Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the Twentieth-Century South

Blain Roberts (Author)

Product Details

University of North Carolina Press
Publish Date
August 01, 2016
6.17 X 1.03 X 9.24 inches | 1.26 pounds
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About the Author

Blain Roberts is an associate professor of history at California State University, Fresno and the author of Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women. She lives in Fresno, California.


[A] fascinating book [that] explores the products, rituals, institutions and beliefs surrounding female beauty to elucidate the economic and cultural transformations of the Jim Crow and Civil Rights South.--Louisiana History

A most significant addition to the scholarship on southern beauty culture.--Arkansas Historical Quarterly

Illuminates how Southern culture has imagined a constitutive relationship between race and beauty.--Journal of American Culture

An important book of American social history and a fine addition to the literature on women of the South in the years between the institution of Jim Crow and its demise.--H-Net Reviews

A Notable African-American Title--Publishers Weekly

Roberts's compelling narrative challenges historians to integrate the pursuit of beauty in their examinations of race and politics in the modern South.--The Southern Register

Roberts uncovers the toils and economic effects of feminine beauty in the South during the 1950s and '60s.--Ebony

The good, the bad and the lovely.--Chicago Tribune Printers Row Journal

Roberts undertakes an extensive and meticulous historical analysis of the construction of female beauty in the South, tying her analysis to the way consumer culture informed Southern beauty via products, rituals, and pageants--all of which together reiterated and reinforced women's embodiment of the impact of the cultural and economic modernization of the most highly racialized and segregated regions of the United States.--Women's Studies Quarterly

An excellent and much needed addition to American social and southern history and the history of black and white American women.--North Carolina Historical Review

The expression that 'beauty is only skin deep' is put to the test in this well-researched examination of women, race, and standards of attractiveness in the 20th-century US.--Choice

Roberts has chosen to look at many of the issues of the 20th century through the intimate world of women's beauty regimens and the public world of beauty pageants.--American Press

Well researched and will be of interest to those concerned with gender, race, southern history, and beauty practices.--Register of The Kentucky Historical Society

A fresh and valuable contribution to a well-established body of scholarship on the history of modern beauty culture in the United States.--Journal of American History