The Creepy Miss Beautiful Eyes Contest 1958 (And More Weird Photos)

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Beauty pageants have always been more than a little odd. But in readiness for the making of the female omni-bot and in the interests of equal opportunities in beauty pageantry for “non-pin-up types”, in 1958 researchers went to the Butlin’s holidaycamp in Clacton, Essex, UK, to find the woman with the most “Beautiful Eyes”. To the winner a career in public ribbon cutting.


To ensure the judges focused only on the eyes, the women were dressed in yashmaks and stood in horsebox-style stalls. We’d have argued for a no-touching rule but one judge saw fit to cup the women’s faces as one might inspect a camel or greyhound before tugging off “provocative” 19-year-old Pauline Mitchell’s veil to kiss her on the lips.


Clacton beauty contest


One plus point pointed out by the narrator is that, “Now we know why women in the Middle East look so… so intriguing.” We also know how wars start:



That wasn’t the first Miss Beautiful Eyes contest.


Beauty contest in Cliftonville. Photograph. 1936.  (Photo by Austrian Archives (S)/Imagno/Getty Images)

Cliftonville. Photograph. 1936.


UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1930:  Beaty-contest for the most beautiful eyes of Paris, The woman with the number 7 won, Photograph, Around 1930  (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images)  [In Paris fand ein Wettbewerb f?r die sch?nsten Augen von Paris statt, Teilnehmerin Nummer 7 wurde Siegerin, Photographie, Frankreich, Um 1930]

Paris 1930



If you think that beauty contest’s weird, get a load of this from 1970.

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