I was miss meridian 1985: Sororophobia, kitsch, and local pageantry

Donelle R. Ruwe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


I am a scholar of British Romanticism, an award-winning poet, an English professor, and Miss Meridian 1985. My older sister, whom I defeated for the Miss Meridian crown, won Miss Boise that same year, and we competed against each other for Miss Idaho. We did not win, though this time around my sister placed higher than I and was awarded second runner-up. My younger sister was in pageants too. She became Miss Meridian after me and, several years later, won the Miss Idaho crown and went on to the 1990 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. My sisters and I swapped performance outfits, shoes, rhinestone jewelry, and swimsuits. We sewed on sequins and glued glitter for each other; we critiqued each other’s speeches and runway walks; we ran mock interviews. We had a wonderful time traveling around the state, competing in local pageants, and racking up college scholarships and clothing allowances. My older sister and I had no romantic illusions about becoming national winners, so when we finished college, debt-free, we contacted up-and-coming pageanteers and sold our sequined wardrobes for a nice profit.1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication"There She is, Miss America"
Subtitle of host publicationThe Politics of Sex, Beauty, and Race in America's Most Famous Pageant
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781403981820
ISBN (Print)9781403963017
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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