Miami’s past emphasizes women’s phsyical beauty
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 01:09
Miami University’s men and women are known throughout the nation for their superb education, their ability to party and for the attractiveness of the student body. As it turns out, Miami has always prided itself on the attractiveness and overall appearance of its students, especially the women.
In March 1929, The Miami Student ran an article regarding the Student-Recensio Beauty Contest. This contest had begun in 1926 and each year a different judge ranked the beauties.
The occupations of the judges ranged from artists to movie stars to actors in Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club, a theatrical group that toured the country. These judges were considered to be “authorities of feminine beauty.”
Outside judges were brought in for this contest so that beauty would be ranked over popularity. These judges drew attention to Miami from Hollywood, other universities and the art world. Recensio explained the contest as a way to illustrate how attractive Miami women are to the rest of the country.
In 1929, of the twelve women who entered the competition, six were chosen by Randolph Coals, a renowned artist of the time who ranked the photographs of the six women in order according to their beauty. These photographs were then printed in the Recensio.
However, before the Recensio was released to the public, the real competition was for any Miami student to try to rank the women in the same order as Coals. The first student to do this would be awarded a free copy of Recensio.
At the time, The Miami Student said:
“The contest is being held to bring forth the semi-dormant appreciation of beauty that is in everyone and to see what correlation lies between the choices of a student body and those of a representative artist. It is open to all, but warning is given that choices should be made on the face value of the photographs alone to the absolute exclusion of knowledge of personality through acquaintance.”
This competition continued throughout the 40s, even in times of war when the Recensio itself was undergoing slight changes. Recensio in 1944 and 1945 became thinner and more full of women, and in these years has sections of photographs for those serving in the military.
The year 1949 was the last time the beauties were featured in Recensio. In 1948 only three beauties were highlighted, however, the number increased again in ’49 in its final year.