April 24, 2013

Way Back Wednesday: College Beauty Pageants

Have you ever thought about how social media has allowed us to be connected to famous people like never before?

It seems like celebrities are more approachable to us now, but apparently there has always been some element of this. Think about fan clubs and fan letters of days gone by...it wasn't high tech but it still got the job done.

In fact, there was a practice that got celebs really involved in the lives of some college beauties...as evidenced in the 1956 University of Tennessee Volunteer Yearbook.

And just who was this man of national renown? Why Tennessee Ernie Ford, of course! I wonder if he was the most famous person they could think of or just the only one who responded?

So these beauties were chosen from among UT's finest 1950s co-eds. Then photos of the top 21 (as decided upon by local judges...whoever that might have been) were sent to Tennessee Ernie Ford to decide which 6 were the prettiest. 

I get that this was a different time, but seriously? I'm really glad this tradition was put to rest by the time I attended the ol' University of Tennessee. It's hard enough to be a young woman, in college, trying to find your way in the adult world without having to be concerned what Tennessee Ernie Ford thinks of you. I think all the ladies were lovely. So there.