This unbiased picture of what it's really like to be a ""beauty queen"" will surprise and even shock the female worshiper who sees it all as an engraved ticket to Cloud 9. Thrilled and elated after having won the Miss Norway title, Astrid Johanssen heads for New York and California to participate in the Miss Universe contest. A few laps in the pressured rat race indicate the exacting price required for the high stakes involved in the business of beauty. Willing to participate in a contrived romance with an aspiring celebrity sponsored by Sovereign Motors, as an advertising gimmick, Astrid gives up a real relationship with an old friend, only to watch her story book prince ride away when juicier prospects appear on his horizon. The transparent glitter of this circus world, the phony warmth of chaperones and new ""friends"", the cattle show quality of the contest, eventually force Astrid to take a good look around and decide who not what she wants to be. The awakening is painful but it saves one beauty queen from the sense of loss and rejection that comes when only a handful are picked for the final run. Without resorting to sentimentality or histrionics, Miss Holm has written a forthright, realistic story which gently points wide-eyed aspirants in an earthbound direction.