Respectable Women Don’t Dance: Beauty Pageants of the US Virgin Islands and the Dictates of a Proper Womanhood

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

In the US Virgin Islands beauty pageants proliferate. They are the place where we see women performing most. They are appendages of our most popular performance event, carnival. Established women of the middle and upper classes use pageants to dictate approved and tabooed behaviors among participants while simultaneously creating codes which opponents actively resist. Delivered at the conference for the Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association in New Orleans Louisiana, this paper discusses the dictates of pageantry and it’s limits which work to determine what a “respectable” Virgin Island womanhood might mean, that which in some cases bars young women from local dances and other popular events that are at once embraced at large as signifiers of an overarching Virgin Island identity.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2003
EventConference of the National Popular Culture & American Culture Association - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Apr 1 2003Apr 1 2003

Conference

ConferenceConference of the National Popular Culture & American Culture Association
CountryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period4/1/034/1/03

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  • Cite this

    Oliver, C. (2003). Respectable Women Don’t Dance: Beauty Pageants of the US Virgin Islands and the Dictates of a Proper Womanhood. Paper presented at Conference of the National Popular Culture & American Culture Association, New Orleans, United States.