By 1921, East Coast newspapers were looking for ways to increase their circulation.Newspaper organizations decided to sponsor photographic popularity contests from among their readership and awarded their respective winners with an all expense paid trip to the Second Annual Fall Frolic.They would become known as the Inter-City Beauties.Each individual winner’s prize would be an all expense paid trip to Atlantic City’s Second Annual Fall Frolic as an honored guest.As America moved headlong from the Victorian to the modern age, a new image for women developed, symbolizing the changing times.
Although never before seen as a problem, concern arose over the fact that a leading contender for the “Miss” America title was a married woman.
She would also win a trophy for her appeance in the Boardwalk Parade noting her popularity with the crowds of parade-goers.
The next day, based on the popularity of the visiting Inter-City Beauties, they were also entered into the Bather’s Revue.
Once there, frolic organizers placed the young women in an “Inter-City Beauty” contest in which the judging was largely based on their general appeal in appearance, personality, conversations with the judges, and interactions with the crowds.
In order to build hype, the women were later put in the running for the Golden Mermaid trophy given to “The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America.” Margaret Gorman swept both events.
It is in her type that the hope of the country resides.” Despite the best efforts of the pageant officials, the pageant gained a reputation for being a little risqué.