• Beauty and Nation: Miss Romania as International Ambassador

    Sonia D. Andras (see profile)
    Gender Studies, Global & Transnational Studies, History, Narrative Studies
    Fashion, Women, History, Group identity, Romania
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    miss romania, beauty, History of beauty, pageant, nation, Gender, Women's history, Cultural identity
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    My paper will use gender studies and theories about nation and nationhood in order to explain the argument that beauty queens are viewed by the pageant organizers and aficionados as ambassadors not only of local, regional and national beauty, but also representatives of their cultures and nations. Therefore, they not only function as objects for contemplation and judgement, but also as powerful political, cultural, social and economic symbols. The newly born and prosperous Greater Romania sought to establish itself as an equal among the more powerful and certainly older Western European and non-European nations. One of the means to reach this goal, and arguably one of the most widespread and popular in Romania and abroad was using example citizens to showcase Romania's qualities. RealitateaIlustrată and IlustraţiuneaRomână were the two magazines that organized two parallel Miss Romania pageants. Despite their rivalry and affiliation to two equally rival Miss Universe pageants, the idea of Miss Romania as an ambassador was the creed of both magazines. Miss Romania was warned that she is now the image of her whole nation and that it is her responsibility to represent Romania in all its greatness and beauty. Her role would be described as important as a sportsman representing their country abroad. The idea of Miss Romania as viewed in Interwar Romania was a very complex one. She could be described as a harbinger of feminine emancipation (both as an accolade and as a patriarchal critique), a pawn in an eugenics game fed to the masses as a means to control and reinvent the population, or a object used as a symbolic currency in political and capitalist exchanges. Her role as an ambassador is the most articulated and recognizable purpose of Miss Romania and can therefore be described as an excuse or starting point to every other aspect related to beauty pageants.
    Open source PDF original location: https://old.upm.ro/ldmd/LDMD-01/Cpr/Cpr%2001%2053.pdf
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    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
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