By 1921, East Coast newspapers were looking for ways to increase their circulation.
Newspaper organizations decided to sponsor photographic popularity contests from among their readership and awarded their respective winners with an all expense paid trip to the Second Annual Fall Frolic.
The event had become so big, results of the prize-winners were later aired nationwide via radio.
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”.
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.
As America moved headlong from the Victorian to the modern age, a new image for women developed, symbolizing the changing times.
According to leading magazines and periodicals of the time, the modern woman was vigorous. This was an unprecedented break from the rigorously controlled physicality prescribed for the ideal 19th century woman, with its emphasis on delicacy and fragility.
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.
Over the years, Miss America has continually made a difference in people’s lives through her charitable and community service endeavors, using her national platform to educate millions of Americans on important issues facing society.
Miss America is more than a title, it’s a movement of empowering young women everywhere to achieve their dreams by giving them a voice to inspire change and by honoring their commitment to helping others.
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.