Miss America  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Miss America pageant is a long-standing competition which awards scholarships to young women from the 50 United States. The first-prize winner of the national pageant is awarded the title of "Miss America" for one year.


With the rise of feminism and the civil rights movement the pageant became a focus of protests each year, and its audience began to fade. The 1968 protest, in which a group of feminists on the Atlantic City boardwalk crowned a live sheep Miss America and threw various beauty accoutrements (including bras) into a trash can, shocked many people and was the source of the myth that feminists "burned bras." In the 1970s it began to change, admitting blacks and encouraging a new type of professional woman. This was symbolized by the 1974 victory of Rebecca Ann King, a law student who publicly supported legalization of abortion in the United States while Miss America.

Details of the 1968 "bra burning"

Close to four hundred protesters of the New York Radical Women gathered on the boardwalk on September 7, 1968, the day of the pageant. Protesters waved signs with slogans: "No More Beauty Standards." "Miss America is Alive and Well -- in Harlem." "Welcome to the Cattle Auction." "Girls Crowned -- Boys Killed." While Bert Parks was inside the Atlantic City Convention Center rehearsing with contestants, he was being hung in effigy by protesters outside.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Miss America" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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