The story of legendary beauty pageant Miss America dates back to September 7, 1921. The local authoritiesdecided to attract tourists in Atlantic City and held a competition among the most beautiful girls of USA. It isworth mentioning that such competitions have been already held across the country in different cities. Butthe idea to choose the most attractive girl in the whole USA was realized for the first time.
The first Miss America contestants represented towns and cities instead of states as it is done today. Themain goal of the contest was to show woman without clothes. They have to defile in swimsuits, but in casuallife they must have act in a chaste manner and didn’t appear in bars and pubs.
Later on, the contest gained a great popularity. Its annual shows weren’t even cancelled on account of wars. As a result, Miss America 1926 managed to earn more than 100 thousand dollars during the crowned year indifferent shows, which was more than the President’s salary. The beauty pageant was stopped for the periodof the Great Depression of 1928-1932.
In 1935 contest organizers decided to vary the pageant with competition, during which the runner-ups musthave expressed their talent in any sphere. At the very beginning the girls were judged only by theirappearance: the jury took into attention the runner-ups’ bodies, faces, eyes, legs, arms, hands especially,breasts, hairs, noses, lips and gracefulness. Gradually the criteria, according which judges elected MissAmerica winners, enlarged and in 1945 voice, self-developing, temper, the ability to present oneself, thespecial talents presence, health and sense of taste were also paid attention to.
Nevertheless, all competitions looked like a trade fair, where people used to buy horses. In 1938 the newrules were accepted: the young women aged between 18-28 could take part in the contest only. Besides, thegirls must not be married, divorced, have children, and abortions. All this was done to teach American girlsthe lesson of morals, and to show them how the best girls of America must look like.
It is interesting that black women weren’t allow to took part in the pageant. That is why the first blackwoman, who won Miss America, was crowned only in 1984.
Until 2005 the Miss America show was translated on ABC TV-channel and only that year the company decidedto sell the rights on contest’s translation to another channel because the number of TV-viewers was less than10 millions. It was the first time in the beauty pageant history.
The contest divides into 4 parts: interview, where the girl must reveal their ability to keep conversation in awitty manner; talents competition for different abilities displaying; swim suit part, where the contestantmust show off their perfect bodies; evening dress defile, where the girl demonstrate their ability to movegracefully and elegantly. In 2003 the contest was enriched by one more part – defile in sports costumes.
Let’s look through the most beautiful contestants of this famous and glorious beauty pageant.