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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.

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.

( In September 1920, Atlantic City Businessmen staged a “Fall Frolic” to secure summer tourism past Labor Day.

This city-wide festival was highlighted by a spectacular rolling chair parade down the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk.

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.

Subsequent city finalists would be judged on personality and social graces during citywide summer events.

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.

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 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.

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.

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