A Look Back On Beauty Pageants Throughout History

When it comes to beauty pageants, the first thing we think of is a perfect blonde bombshell with a small waist. For most of us in the Western World, the only connotation of a beauty pageant we are familiar with is the one where they decide who the most beautiful woman is based on a select few physical traits. But as history has it, there was no shortage of unique and strange beauty pageants that allowed women to shine their beauty in all kinds of shapes and forms. Here are some that are not to be forgotten.


Miss Sausage Queen



This beautiful sausage queen is the one and only Geene Courtney. Courtney took first place in the beauty competition during National Hot Dog Week back in 1955. The competition was sponsored by the Zion Meat Company in order to promote their products and make it a more attractive commodity, which they very clearly succeeded to do, although a rather strange marketing approach. However, it did combine both of America’s biggest hallmarks – blonde bombshells and hot dogs.


If you think this is weird, wait until you see what’s next…



Miss Beautiful Spine



As seen in this Chiropractic beauty pageant back in 1956, some people are willing to enter any kind of contest, as long as it’s a contest and there’s a prize. Even if it means posing next to their X-rays to show how beautiful their spine is. Thanks to the internet today, their spines will forever be remembered. Let’s hope they didn’t experience too many unhealthy rays while at it.


Ready for Miss Diaper Wearer?


Miss Diaper Wearer



This beauty pageant is surely one none of us have ever seen before or even dreamed of as something that could even be possible. But truth be told, somehow it was an actual thing back in 1947. Female workers of World War II took part in this rather unpleasant competition to see who wore the diaper the best.


Just when you thought it couldn’t get more weird, get ready for Miss Potato…



Miss Idaho Potato



There’s no denying that this woman is very appealing. Yes, pun completely and totally intended. This is Miss Idaho Potato of 1935 who stole everyone’s hearts as she laid with a pile of raw potatoes. We’re not sure how this beauty pageant came about, and who decided to associate potatoes with beauty, but either way, it makes for an interesting historical memory.


If this isn’t your style, then how about Miss Pregnant?


Miss Pregnant Beauty



This beauty pageant is a lot more modern than some of the other strange ones, which just goes to show that the trend will never die. Only expecting mothers with a baby bump are allowed to participate, and are to show off their pregnant bodies in small bikinis. It’s known as the Pre- Labor Day Bikini Contest and takes place in various parts of the world.


Any takers for this unique contest? Just be sure to pregnant before. If not, here’s one for all ladies…



Miss Lovely Eyes



This Miss Lovely Eyes beauty pageant took place in the 1930s and had participants cover the entire faces, showing only their eyes.  The aim of the contest was to see who has the most beautiful eyes. Seen as it took place during the great depression and many women had to work in offices, a woman’s desirability shifted from her body to her eyes.


If you’re more into showing off your shape however, then perhaps Miss Lobster is more fitting for you…


Miss Lobster Queen



Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most beautiful lobster queen of them all? While we weren’t aware that being a lobster could possibly be considered to be beautiful, these ladies sure prove that in the strangest and most interesting way yet. These lovely lobsters won the prize for Atlantic City’s most famous beauty pageant parade.


Anyone feeling crabby together? Well then try wearing a bag over your head…



Miss Rag Sack



We also were not aware that is was considered beautiful to have a bag over your head – but back in the day, it seems as though anything and everything passed. Especially since women were also willing to take part if there was a grand prize of a chance to make it into the spotlight. Tonight, we would surely never see a beauty pageant as such. But then again, it depends on the prize.


It just keeps on getting weirder and weirder…


Miss Radio Queen



This glowing beauty queen is actually the 1939 Radio Queen. Although none of us have ever heard of this competition, it sure looks like one that would have been worth attending. Just look at that epic outfit, and perhaps the goal of the contest was to look as radioactive as ever.


If you’re not feeling like being radioactive, then how about simply lighting other things up, other than yourself…



Miss Cigar Queen



Here we have the competitors for the 1937 Cigar Queen, which took place in Los Angeles, California. Talk about bizarre vintage gems. Although all of these ladies make for wonderful contestants, we would hope that they would be recognized for their beauty in a slightly different kind of setting. A healthier one preferably.


Many of these strange beauty pageants are rather inappropriate. But when happens when they are built for children?


Toddlers In Tiaras



Believe it or not, this beauty pageant is actually a popular American show, taking viewers behind the scenes for a first-hand experience about what goes on in the lives of these young beauty queens. Just like all the other typical beauty queens, these young girls wear tons of makeup, as well as fake hair and do all kinds of procedures to aim for perfection. Perhaps over time, we’ve only gotten stranger.


But then again, looking back, some things were strange beyond belief…



Miss Catfish Queen



In today’s day in age, a catfish generally means someone pretending to be someone that they aren’t online (anyone seen the movie or the show?). Regardless, today, a catfish beauty contest would never look like this. Nonetheless, this 1954 classic beauty queen is totally rocking this catfish look over New York City.


Not the kind of look that every girl can pull off easily. Like most of these…


Miss NRA



NRA, the National Rifle Association of America actually held a beauty pageant back in the 1930s in Miami, Florida. That’s certainly one way to make your rifles seem more attractive and get the general public drawn in, but not necessarily the best way, that’s for sure.


Here’s a more politically correct beauty contest that welcomes all ladies…



Miss Ankle Queen



In a world hyper-focused on body shape, it’s always refreshing to see things looked at from a different perspective, and that sometimes, beauty can also be defined on other characteristics. While an ankle isn’t exactly what we had in mind in all honesty, it’s surely a step in the right direction. Yes, pun completely intended. But believe it or not, this is a real ankle contest in the 1930s. A policeman was in charge of judging.


