What Beauty Contests Looked Like Before You Were Born

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1854 was the year the first beauty pageant took place in the legendary circus of showman P.T. Barnum. Since then, they’ve come a long way in trying to figure out who the prettiest girl in the Universe is. In between the first pageant and today, however, some bizarre contests have happened. And just like the first pageant that gave birth to this type of competition, some of these peculiar contests belong to the circus world.

Bright Side is here to show you some of these odd beauty contests. We’re sure it’s totally not what you’re expecting. Don’t forget the bonus at the end!

1. Beautiful leg contest, circa 1950

2. Miss Lovely Eyes, circa 1930

3. Beach Beauty Pageant

4. Candidate in the Perfect Back Contest, 1930

5. Miss American Vampire, 1970

6. Beautiful legs contest, 1949

7. Winners of a Beauty Pageant Parade

8. Sausage Queen, circa 1995

9. The Donut Queen, 1951

10. The Prettiest Ankle Contest, 1933

11. Miss Atomic Bomb, 1957

12. Miss Subways, circa 1960

13. Miss NASA, circa 1960

14. Miss War Worker Beauty Contest (Keeping spirits up), 1942

15. The Miss Fat and Beautiful Contest, circa 1960

16. Ankle Pageant, 1930

17. Butlin’s Holiday Camp Pageant, 1952. Masks were provided so that they would only be judged by their figure.

So, what do you think? Are the contests that we have now better? Why do you think we don’t see much of them today? Share your ideas below!

Preview photo credit Bettmann/Getty Images