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Over fifty newspapers from across the country sent representatives to compete in the “Inter-City Beauty” contest. She was expected to defend her numerous 1921 laurels as the returning champ.
In the end, it was Mary Katherine Campbell, “Miss Columbus” (OH) who was selected to succeed Margaret. It was estimated that three hundred thousand people attended.
The first pageant winner reflected these changes in attitude towards beauty. She also bore a striking resemblance to silent screen star Mary Pickford, who was just achieving fame as ‘America’s Sweetheart’.
Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labor, noted in the New York Times, “She (Margaret Gorman) represents the type of womanhood America needs; strong, red-blooded, able to shoulder the responsibilities of home-making and motherhood.
She would also win a trophy for her appeance in the Boardwalk Parade noting her popularity with the crowds of parade-goers.
According to leading magazines and periodicals of the time, the modern woman was vigorous. This was an unprecedented break from the rigorously controlled physicality prescribed for the ideal 19th century woman, with its emphasis on delicacy and fragility.
They competed against the winners of “professional” and “amateur” ranks, representing over two hundred women, for the elusive Golden Mermaid.