Once you’ve covered every body part and turned it into a contest, then turn to animals…


Miss Alpaca Queen



Just when you thought that beauty pageants couldn’t possibly get any weirder, they just did. Take a deep breathe as you process the fact that this is a real-life Alpaca beauty pageant. Yep. So when you can’t think of anything weirder, just use animals instead of people and you’ve got yourself a great case. These Alpacas are all surely crossing their fingers on winning the gold medal.


But let’s move back to humans for now. Donut Queen anyone?



Miss Donut Queen



This is the one and only Pat Marlow, the Donut Queen of 1947. While in today’s day in age, a Donut Queen would be someone probably a lot more plump, to say the least, we surely don’t mind this beautiful Donut Queen, although it would be nice if she was swimming in a pile of donuts, to be honest.


And since food beauty queens are always winning, here are some more…


Miss Orange Queen



While most of us would choose donuts over oranges any day, they still are one of the sweetest things out there. And together with this beauty queen, Miss Orange, they’ve gotten all that much sweeter, to say the least. It also makes for a great excuse to hold a beauty pageant, and based on what we’ve seen so far, we’re grateful it isn’t more strange.


Enough of all the innocent pageants. Let’s take this to the next level… like some psychological warfare



Miss Psychological Warfare



These Miss Psychological Warfare prove that there are no limits when it comes to manipulating the opponent, as their beauty surely has all enemies wanting to side with their opponents. Somehow, this was a real beauty pageant that took place in 1942, and these are the lovely ladies that stole the show.


When it comes to beauty pageants, the sky is really the limit…


Miss Planet Ape



Dominique Green, pictured here holding up number two won the grand prize as Miss Planet Ape. Not only did she win this beauty contest, but she also gained herself a small role in the film Battle of The Planet Of The Apes. While she might have thought that such a competition may have been rather silly, it took her to places she never thought she would get to.


Well, that’s completely bananas, but the next beauty queen prefers lean cuisines…



Miss Lean Cuisine



While we all love a microwave lean cuisine meal here and there, we never thought that it would be turned into a beauty pageant. Well, this beauty queen sure shows the meaning of mean and lean and is killing this unique look. Although comparing women to a hot meal is never a good idea. At least not in modern society.


Miss Marilyn Monroe



While many women dreamed of looking like the iconic blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe, most people wouldn’t enter a competition to prove how much they managed to look just like her. But back in 1958, it seems to have been a popular activity to take part in, and a highly unique beauty pageant.


If you can’t be Marilyn though, how about rocking the Atomic Bomb?



Miss Atomic Bomb




We all want to be Miss Atomic Bomb out of everything possible out there, right? Well, maybe not exactly, but it does mean that this woman is surely explosive and all over the place. At least she credit herself to that. Ladies and gentlemen, here we have the one and only Miss Atomic Bomb of 1957.


Next up: Miss Posture Queen


Miss Posture Queen



Back in the day, posture was a very important quality for a woman to have. It wasn’t just about her hair, her eyes, or even the size of her body. It was how she held herself. So yes, you’ve got that right, there was actually a competition for posture. Here we have the winner, Miss International Posture Queen posing next to an X-ray of her perfect posture back in 1957.


If this isn’t exactly your style, how about women covered in blueberries?



Miss Blueberry Queen



The Blueberry Queen sounds just like the beauty queen, and really, what could be more beautiful than a woman swimming in a bathtub full of fresh, sweet blueberries? This 1955 Blueberry Queen earned her way to this honor without a doubt and proves that beauty pageants don’t always have to be so cookie cutter.


If you’re not willing to bathe in a tub full of blueberries to be queen, then how about putting markers all of your body?


Miss Magic Marker



As this iconic photograph clearly states, it was taken in 1954. This beauty queen earned her way to being the Magic Marker Queen with her bold and unique look, and also of course for agreeing to have Magic Marker put on her body in sensitive places. It seems as though beauty never comes free in any decade.


If you’re not up for markers on your body, then maybe try just showing off your legs…



Miss Leg Queen



Although still centered on the body, at least it gives women a chance to show their other features, other than just their figures. Many women have very beautiful legs and are not noticed enough for these babies that hold up all of their beauty. But Miss Leg Queen? That’s a first.


If you’re not too confident about your legs, then maybe just trying wearing some quality printing…


Miss Quality Printing



Here we have ourselves a beautiful Miss Quality Printing. While we really have no idea what the relationship is between a beauty queen and quality printing is, since she looks like such a charmer and keeper, we won’t be complaining. Perhaps Hollywood Press thought that it would bring in more attention to their printing company. We have no doubt it worked.


Well, when you have lemons, make lemonade. Like this beauty queen…



Miss Lemon



Here we have ourselves the beautiful, the one and only, the somewhat bitter, yet highly flavorful Miss Lemon. As strange as this may seem, competition as such was highly innovative and ahead of its time back then.  During that time, for women to be considered fashionable she had to have her waist completely sucked in or be wearing a petticoat. This lemon is everything but flattering but nonetheless was an actual beauty contest back in the 1920s.


For some fresh vegetables work. For other beauty queens, they needed to go to more extreme measures to take the crown…


Miss Mink



Although this photograph is highly strange and rather disturbing in all honesty, in 1960, there was actually a Miss Mink Queen. Yes, she is literally wearing a pile of minks, and it looks like more than just their skin (which isn’t too good itself either). Well, if this is what the competition required, then we completely understand how she took first place.


But don’t wear, not all beauty queens wear animals. Some just wear sweaters..



Miss Sweater



Pictured here is the 1952 Sweater Queen, together with the future of Miss Sweater Queen. You have to get them started young if you want them to have a bright future ahead of them. No one just gets to be the Sweater Queen by purchasing a nice sweater. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication.