The concept of beauty pageants have been around since 1854 when P.T Barnum, known as the world’s greatest showmen” and owner of a dime museum attempted to construct a beauty contest but failed to do so because of women protesting against publicizing beauty.
However, it was until the twentieth century that beach resorts began to hold regular beauty pageants as entertainment for the rapidly growing middle class. In 1921, in an effort to have tourists stay for a longer visit past Labor Day, Atlantic City organizers staged the first Miss America Pageant in September. Emphasizing that the contestants were both youthful and beautiful, the Miss America Pageant brought together issues of democracy and class, art and commerce, gender and sex and started a tradition that would grow throughout centuries.
In 1839, Scotland was the first to bring back an ancient tradition that chose one girl to be the “queen of beauty.”
The contests attracted wide attention and numerous audiences. In 1921 beach resorts began to hold regular beauty pageants as entertainment.
by early 1960s numbers began to increase, in 1964 there were over 35,000 participants, causing an increase on age division for participants. The modern child beauty pageant emerged in the early 1960s, held in Miami, Florida.