Seminar Bridge 3

1.Cunningham, Michael R. “Measuring the Physical in Physical Attractiveness: Quasi-Experiments on the Sociobiology of Female Facial Beauty.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 50, no. 5 (05, 1986): 925-935.

This journal discuss the relationship between specific facial features of adult female and the respond toward male adults of different views. The physical measurements about facial beauty standard is included. The author conducted 2 similar study about letting males rate the attractiveness of sample of photographs of females. The finding is that the baby-like feature of big eyes, small nose and chin, and mature features like narrow cheeks and obvious cheekbones are considered as the attractive feature toward female facial beauty. The both social and biological journal is great for my thesis for I can see the facial look of the contestants in a more academic level and figure out the relationship between the beauty aesthetic and facial image.

2.Lovegrove, Keith. Pageant: The Beauty Contest. Pennsylvania: DIANE Publishing Company. 2005

This book by Keith Lovegrove focused mainly on the culture of beauty contest, ranging from the worldwide events of Miss World & Mr. & Miss Universe to the sub-culture pageants like Miss Nude UK. This book includes varies beauty contests from all of the world as beauty pageant today is a worldwide phenomenon. Keith did a in-depth and thoroughly research about the introduction of diverse beauty contests and it mentioned a lot of contest that I didn’t know before like Thailand’s Miss Tiffany’s Universe competition for transexual people, the crowning of the frankfurter-clad Sausage Queen which was first thought to promote the National Hot Dog Week in the U.S, the Santa Monica Prison in-house pageant in Peru, or Mr. Gay UK. Since this book does not include strong opinions or judgement towards beauty contests, they can help to broaden my understanding of what beauty contest is and provide sources of different kinds of beauty contest as examples to support my thesis.

3.Wolf, Naomi. The beauty myth. London: Chatto & Windus. 1990.

In this book, the author Naomi Wolf deconstructs the myth of beauty from five sections: work, religion, sex, violence, and hunger, and reveals how patriarchal society emphasizes women’s appearances both in face and body to control women. She mentioned that “The beauty myth is always actually prescribing behavior and not appearance.” which reminds women to persuade a relax and natural beauty standard and get out of the illusive trap. Naomi Wolf, as a leading role in the third wave of the feminist movement, questions today’s standard of beauty toward women and improved the feminist movement. The book includes examples in fashion and beauty industry, also conversation towards different media from advertisements, TV programs, magazines to social media. I think this book is helpful in supporting my thesis towards the discrimination shown in beauty contest since beauty pageants are events mainly relate to female beauty.

4.Sheng, DNF. “Miss Chinese Cosmos Pageant 2017” YouTube video, 2:41:57. Posted [October 29 2017].

This is the video of Miss Chinese Cosmos Pageant 2017 which was first broadcasted in China’s Phoenix TV. The Miss Chinese Cosmos Pageant is an annual event since 2003. And as a famous beauty pageant in China, it focuses on Chinese female from all over the world. The recorded video is a full version of Miss Chinese Cosmos Pageant 2017 on stage. The reason I choose this is because I can see the details of a beauty contest in China. I can know the specific rules, each steps of competition, hosts and different performances. This video is the basis of my thesis and the reason I chose a beauty contest in China is because I want to figure out how the discrimination revealed in beauty contest happend in my own culture. The beauty contest in China have differences from the western beauty contests and I want to explain my thesis more specifically.


5.Chu, Kathy. “Extreme Dieting Spreads in Asia.” Usa Today, Mar 30, 2010.

This is a piece of news from Usa Today. “The better you look, the more opportunity you have,” said by a interviewee in this report. The news recorded the dieting phenomenon happened in Asia through interviews with experts in slimming center and dieters around countries in Asia in order to reveal the sick aesthetic towards beauty in a patriarchal society. For example, “The magic number is to be below 100 pounds, no matter your height or your weight,” says Philippa Yu, a clinical psychologist at the Hong Kong Eating Disorders Association. It discloses different crazy slimming methods like ultrasound, electrical stimulation or infrared radiation treatments which used to subduce fat. I choose this news is because it support my argument about the sick beauty standard in beauty contests that all the contestants are thin or even underweight.


