One daughter has made her mom Internet-popular in a matter of days. Recently, Twitter user @shipilkins uploaded a picture of her 43-year-old mother who looks nothing like her age, and it already has over 25K likes. After the tweet went viral, others started replying to it with photos of their own youthful moms. However, it became clear pretty early on that this "beauty contest" will have multiple winners because these gorgeous "participants" look as if they found the elixir of life!
Beauty contests, celebrating a woman as a symbol of community solidarity and fertility, has a long and continuing history in Europe and North America. However, you could say their modern form came to be during the second half of the nineteenth century when women were frequently displayed in publicly staged events across the US. These events were met with little protest as long as the occasion and its organizers were 'respectable.'
Women didn't wear swimsuits in public until the early twentieth century. The public staging of semi-naked women, however, developed together with modern popular culture, where low and high-class values became mixed and bathing beauties could be shown in movies and advertisements.
Eventually, everything came together in 1921, when Atlantic City hosted the first Miss America contest. So as not to offend public morals, the sensual aspects of the contest were obscured by a week-long, elaborate festival which included sports events, automobile races, as well as orchestra and choir competitions.
After receiving quite a bit of suspicion, beauty contests became really popular in the 1950s, with civil associations like the Jaycees and Rotary organizing them. Through mass media, the model of the contest spread all over the world. However, beauty contests still face criticism as people continue to argue that these events promote unrealistic expectations of what women are expected to, and should, look like.