The spectacle of the modern beauty pageant is creepy enough as it is, and the irony of a toad like Donald Trump assessing women for their desirability is not lost on me. Still, most beauty pageants at least maintain a façade of depth. Sure, they uphold weird standards of virginal purity, and yes, there’s a swimsuit “competition,” but there are also talent contests, points for personality and everyone at least agrees to pretend that they’re aiming for scholarship programs.
Not so for this “Beautiful Eyes” contest held at a British holiday camp in 1958.
The women’s faces are covered below the eyes and their bodies are hidden below the neck, apparently to ensure the judges will properly isolate the single body part they’re supposed to be evaluating. As if that wasn’t already creepy enough, one judge—he’s a pervy looking motherfucker, too—actually walks down the line and handles the women’s faces like they were show dogs, eventually pulling down one woman’s veil to kiss her square on the mouth.
At least in the Miss America pageant you’re not expected to risk contracting oral herpes from one of the judges…