Story: Beauty contests

Beauty contest opponents, 1979

Beauty contest opponents, 1979

In the 1970s beauty contests were targeted by the women's liberation movement. Feminists viewed beauty contests as degrading and sexist because they were primarily based on a woman's looks and body shape. Describing beauty contests as meat markets was a common metaphor employed by protesters, including this group who gathered outside the cabaret hosting the Miss Wellington contest in 1979. Contest organiser Tom McDonald is rather cheekily showing a leg in response.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1979/3192/4

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Beauty contests - Beauty contests, 1960s to the 2000s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 June 2024)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Dec 2015