It's not all crowns and gowns

Experiences, facets and ideals that define us

In this episode 3 stories

Read 5 mins
Glitz and glamour, plus fire skills and push-ups

At niche pageants, women – and men – get their moment in the spotlight, and not just because of their looks. The underlying idea, some pageant experts say, is to offer contestants something more than a crown.

Listen 14 mins
Transgender beauty chooses to ‘be visible,’ enters pageant

In 2016, Angel Qinan competed in the 15th annual Queen USA national trans beauty pageant, the largest in the country. It not only helped her form tight bonds with other women in the trans community, but she also found herself and her voice along the way.

Pageant history: From May Day to Miss USA

From centuries-old May Day festivals in Europe to modern-day pageants around the world, contemporary controversies take center stage along with the ceremonial pomp and splendor.