Document Type

Campus Access Only

Publication Date


First Advisor

Danillo Contreras


Beauty pageant winners in the Dominican Republic do not accurately represent the average Dominican women. Representatives of the Dominican Republic that go to international competitions, such as Miss Universe, have European phenotypes. I argue that beauty pageants are tools of the state to represent the country as mostly white and are part of a broader effort to whiten the country's racial identity. In addition, I will argue that we should think about pageants in the same way that the state uses monuments, textbooks, censuses, etc., to construct an ethno-national identity.


Capstone thesis for Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies concentration.

Presented at 2017 Academic Conference.