William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice


In the last five years, news of various scandals in the pageant industry has inundated media outlets. These recent incidents are by no means outliers in the history of pageantry. This article explores the significance of one of these controversies - the Rebekah Revels litigation, which stemmed from the disputed 2002 Miss North Carolina pageant.

For context, this article first outlines allegations of wrongdoing in early pageants. It proceeds with an analysis of how the Revels litigation serves as an exemplar of the types of contract lawsuits that may continue to entangle pageant organizations in the future. Finally, the article provides an examination of the specific legal, economic, and sociocultural effects that the Revels litigation has had, and likely will continue to have, upon the business model of the pageant industry.

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