Miss America (From Mr NANA, Provincial High School of Kaya)
Miss America is chosen for a combination of looks, personality and intelligence, a trait determined by Bert Parks, master of ceremonies, asking such questions as, “what does America mean to you?” The winner has a year’s reign, during which she travels through the country doing publicity for various companies. She is carefully chaperoned, very busy, often photographed and earns money.
According to Miss Greene, “Girls complete in it primarily because it’s a way out of whatever life they’re living and it’s a step into something else… either into a big city, or it’s a step into modeling or it’s a step into show business or even it’s a step into an advertising agency- a better job”.
There is ample reason to want to become Miss America, though I met no one who sees her as an ideal of beauty. At the last Miss America contest, girls from the Women’s Liberation Movement picketed on the boardwalk with such signs as “Miss America sells it!”; “Miss America is NOT My Ideal”; “Can Makeup Cover the Wounds of our Oppression?” For many, the contest is vulgar and pointless. For some, it is merely amusing, and to the more militant, it is threatening. But other groups of females feel out. Married Women want a chance to complete, and so there is a Mrs. America contest-which, however, emphasizes housewifely virtues more than physical beauty.
Mothers are eager to exhibit pretty daughters and possibly make a lot of money through them, so contests are arranged for teenagers.
Probably the most offensive of all beauty contests is Little Miss America, for five to ten-year-olds.
K.PERYTZ, Beyond the Looking glass
Picketed on the boardwalk: occupied the boardwalk, where the contest was to take place, as a sign of protest.
Makeup: maquillage; wound: blessure; plaie.
Questions (13 pts)
a) What is a teenager?
b) What is the aim of advertising?
2 – For what reasons according to the text do many girls in America want to become Miss America?
3 – Are these contests organized purely for entertainment? (Justify your answer)
4 – Why, do you think, the Women’s Liberation Movement is opposed to such contests?
II- Translate the passage into English. (4 pts)
Beaucoup d’adolescentes rêvent de devenir Miss Burkina, ou Miss Afrique ou, pourquoi pas, Miss Monde. Ces concours de beauté sont en effet pour elles, une façon d’échapper à la vie ordinaire que la plupart d’entre elles mènent. Une jeune personne gagnant un concours de beauté important a une chance d’entrer dans le monde du spectacle comme vedette de Cinéma. C’est une façon de devenir célèbre et de gagner beaucoup d’argent.
III – VOCABULARY BUILDING (3 pts)
Find synonyms to the following words.
1 – adolescent
2 – a gift
3 – hideous.