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Loved Jennifer Aniston in ‘Dumplin’’? Here Are Some More Beauty Pageant Movies

By Kate Hudson | Film | December 8, 2018 |

By Kate Hudson | Film | December 8, 2018 |


The very sweet, low-key rom com Dumplin’ was released on Netflix yesterday—and a lot of the Overlords, myself included, absolutely loved it. If you’re like me and watched it as soon as it was available, there may be a beauty pageant shaped hole in your life right now, which all the false eyelashes and aqua net in the world can’t fill. Do not despair, friends. In addition to knowing every zany escapade the Royals are getting up to, I’m a bit of an expert on the genre of beauty pageant movies, so I’m here to share with you some of the classics of the genre.

Miss Congeniality

Perhaps you forgot about this Sandra Bullock movie, perhaps you watch it every day. Maybe you fall somewhere in-between on the spectrum I just laid out for you. All I know is that this is a modern-day classic, where someone is trying to kill beauty queens and Sandra Bullock must go undercover, as a pageant participant, to stop them from bombing the pageant. Shenanigans ensue. Lesson are learned. Fun is had by all.

It also gave us one of my favorite jokes in a movie, ever.

Describe your perfect date…


Miss Congeniality isn’t available on streaming, but I just bought it for $4.99 from Amazon video. Worth it.

To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar

While the vast majority of this movie doesn’t take place at the “Drag Queen of the Year” awards, there’s enough pageantry on display that it most definitely qualifies as a beauty pageant movie. It’s hard to imagine this movie being made with the action heroes of today, although I do think Chris Evan might look good in drag now that he’s shaved off that beard. If you haven’t spent time with Miss Noxema Jones yet, you’re in for a treat.


To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar is available to stream if you have Starz.

Little Miss Sunshine

This is a sweet movie about a family trying to get their daughter to the “Little Miss Sunshine” pageant in California. I would highly doubt that anyone who reads this site on the regular hasn’t seen this movie, but if you haven’t, here’s your chance.

Little Miss Sunshine is available to stream on Hulu.


This is the godfather of the beauty pageant movie genre. A very young Melanie Griffith is in it, so worth a watch for that alone—you can catch her briefly at the end of the trailer.

Smile is available to stream on Prime

Drop Dead Gorgeous

If you’re wondering if this entire article was just to showcase the undying love and affection I have for this movie, you are absolutely correct. Drop Dead Gorgeous is a sarcastic, black comedy, that takes a dark look at the world of teen beauty pageants—so, basically, the anti Dumplin’.


It is practically perfect in every way.


The movie is endlessly quotable, and a true classic.



Drop Dead Gorgeous, to the best of my knowledge, has never been available to stream, which is a travesty. You can buy it on DVD, and I highly recommend you do.

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Kate is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.

Header Image Source: New Line Cinema