‘Prettiest Ankle’ Competitions Were History’s WEIRDEST Beauty Contest.

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Everyone has different standards of beauty. The way you see the world can vary with age, culture, education, experience, and so many other factors. It also very much depends on the time that you're living in.

Today, beauty competitions are based on a combination of looks, grace, intelligence, and experience (or at least they're meant to be). Backtrack to the Thirties and Forties and you'll find that ankles were all the rage. Yes, ankle pageants were a thing.

Hosiery was a lucrative business, and companies like Max Japy would sponsor the contests. To be fair, women's faces were concealed with a curtain so that judges could focus on their ankles.

Scroll below to view historic photos of ankle competitions.


July 10, 1930: A policeman examining ankles at a competition in Hounslow, London.

Fox Photos / Getty

1932: Another contest in Kent, England. Male judges would touch and measure the contestants' ankles.

Fox Photos / Getty

June 21, 1933: What were the perks? Free stockings from sponsors and of course, the reputation.

Fox Photos / Getty

June 25, 1936: Finally, a woman going down the line.

Fox Photos / Getty

Ankles weren't the only standard for beauty. Here's a competition for the prettiest legs in Paris in 1950.

AGIP/RDA/Getty

According to some accounts, age wasn't a determining factor. A 50-year-old woman once won one of these ankle contests.

Keystone-France /Getty

Here's an image of the contestants in a Miss World beauty competition sponsored by Mecca Dancing on Nov. 7, 1953. My bet is that men will probably admire stems until the end of time.

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