MISS

MISS
By Jenn Ackerman and Tim Gruber

Children often dream of playing major league baseball or being an actress, but for many of these women, it was to be a queen. Praised as a positive role model for young girls, protested as degrading to women and shamed by scandals, beauty pageants have become an American icon. It is a world where artificial enhancements are the norm and a panel of judges decide your fate.

MISS explores these beauty pageants through the lens of fascination, respect, awe, and sadness.

The project brings the viewer behind the scenes at two of the largest pageants in the world – Miss USA and Miss Universe. It reveals the competition, the camaraderie, the heartache and the determination the contestants experience in order to chase after what some have been striving for their whole lives. The pictures depict a world of sashes, thinness, makeup, curlers and high heels – all at the expense of being named Miss for a year.


Chasing the Crown

Made up

Made up

In Front

On Display

Beauty Sleep

Posed

Filmed

Miss Zambia

Makeup

Critique

Mirror Mirror

Alone

The Wave

Last Minute Rush

Tears

Stairs in Heels

Theater

Next

Judged

Coached

Results

Defeated

Watermelon Champion

Island

Stage

The Sash

Measuring Up

Grand Entrance

Heels and Curlers

New Wardrobe

Getting Ready

Introduction

Reflection

Set

Admiration

Fake Lashes

Cameras

Alone

Hot Wing Contest

Confidence

Workout

Hallway Nap

Reward

Directions

National Pride

Bikini Prep

Hula Hoop

Waiting