Undressed for Success

Beauty Contestants and Exotic Dancers as Merchants of Morality
Author(s): 
Foley, Brenda
ISBN: 
1403969930
Date published: 
November 2005
Hardback
Price: 
£32.50
Pages: 
224

Using the tools of performance studies, gender theory, and cultural history, Brenda Foley explores the striking similarities between beauty pageantry and striptease. For example, women in both project a 'normal' femininity and adhere to a strict hierarchy (Miss America contestants look down upon Miss Universe contestants, while theatrical 'burlesque artists' saw themselves as far above mere carnival strippers). Undressed for Success collects extensive primary source research - newspapers, journals, trade publications, photography collections, press releases, memoirs, and interviews with both strippers and pageant contestants - and employs a wide array of gender, feminist, and performance theory to analyze them.