and the 1991 titleholder "Marjorie Vincent with dark skin and full figure, who represented a more diverse and vision of beauty". But again this emphasize another point, that they are targeting "a more diverse" type of viewer due to its decadency.

A nation divided into North and South, where the Northerners pageants are discriminated over the "Southern belles". A pageant would come from an "appropriate" middle class family to represent the community; today a pageant comes from a different environment. It also reminds us our bottomless sincerity and spirit. Reminds us our "we can-do spirit", and that the hard work pays it fruits at the end. She is the ultimate paradox, everyday royalty, and the thing that every American secretly believes. How much we love to hear a gossip, or to know a secret. We love the glamour, and the extravagances. Tells us how a woman is supposed to be, as the myth of the perfect girl. The last fact is that we believe in the best and the brightest, although a