We’ve Come a Long Way: Mrs America Contestants Were Once Judged on Their Potato Peeling!

It’s hard to imagine a Mrs. America contestant today being asked to prove how well she peels a potato or makes a bed. Yet in 1951, as this video shows, the decades-old contest used to judge contestants not only on their looks but also for their homemaking abilities. Times and standards have really changed! In the 1950s, postwar America placed a premium on women as the centers of their homes, and this was reflected in the pageants of the time. Nowadays, the Mrs. America contest doesn’t ask its contestants to peel potatoes; our standards today place a greater emphasis on looks. We’ve come a long way since the contests of the 1950s — but we still have a long way to go.

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