Tuesday, March 02, 2010

There she is, Miss America

My favorite photo blog is Shorpy. They just have these great old pictures that really give you a feel of what it felt like to live in another era. Take this 1921 photo of three beauty queens and some gawkers at Union Station in Washington. Go to Union Station today and I bet you won't find any little kids dressed like James Cagney, only in knickers and bare feet. (You really should go to the website and see the picture full-size.) And you won't find such a dead-ringer for Jed Clampett anywhere either except maybe on Halloween. Nor will you ever see any American beauty contestants dressed so modestly.
I have to admit that it was a jarring experience going from 1921 to our modern, much ruder and coarser time. Some of the comments about the young ladies refer to them as "homely", refer to them as "gym teachers in the making" and wonder how anyone could have ever thought them attractive. My god, are we that far removed from nature and from reality that the only kind of beauty we can appreciate is our modern botox-and-boob job semi-cyborgs? Those are three lovely young ladies there (Miss Washington on the right was actually the very first Miss America) and if we can't see it there's something wrong with us, something that makes me wish I lived in another era.


Lisa Ashley Hale said...

This is really neat. I am too lazy to run around the intertubes to find interesting vintage stuff, so now I can add this to my collection. In fact, i m now going to make myself a chocolate milkshake, kick my feets up and peruse this little "homely" site. Thanks.

Norrin2 said...

I hope you like it as much as I do. I just marvel at stuff like baseball games where all the man are wearing suits and ties and hats. Check out this shot of King Street in 1915. Same horse and buggies as today. http://www.shorpy.com/node/4598

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