Beauty Pageants Through The Years, Part 1
Article by Adrian Adams
Beauty Pageants date back to 1921. This year saw the grand introductions of beauty pageants as we know today. The first pageant was held in Atlantic City, called the National Beauty Tournament. However, 1921 also saw the very first Miss America Pageant. This pageant was nothing like today’s pageant, with representatives from every state. In fact, the first Miss America Pageant only had eight contestants and was won by a 16 year old, Washington, D.C. resident named Margaret Gorman.
In 1922 and 1923, a first and last occurred in Miss America history, the same girl, Mary Campbell won the title twice, in two years. This prompted organizers to create a rule that said that any winner can only hold one title and never qualify for the title again.
The late twenties and early thirties were without Miss America Pageants, thanks to the press and the Depression. When it did come back, they included evening gowns in the competitions. Then in later years of the thirties, a talent competition was added as an optional event for the women in the beauty pageant. In 1938, it then becomes a category that was required.
In the world of beauty pageants, it was soon clear that Miss America was very popular and then the birth of Miss Universe, Miss World, Junior Miss, and Miss USA Beauty Pageants occurred in the 50′s. The 50′s also saw the first live televised Miss America Beauty Pageant
The sixties were filled with first as well, in the start of the decade, Miss USA crowned the first black woman in history, Corrine Huff. The sixties also gave birth to Little Miss Universe, Little Miss America, and Miss Teenage America pageants. What the world didn’t know then, was that in 1962 the newly crowned America’s Junior Miss, Diane Sawyer, would one day become one of the most influential journalists in the world.
Throughout the years, beauty pageants continue to be a scene of immediate success in every generation, young and old, and they seem to be the one goal that every little girl dreams of. They all dream of hearing the ever popular “There She Is” song, while she is being crowned one of the new pageant winners.
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