When was the first world beauty contest held?
The first INTERNATIONAL BEAUTY CONTEST in Britain was held at the Pier Hippodrome in Folkestone on 14 August 1908 and attracted 3 English entries, 3 French, 1 Irish, 1 Austrian, 1 American and ‘a number of fisher girls from Boulogne’. The latter appear not to have been included among the official French contingent, presumably because they had not been through any eliminating rounds. The admission price of 4 s entitled each spectator to three Wing coupons, the whole audience being empanelled as judges. The winner of the first prize, a Spencer piano, was 18-year-old Miss Nellie Jarman, a shopkeeper’s daughter from East Molesey, Surrey. The reporter from the Folkestone Herald declared that it was only too apparent that the audiences were determined to have a native born winner.