This story now
IN History & Culture ON 12 Oct, 2015
What makes a woman pretty? Her eyes, neck, legs, slender back, sweet smile -- or is not just a mere sum of the parts but rather a complex achievement as a whole, living person? Well, whatever your criteria, one thing's for sure: pretty ankle contests were prominent nearly a hundred years ago. Back then, pageants revolving around the physical culture of women were typical, and individual parts were often judged.
Aside from ankles, arms and legs were also evaluated. To prevent any form of bias, the contestants would be hidden behind curtains or any sort of cover.
Well, what are you waiting for? Go judge these historical ankles and legs right now.
Taken on July 10, 1930, we see a police officer merrily evaluating women's ankles at Hounslow, London. Note how one woman is peeking from behind the cover.
Shot in 1932, a couple of men and a posh woman reach out for the best ankles in Kent, England.
Perhaps my favorite shot, this was taken on June 25, 1936. Instead of men, a woman with a polka dot top evaluates the ankles of contestants.
Ankle judging is a serious business, as observed in this event that occurred in June 21, 1933. We don't really know what their criteria is, but it probably takes its toll on both the judges and the participants. They must be so tired from keeping those perfect looks.
Instead of mere curtains or blankets to hide the faces of the participants, this contest for the prettiest legs in Paris in 1950 utilized better-looking covers.
The women raise their respective numbers. If you look closely, someone forgot to hide their underwear while at the contest.
Taken on November 7, 1953, Miss World competitors sit on the wing of a BOAC Comet airplane and flaunt their legs, to the delight of the men.