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Social Science Women's Studies

Queen of the Maple Leaf

Beauty Contests and Settler Femininity

by (author) Patrizia Gentile

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2020
Women's Studies, Discrimination & Race Relations, Post-Confederation (1867-), Race & Ethnic Relations
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2020
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price

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As modern versions of the settler nation took root in twentieth-century Canada, beauty emerged as a business. Queen of the Maple Leaf deftly uncovers the codes of femininity, class, sexuality, and race that beauty pageants exemplified, whether they took place on local or national stages. A union-organized pageant such as Queen of the Dressmakers, for example, might uplift working-class women, but immigrant women need not apply. Patrizia Gentile demonstrates how beauty contests connected female bodies to white, wholesome, respectable, middle-class femininity, locating their longevity squarely within their capacity to reassert the white heteropatriarchy at the heart of settler societies.

About the author

Patrizia Gentile is an associate professor in the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University.

Patrizia Gentile's profile page

Editorial Reviews

[Queen of the Maple Leaf] is a seminal contribution to better understanding how histories of women’s bodies make for legitimate historiography of settler colonialism, truth regimes and power dynamics within Canada.

Canadian Journal of History

Other titles by Patrizia Gentile