Gallery: Beauty Queens of the 1920s

Beauty Queens of the 1920s

Whatever your personal feelings about beauty pageants, they serve as a great reminder that fashion dictates what each generation considers to be beautiful. These 1920s title-holders, many of whom won the coveted Miss America crown probably wouldn’t have thought to even enter the competition today. I’m guessing unless you have pneumatic breasts, perfect teeth and a thigh-gap you’re currently very unlikely to make it through to the final round…

I’ve got some great photos of 1950s beauty queens too which I’ll post later in the week. It’s fascinating to see how the ideas of beauty had changed in just 30 years! Which one of these girls would you have awarded the crown to..?

Above: Neptune (Hudson Maxim), Miss America (Margaret Gorman) at Atlantic City Carnival in 1922

Beauty Queens of the 1920s

Norma Smallwood, Miss America 1926

Beauty Queens of the 1920s

Margaret Gorman, first prize beauty, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Beauty Queens of the 1920s

First Miss America Margaret Gorman posing with her dog named “Long Goodie”. 1925

Beauty Queens of the 1920s

Inter-city beauties Ethel Charles (hostess, Miss Atlantic City), Nellie Orr (Miss Philadelphia) and Margaret Gorman (Miss Washington, D.C.) at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Gorman would be crowned winner at the very first Miss America pageant. 1921.

Beauty Queens of the 1920s

Mary Katherine Campbell of Columbus Ohio, the only woman to hold the Miss America title twice. She is pictured after winning her first title, in 1922.

Beauty Queens of the 1920s

Miss Universe 1928, Ella van Huesen of Chicago, stands with Miss Universe 1927, Dorothy Britton of New York. Date 1928


Hazel Forbes (nee Hazel Froidevoux), Miss Long Island, Miss United States in the Paris International Beauty Pageant of 1926 (at age 16), Ziegfeld girl, actress, dancer and millionairess; full-length portrait, standing, facing left, nude, with cloth draped over part of her body.

Image source and copyright: 1, 3, 4, This is a press photograph from the George Grantham Bain collection, which was purchased by the Library of Congress in 1948. According to the library, there are no known restrictions on the use of these photos. 2, 5, 6, 7, This media file is in the public domain in the United States. 8, This work is in the public domain in that it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice.

3 thoughts on “Gallery: Beauty Queens of the 1920s

  1. Pingback: Gallery: Beauty Queens of the 1920s | amatastic

  2. Jessica

    How sweet, and yes such an interesting documentation of style, fashion and the modes of the days gone by. Hazel Forbes looks absolutely divine in her full length portrait! x


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