Classic Signals: Student represents TSC in beauty contest

By Emmy Liederman
Columnist 

In the 1960s, it was commonplace for collegiate women to participate in beauty contests, and many were oblivious to the sexism behind the pageant ranking process. In 1962, sophomore Karen Marcason was chosen as the College’s representative for Glamour Magazine’s “Best Dressed Girl on Campus” contest. Participants were judged by a variety of criteria, which included having a “good figure,” “beautiful posture,” and an “appropriate —- not rah-rah — look for off-campus occasions.” The article specifies that if Marcason wanted to win the competition, it was of the utmost importance that she maintained “shining” hair that was “not just neat but impeccable.”

Marcason proudly publicizes her nomination. (Photo Courtesy of TCNJ Digital Archives)

These standards of beauty have had a long-lasting effect on American women, and this article is a reminder how far society has come in promoting equality, but also how much work must still be done. Although the body positivity movement has skyrocketed in recent years, the same shaming that existed in 1962 can still lead to eating disorders and unrealistic body expectations for young girls.

Miss Karen Marcason, a sophomore elementary major, has been selected as Trenton State’s representative in the Glamour’s “Best Dressed Girl on Campus” Contest. Each year the fashion magazine sponsors a nation-wide contest to select the ten best-dressed college girls. The winners are featured in the August issue of the magazine.

Miss Marcason will be judged on these points: 1) good figure, beautiful posture, 2) clean, shining, well-kept hair, 3) good grooming—not just neat but impeccable, 4) a deft hand with make-up, 5) a clear understanding of her fashion type, 6) imagination in managing a clothes budget, 7) a workable wardrobe plan, 8) individuality in her use of colors, accessories, 9) a suitable campus look (she’s in line with local customs), 10) appropriate—not rah-rah—look for off campus occasions.

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