Beauty pageants were once a large part of our culture. In the old days, before and after World War II, there were beauty pageants for just about everything. I found pictures online that show regional beauty queens in every major tourist destination across Canada, and several corporate beauty queens representing our entire nation. In the age of print media and flash photography, this was seen as a great way to promote a retail business, and get people of all ages to focus on your goods. The prospect of finding and promoting a new celebrity attached to a company's name was a terrific incentive to corporate Canada.
For teen girls in the 1960s, the beauty pageant offered a real chance to finally be recognized as a princess, and start living life as a celebrity, if only for a year.
In my other job as a social media consultant and online marketing strategist, I've been doing some work for Miss Teen Canada and I've been studying beauty pageants and the illusion of stardom and celebrity cult that's so important to each event's overall success. For example, the size of the audience, and marital status of the Host, the quality and appearance of the designer swim wear, and of course the Judges themselves are key players in the media mix. The judges must be vaunted celebrities in order to bestow their celebrity status upon eager participants, and the excitement in the room builds as the evening draws to a dramatic conclusion.
Look at the SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL in this vintage 1962 era Beauty Pageant Tiara Crown worth approx $65 US on eBay. This was fashioned in California for some event that goes unrecorded today, but perhaps it was a splashy affair that was televised.
And this is my favourite, look at this 1971 DAWN BEAUTY PAGEANT cartoon comic book advertisement for a doll set that comes with a run way and HOST. This old comic book ad ran in 'Golden Age comic books' and other female teen publications as a promotion. The ad measures approximately 6x9 inches and features Dawn, Longlocks, Dale, Glori, Angie and Jessica.