My challenge blog for Lunagirl Vintage Images, featuring fun creative challenges with prizes, projects, freebies, holiday and seasonal info, and more!
A place for mixed media artists, card makers, scrapbooking enthusiasts, fabric artists, creators of jewelry, altered art and crafts of all kinds.
Would you like Lunagirl to sponsor a challenge on your blog? Email me at INFO@LUNAGIRL.COM. :-) I'll provide images for your DT!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Some "Bathing Beauty" History :-)

Just for fun, here are two panoramic photographs of a "Bathing Girl Parades."  These parades were all the rage in the 1920s.  They began as events sponsored by newspapers and local business interests to promote seaside tourist destinations.  They eventually grew into the beauty pageants that were popular Mid-Century and continue today.  The parade photographed above is from California in 1917, and shows some really interesting swimsuits and beachwear of the day!

The photograph below shows contestants in the Atlantic City Pageant of Inter-City Beauties in 1925.  In 1920 the Businessman's League of Atlantic City sponsored a "Fall Frolic," including an elaborate "bathing girl revue," to encourage visitors (and profits) after the end of the summer season.  It was a big hit, and the following year they advertised up and down the East Coast for beauty contest winners from other cities to come to Atlantic City to compete for the title of "Miss America."

The 1921 Fall Frolic, which began with the arrival of King Neptune on a barge surrounded by twenty bathing beauties, featured five days of parades and concerts, a fancy dress ball, as well as seven different bathing parade divisions featuring women, children, men, and comic costumes. Everyone in town dressed in bathing suits, including firemen and police! The first "Miss America" was 16-year-old Margaret Gorman of Washington, D.C.

The Atlantic City pageant grew quickly in the next few years.  Organizers took pains to stress the wholesomeness and "girl-next-door" qualities of the young contestants in skimpy attire.  According to the American Experience website at, "From the very beginning, the pageant was confronted with a conflict between the effort to present an image of innocence and virtue while, at the same time, promoting a spectacle where women paraded in public in bathing suits." Nowadays the pageant attempts to balance a "girlpower" attitude and scholarships with the fact that it's basically always been women parading around in revealing clothes!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate your visit and your comments! ~ Karen

Lunagirl on Etsy