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Once there, frolic organizers placed the young women in an “Inter-City Beauty” contest in which the judging was largely based on their general appeal in appearance, personality, conversations with the judges, and interactions with the crowds.
In order to build hype, the women were later put in the running for the Golden Mermaid trophy given to “The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America.” Margaret Gorman swept both events.
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.
Each individual winner’s prize would be an all expense paid trip to Atlantic City’s Second Annual Fall Frolic as an honored guest.
It is in her type that the hope of the country resides.” Despite the best efforts of the pageant officials, the pageant gained a reputation for being a little risqué.
Annual protests from women’s and religious groups questioned the morality of a beauty contest that featured bobbed hair and bare limbs.
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.
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In 1928, the protestors won, and the pageant was discontinued as commercial supporters withdrew in response to accusations that the pageant lacked decorum.