Episode 28

Breaking Down Patriarchy and the Miss World Pageant

Published on: 19th July, 2022

How do you feel about beauty pageants?

In 1968, the feminist group New York Radical Women organized a picket of the Miss America Pageant and paraded sheep around the area to protest models being judged like animals at a county fair. These activists refused to talk to male reporters, which forced newspapers to call in women reporters from their usual assignments covering second-tier stories. And then they set up a freedom trash can and they piled in their bras and false eyelashes and put in copies of magazines such as Playboy and the Ladies Home Journal. These demonstrations at pageants spread to many other countries, including to the Miss World pageant held in England in 1970, where protesters threw flower bombs and disrupted the event with football rattles. And then in Scotland in 1975, a large group of women called the students signed up for a beauty pageant. And then on the day of the contest, they all stormed in together wearing overalls and no makeup, essentially hijacking the event.

Whatever listeners think about beauty pageants, it's about to get more complicated. On today's episode, we hear a fascinating essay from Holland Allebes Anderson, granddaughter of the very first Miss World Kiki Hawkinson.

Holland Allebes Anderson grew up in Southern California. She is currently a student at Brigham Young University Provo, studying to become a Landscape Architect with an emphasis in urbane farms and edible parks. Holland is an artist of many mediums such as oil paint, ink, digital art, installation art, chalk art, performance art, and poetry. Her art and thinking are shaped by her faith (Church of Jesus Christ), parents, gender, plants, and her humor.

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About the Podcast

Breaking Down Patriarchy
An Essential Texts Book Club
Breaking Down Patriarchy is a podcast for everyone! Learn about the creation of patriarchy and those who have challenged it as you listen to bookclub-style discussions of essential historical texts. Gain life-changing epiphanies and practical takeaways through these smart, relatable conversations.

About your host

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Amy Allebest

I grew up in Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, reading, writing, drawing, singing, and practicing the piano and violin. I attended Brigham Young University, where I met Erik Allebest during my first week of freshman year, studied abroad in Israel, lived in Chile for a year and a half as a missionary, and married Erik all before graduating with a degree in English. Erik and I moved around - to Colorado, Southern California, Utah, Spain, and Northern California - while Erik started and ran chess businesses for a living (primarily chess.com) and I stayed home to raise our four children. Those four kids have become brilliant, hilarious people and are our very best friends. I am a long-time trail runner, a recent CrossFitter, a lifelong reader and writer, and an almost-graduate of Stanford University's Master's of Liberal Arts program.