Inclusion and beauty pageants? The Filipino migrant worker community in Israel

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4 Scopus citations


Beauty pageants held by immigrant groups in their host country, or diasporic beauty contests, are a fascinating global phenomenon. While previous studies have mainly explored this practice within permanently settled immigrant communities, there is a dearth of research regarding beauty contests in communities of migrant workers. Based on a seven- year fieldwork in the Filipino community in Israel, this study asks why beauty pageants have become such a prominent event among migrant workers employed as live-in caregivers. Involving candidates from both genders, these events were found significant for migrant workers at the personal, communal and transnational level. The uniqueness of these pageants lies in their inclusive effect, as it is expressed on every level. Unlike the construction of a Western ideal of gendered beauty from which the majority is excluded, diasporic beauty contests offer every migrant worker the opportunity to participate. Thus, becoming a platform for social inclusion and allowing live-in migrant workers to become visible and respectable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-648
Number of pages24
JournalGender, Place, and Culture
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022


  • Beauty contests
  • Filipino migration
  • Israel
  • beauty pageants
  • leisure time
  • live-in caregivers
  • migrant workers


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