"They know me as king, but they don't know my name" : negotiating the self in university beauty pageants
Date of Issue2019
School of Social Sciences
Using the female and male perspective, this article explores the negotiation of the self within the unique context of mixed-gendered university beauty pageants in Singapore, a tradition that has become a highlight in the freshmen experience. Through a developed Foucauldian lens which accounts for agency and gender, we explore the negotiation of the self within a disciplinary structure in pageant. Using covert participant observations and semi-structured interviews, we dug deep into the docility and resistance in the negotiations of the ideal and the gendered self. Ultimately, despite accounting for individual agency, we argue that there is still limited agency for effective resistance, putting the docile body and the idea of an empowered pageantee back into the spotlight. This paper is unique in terms of the direct comparison of the gendered experience within the same pageant, which has not been previously explored in Singapore. Keywords: Beauty Pageants, Self, Discipline, Docile Bodies, Masculinities and Femininities, Agency.
Final Year Project (FYP)