Confessions of a Beauty Pageant Drop-Out

It was with a combination of contradictory emotions – familiarity, estrangement, anticipation, disdain, and even a twinge of regret – that I tuned in and watched the Miss America Pageant last Saturday. Why? I’m not your average viewer or loyal fan.

No, I was a teenage beauty queen.

It might have been a long shot, but had circumstances been slightly different, I could have been in Las Vegas competing for that crown myself. As an insider, I want to correct some of the most common misperceptions about Miss America’s image of women, but I also understand some of the deepest flaws in the organization’s brand of feminism.

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This article is reprinted from Campus, the youth-oriented magazine of the Center for American Progress.

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