6.Xie, Qinwei and Meng Zhang. “White Or Tan? A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Skin Beauty Advertisements between China and the United States.” Asian Journal of Communication 23, no. 5 (10, 2013): 538-554.

The article discovers the white and tanned skin preference in Asian and Western culture. She focuses on the similarity and differences between the advertising strategies includes facial products, model choices, slogan using. The ideal femininity and beauty are discussed in this article. There is a analysis conducted by the researcher about skin beauty advertisements from China’s Vogue and American Vogue. The comparison are detailed and includes interviews towards local editors of these women’s magazines. This article focusing on skin beauty is related to my topic about beauty pageants since the white skin preference is obvious in the contest. Most of the contestants are pale. I want to figure out the reason behind this phenomenon and I think this article can be a good support to my research.

7. Zhang, Meng. “Beauty Pageants in Neoliberal China: A Feminist Media Study of Feminine Beauty and Chinese Culture.” Order No. 3586656, University of Florida, 2013,

Zhang’s study about feminine beauty in contemporary China in the view of Chinese beauty pageants and examine the relationships between feminine beauty and gender discourses.The discovery of these analysis showed that specific stereotypes of gender beliefs were maintained in beauty pageants in China. The contestants of these beauty contest were depicted as a submissive figure, and their bodies were sexualized and judged by the male gaze. Zhang provides analysis of Miss Chinese Cosmos 2011 and Miss World China 2011. She also includes thorough interviews with eight contestants in Miss World China pageant which help us to understand the real experience behind the stage of beauty pageants through the central role’s eyes. The information presented in this paper is pretty reliable since they all based on the primary sources include interviews, historical documents, eyewitness accounts. It can help me to take a closer look at the beauty pageants phenomenon in China which related to my own social background.

8. Salcedo, Flor. To Be a Miss. 2016. Cooperativa Audiovisual Primeras Voces. DVD

Venezuela, as a country famous for its global beauty pageants, owns beauty industry worthing million dollars. To Be a Miss is a documentary recording the international beauty pageant— Miss Venezuela contest, mainly focusing on three contestants’ experience which reveals the traps and risks behind the beauty factory. Many cruel truths are revealed in this documentary like disordered eating and diets, plastic surgery. This documentary could helps me have a deeper understanding of the system of beauty contests that I can jump out of the appearance shown on stage and to see the essence of truth. It can also help as evidence to support the argument about the harm and deformity of beauty contest.

9.Courtney, Alice E. and Wernick Lockeretz Sarah. “A Woman’s Place: An Analysis of the Roles Portrayed by Women in Magazine Advertisements.” JMR, Journal of Marketing Research (Pre-1986) 8, no. 000001 (02, 1971): 92.

Courtney’s analysis basically selected advertisements from seven magazines: Like, Look , Newsweek, The New Yorker, Saturday Review, Time and U.s. News and World Report. She examined 729 advertisements and found out that a large percentage of women shown in ads are in a role of entertainer, however, when it comes to roles as professional or high-level business executive, they are all men. These data shows the stereotypical gender role given to women revealed in ads. Although it did not directly relate to my topic as beauty pageants, the gender stereotype are the same but reflected in different ways. This analysis can give examples of social stereotype added on women.

10 Watson, Elwood and Darcy Martin. “Miss America Pageant: Pluralism, Femininity, and Cinderella all in One.” Journal of Popular Culture 34, no. 1 (Summer, 2000): 105-134.

The authors talked about Miss America Pageant over 79 years which shoes the change of American culture. They also argues the femininity and beauty standard, male gaze things as the reflection toward beauty pageant phenomenon. The values and belief behind the society are revealed. The reason I choose this is because it talks about lots of historical events of American beauty pageants which help me to understand the beauty contests of american culture better and at the same time, the reflection of authors are also important in support my thesis. What’s more, I can see the similarities and differences between China’s beauty pageants and American beauty pageants.

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