Welcome to 1989, When Gretchen Carlson Was Miss America

In Depth

Gretchen Carlson has released a new memoir called Getting Real (note that she has chosen the type of memoir title favored by politicians and celebrities: vague and boringly cheeky, as her Fox News show is called The Real Story) and to promote it, she’s doing all the talk shows. What they end up asking her about is her fascinating past, especially that year in 1989 when she was crowned Miss America.

So let’s take a look back at that year. Here’s the full introductory pageant performance, followed by the announcement of the women who made it into the top 10. Enjoy the polka dots.

In Getting Real, Carlson “encourages women to strive for their goals, never give up, and always believe in themselves,” according to its blurb, just as she has always done her whole life. In the video below, catch Carlson, a virtuoso violinist, playing said instrument for her talent portion as Miss Minnesota. That’s all well and good, but her outfit is a tad distracting.

The full swimsuit portion of the competition from that year is shockingly not online, though there’s a clip of it in Carlson’s supercut of her appearances during the pageant.

In the video at top, you see Carlson winning her title; please note her amazing mastery of the shocked cry face. If you’d like a further preview of her book, Fox News Insider has published a fascinating list of “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Gretchen Carlson.” A preview: #4 is “I Grew Up a Fat Kid” and #9 is “I Fit Into My Miss America Gown 25 Years Later.” Progress!

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