This past weekend I visited Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers in Williamsburg and read High Glitz: The Extravagant World of Child Beauty Pageants, cover to cover. This reading has prompted an inspiring thread of research- I call it 'competitive beauty'. On one hand I can be critical of this obsession with loveliness and youth, and characterize the participants of this world as mindless followers, offering the world nothing more than a repository for multicolored sequins and lacquer-level hair spray. On the other hand, I can recall many fond memories as a participant of a similar world. I was a member of a Color Guard up until my sophomore year of college, and the costumes, cosmetics, and camaraderie, are experiences that I will forever cherish. Feminine beauty and poise was indeed codified and quantified and we each submitted to the rules of the game, but I wonder at what point this becomes exploitative. Is all this pomp and circumstance a condition of oppression or can women embrace degrees of ownership? I think that these types of questions are what drive The Platinum Eaters | whitebitches series.