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Secrets of Miss America

Secrets of Miss America

  • Premiered: 
    July 10, 2023
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: A&E
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    2nd series in SECRETS OF franchise, following Secrets of Playboy 
  • Subject Matter: Entertainment
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Plot Synopsis

SECRETS OF MISS AMERICA is a four-episode documentary series that delves into the long-kept secrets of America's oldest beauty pageant, exposing the shocking scandals at its core. A cultural event once viewed by 80 million people a year, the pageant now struggles to stay relevant to a new generation of Americans whose views on beauty and sexual politics have changed drastically over the past few decades. The special analyzes whistle blower leaked emails in 2017 exposing misogyny within the Board of Directors, claims of racism in the pageant's history, the topic of mental health surrounding the competition and the banning of the controversial swimsuit competition. Told by pageant insiders including more than 20 former Miss Americas telling their stories in one documentary for the first time, whistleblowers, contemporary contestants, executives and critics, viewers get a glimpse at the cost of wearing the crown and sash and how pageant culture perpetuated racism, bullying, body shaming, and much more. Episodes include:

"Dirty Tricks" (Monday, July 10, 2023 at 10pm): The Miss America Organization is rocked to its core when a whistle-blower leaks shocking emails involving the entire Board of Directors.

"Bye Bye Bikini" (Monday, July 17, 2023 at 10pm): Since the 1960s, the swimsuit has been a thorn in the pageant's side, but a thorn that kept millions of viewers tuning in year after year. In 2018 the pageant took the drastic decision to ban the swimsuit round from the competition, causing a divide between modernizers and traditionalists which ends in an all-out war that has the potential to bring end Miss America.

"For All America" (Monday, July 24, 2023 at 10pm): The Miss America Organization today claims to be open to women of all races, backgrounds and body shapes, and 2019 saw women of color win a clean sweep of top beauty pageants for the first time. But there has never been a Latina winner, and the experiences of African Americans women competing in Miss America have been fraught with challenges. Has the pageant's racist past really gone away?

"Under Pressure" (Monday, July 31, 2023 at 10pm): With recent tragedies in the pageant community, the issue of mental health in the Miss America competition has been brought into sharper focus. The modern-day Miss Americas are expected to face the judgements of the past while carrying the weight of current expectations.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by MGM Alternative
  • Produced by Lightbox Entertainment