I didn’t realize Barnum was behind the first beauty pageant. Down-to-earth reflections. Likes and comments closed. Feel free to comment over on Middlemay.
The young goatherd Paris had no idea he’d start a war. All he wanted was the most beautiful mortal of his day–Helen of Troy. Beauty and equality do not go hand in hand. It’s not enough to be one of the beauties or to admire one of the beauties. We must crown one as supreme.
Juno, Venus and Minerva quarreled amongst themselves over who was most lovely. They bribed a goatherd to settle things. But beauty is unsettling.It’s fleeting and it makes us wonder about fairness. Beauty captivates us even when we think we should know better. Shouldn’t we love even second-rate art? Beauty shows us the most pleasing sights, yet leaves us sometimes feeling resentful and inadequate.
Way back in the mists of time beautiful women came to symbolize the virtues of nations. P.T. Barnum in 1854 saw another way to…
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