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Monday 4 April 2016

16 Vintage Pics That Prove Beauty Pageants Are Messed Up

16 Vintage Pics That Prove Beauty Pageants Are Messed Up

When we think of modern beauty pageants, there are two kinds that come to mind. One is a boring, questionable affair like the Miss Universe pageant where only its mistakes get any real attention.
The other is the kind of uncomfortable fare you might see on Toddlers and Tiaras, where the worst aspects of the pageant circuit are magnified to a disturbing degree.
But once upon a time, beauty pageants took on a different character. There was a kind of strange variety to them and it seemed like every niche had a contest to decide their royalty.
So let's go back to those uniquely strange days with these 16 vintage pageant photos.
Please COMMENT if you can remember one that we missed.

1. This pageant may look scary, but there's a reason they're wearing bags on their heads.

This event is all about legs, so the bags keep the judges' focus away from their faces.

2. Here we see the winner of the 1950 Miss Atomic Bomb pageant.

There's no way she's getting that through a doorway.

3. And this is from the Miss Lovely Eyes contest during the 30s.

Those unnerving masks do bring out their eyes, but not for the right reasons.

4. Just when you thought you've seen everything, I present to you the Miss Beautiful Ape Contest.

If they look like they belong in Planet of the Apes, that's not by accident.

5. This was taken from the first Miss America pageant in 1921.

Featuring women from New York, Philadelphia and... Kean City?

6. Back then, the Miss Universe pageant didn't stop for anything.

Not even a medical emergency.

7. But America wasn't the only country to host bizarre beauty pageants.

Imagine changing in front of a creepy statue of Lenin.

8. And here we had a pageant that judged beautiful spines.

It's important to keep it nicely aligned, I guess.

9. Their heights may be different, but they're in the same contest.

And apparently that's the Venice Beach Good Looking Man pageant.

10. I hope they actually wore those costumes for the pageant.

Even if they did, it wouldn't be the weirdest one by a long shot.

11. The Sausage Queen contest was only one of a wide range of food-related pageants.

It wasn't even the only sausage-based one.

12. Meet the National Catfish Queen of 1954.

To win this contest, you didn't have to catch the fish yourself.

13. She took part in the Radio Queen contest of 1939. 

Which apparently judged how much you could look like a bad Spider-Man villain.

14. This was one of the few pageants to have a king and queen.

And in case you couldn't tell, this one is all about freckles.

15. You are in the presence of the queen of outdoor health. 

Apparently, there's nothing healthier than sitting in some snow while wearing a bikini.

16. Well, this pageant certainly teaches you the meaning of anti-triskaidekaphobia.

It means the fear of 13, so this contest was all about laughing at superstitions.

Please COMMENT if you want to bring a few of these back.
Main image via Larry Bessel / The LA Times
Collage image via reddit / ion_citat

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