Curious photos from a Beautiful Legs Contest from 1949. The pictures raise lots of questions in my mind – aside from why you’d want to enter a ‘beautiful legs contest’ in the first place.
Why is one of the women wearing a different swimsuit to the others? Did they have to make the swimsuits themselves? All of the swimsuits seem to be slightly different cuts and styles even though they’re made from the same fabric. Was it part of the competition that you had to show off your sewing skills by wearing a home-made swimsuit (a bit like that episode of Dukes of Hazard when Daisy Duke entered a beauty pageant and re-built an engine (or something) as her talent).
It’s also a bit creepy that the girls are all wearing masks, although it’s a great improvement on other contests I’ve seen pictures of where the girls are literally in drawstring bags from head to bottom with just their legs sticking out.
From the pictures I would guess that number 24 won with numbers 1 and 32 the runners up. Thoughts anyone..?
Image source and copyright: Time LIFE Archive
This post made my day!! So great 🙂 I would totally enter a lovely legs competition if I had lovely gams, BUT if sewing my own swimsuit was involved I would have have to bow out haha 🙂
My other question is “Who is the sponsor of this event?” Was it a stocking company? Gosh I hope so because anything else would just be creepy. “Sponsored by..Sam’s Electronic Store”…ummm no 😛 BUT then maybe it was, look at all the men judges. I bet the only woman judge was wondering where she went wrong in life on being picked to be on this panel.
I’m sure the woman judge is the actress Patricia Neal which makes it all much more odd.
Yes, I think you’re right, although I suppose we’re more used to seeing her older. Very peculiar set-up!
The Deco Haus
This lovely leg competition was interesting! Lovely images too!
I also think the lady judge is Patricia Neal. She had distinctive eyes.
I guess the mask is to prevent the judges from being swayed by the girl’s facial looks.
And from what I see, yes, #24 deserves the win.
Your right that is Patricia Neal, and I think 24 should win too. Back in the day they had all kinds of beauty contests and titles. I think there was a a charm about it.
Too many judges. One comment “anything else would be creepy” about the sponsor. What difference would it make. It could have been sponsored by “Ice cream cones” for that matter. Bathing suits suck and distracting and Ill-conceived. As far as the legs go – it could be said there is not a nickels worth of difference among them all.
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Thanks for this fascinating post!
Honestly, it’s the first beauty contest I’ve seen where the girls were required to wear masks. If this was done to let the judges concentrate on their legs, the element of objectification is undeniable. (The less likely reason – to provide the girls with a degree of anonymity – can probably be discounted.)
Also, the shot of the girls with their backs to camera shows the importance attached to a display of derriere. This remains a factor in current-day bikini contests, where the line-up of contestants’ rear views never fails to earn the appreciation of spectators….
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