Rhetorical Analysis Of Life With Daughters Watching The Miss American Pageant

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In Gerald Early’s essay “Life with Daughters: Watching the Miss America pageant,” Early talks about his experience of watching Miss America pageants with his family. The issue explored in his essay is the way black culture in society is affected by America’s standard of beauty and the difficulties black women experiences when trying to find one’s identity because of this. Early believes that America’s standard of beauty is white, the look that is most praised in the beauty pageants. He uses rhetorical strategies such as allusion, ethical persuasion, and emotional persuasion to emphasize that America's standard of beauty has an effect on black women. In his essay Gerald Early uses ethical persuasion when he talks about the how the pageant…show more content…
“It was a national white doll contest. Love hate affair with white dolls, with mythicized white femininity.” (pg 533) The pageant displays the beauty that the dolls are based on. Most of the contestants that take part in Miss America pageants and winners are white female with the exception of a few black females, but they are not emphasized as much. Early uses allusion when he mentions the story about a picture he saw on the front page of the Pittsburgh Courier. The picture is of a hospitalized black girl who is holding a white doll in her hand. The white doll was sent to her by Attorney General Robert Kennedy. “ He couldn't send her a black doll because that would emphasize her race.” (pg 534) but, giving her a black doll would have showed her that her color is just as worthy to be made a doll, and taught her to be proud of her complexion. On page 535 Early inserts an anecdote of his sister favoring her white doll over her colored dolls. This shows that from an early age black girls were easily attracted to a white doll because that was the “prettier” one. The white dolls were based on the beauty in the

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