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contestsaDetroit News. April 22, 1931. Beauty contests in the Twenties and Thirties were forthrightly about female nubility and pulchritude and thus had all the respectability of today’s wet t-shirt contests. They subsequently acquired a toehold in the mainstream during WWII, when beauty queens were recruited to sell war bonds and entertain the troops. By the 1950s, pageants had become as wholesome as apple pie and as hypocritical as Elmer Gantry. The conflicted, sanitizing urge to dilute, deny and obscure the fundamental and irreducible boy-I’d-like-to-fuck-her agenda of beauty pageants is what gives rise to agonized weirdness like

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