Introduction

"Beauty contests do not, in themselves, cause anything. They are a symptom; they show the reality of what this society thinks about women."

-Margaret Benston,

SFU faculty and founder of the Vancouver Women's Caucus

Pageant crowning

Crowning of the 1965 Miss Canadian University Queen

WLU Archives

Throughout the 1960s, Waterloo Lutheran University (WLU) was host to the Miss Canadian University pageant, the largest student pageant in Canada. In 1970, students from Simon Fraser University (SFU) staged a protest against this pageant, with protestors accusing it of being sexist and of objectifying women. The protests surrounding the Miss Canadian University pageant of 1970 display the growth of the women’s liberation movement on university campuses, while also revealing the varying social atmospheres on Canadian university campuses in a period of intense social turbulence and change.

This exhibit was researched and designed by Wilfrid Laurier University undergraduate research apprentice Megan Blair in 2018

Introduction