History of Beauty Contests and the Ideal Female Measurements of the 1950s

History of Beauty Contests and the Ideal Female Measurements of the 1950s

This is an article about the ideal female measurements, and a short history of beauty contests. Did you know that the first Miss America was 5 foot 1, weighed 108lbs, had a 30 inch bust, 25 inch waist, 32 inch hips and brown hair with blue eyes? In comparison, Evelyn Ay, the 1954 winner, measured: 5’8, 132lbs, 37-24-36.

In 1938 the Mrs. America was started, and from 1947-1953 held in Asbury Park NJ but moved to Ellinor Village Florida for the 1954 contest. Mrs Erna Snyder was Mrs. America in 1954, and her measurements were: 5’4, 115 lbs, 34-23-34.

Lastly, here is a chart and a picture to demonstrate the perfect female form of the 1950s, as decided by Vincent Trotta, a Miss Universe judge. He claimed that it was proportion, so a woman could be taller or shorter, just proportional.

The “perfectly proportioned” 5’4 woman of 1953 measured:

  • shoulder slope 20 degrees
  • neck 14 and 3/4
  • 35.5 bust
  • 22.5 waist
  • 36 inch hips
  • 22 inch thighs
  • 12 inch calfs
  • 15 inch knees
  • 8.5 inch ankles

Interesting history of beauty competitions, eventhough I don’t quite understand it all!

About The Author

Jessica Kay Murray

Professional WordPress nerd. Lover of all things older than me. I am fascinated by early 1900s labor and feminist history, and have a sporadic addiction to reading nonfiction about those things on Archive.org. I scan old photographs and ephemera when I get really super bored. On Etsy I sell vintage clothing that I got as part of an interesting trade deal a few years ago.

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