Beauty contests have been a tradition in the United States for nearly a century. Contests with names like “Miss Universe,” “Miss United States,” and “Miss [name of any city, really]” have attracted leggy and service-oriented ladies since the first Miss America pageant in 1921. But there have also been several other beauty contests with rather unique qualifications. One of these is Miss Perfect Posture.

Rib cage drawings show the effects of correct and incorrect posture

These posture-perfect competitions, sponsored by those in the chiropractic industry, sought out women with well-balanced stances and beautifully aligned spines.

Seeking perfect postures

Often contestants stood on two scales—one foot on each—and if the numbers came out even the lady in question had excellent posture. Sometimes the straight-backed hopefuls were also submitted to full-body x-rays to determine exactly how perfect their postures were, a practice which would not fly today.

Miss Perfect Posture Contest

In the end, only one could be named Miss Perfect Posture.

Miss Perfect Posture (1959)

Winner of Perfect Posture Contest

There were (are) a lot of other bizarre beauty competitions out there—Miss Drumsticks, Miss World’s Most Beautiful Ape, and Miss Atomic Bomb to name just a few. Search for more on any of these pageants or browse to find articles and history that are more your style.

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