They competed against the winners of “professional” and “amateur” ranks, representing over two hundred women, for the elusive Golden Mermaid.Riding on a wave of popularity from the previous day, Margaret Gorman won this event, too.The first pageant winner reflected these changes in attitude towards beauty. She also bore a striking resemblance to silent screen star Mary Pickford, who was just achieving fame as ‘America’s Sweetheart’.
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She would also win a trophy for her appeance in the Boardwalk Parade noting her popularity with the crowds of parade-goers.
The next day, based on the popularity of the visiting Inter-City Beauties, they were also entered into the Bather’s Revue.
The event had become so big, results of the prize-winners were later aired nationwide via radio.
Although never before seen as a problem, concern arose over the fact that a leading contender for the “Miss” America title was a married woman.
With no rule barring her participation, she finished as a runner up.
But her inclusion fueled the fire started by women’s and religious groups against the competition as lacking in decorum.By September 1922 she became known as “Miss America.” In the ensuing years it would grow and reflect some of the most powerfully held attitudes towards what it meant to be an ideal American woman. In the decades just prior to its creation, there was a marked transformation around women’s roles in society.The years from 1900 to 1920 were rich with expanding social, political and cultural activity for women.Lesser awards to finalists include swimwear and trophies by designer Annette Kellerman, a woman widely known for her scandalous 1907 arrest for indecent exposure.While trying to popularize wearing a one-piece swimsuit with tights instead of the standard bloomers, Annette’s involvement raised many eyebrows. C.” for 1922 already selected, Margaret Gorman received a new title, “Miss America”.At a newspaper circulation manager’s meeting in Philadelphia, nine East Coast newspapers decided to hold photographic “popularity contests” from among their readerships to increase their circulations.