The first pageant winner reflected these changes in attitude towards beauty. She also bore a striking resemblance to silent screen star Mary Pickford, who was just achieving fame as ‘America’s Sweetheart’.
Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labor, noted in the New York Times, “She (Margaret Gorman) represents the type of womanhood America needs; strong, red-blooded, able to shoulder the responsibilities of home-making and motherhood.
( In September 1920, Atlantic City Businessmen staged a “Fall Frolic” to secure summer tourism past Labor Day.
The next day, based on the popularity of the visiting Inter-City Beauties, they were also entered into the Bather’s Revue.As America moved headlong from the Victorian to the modern age, a new image for women developed, symbolizing the changing times.According to leading magazines and periodicals of the time, the modern woman was vigorous. This was an unprecedented break from the rigorously controlled physicality prescribed for the ideal 19th century woman, with its emphasis on delicacy and fragility.Sixteen year-old Margaret Gorman, “Miss Washington, D.C.” (and a Mary Pickford look-a-like) would eventually win the Watkins Trophy in this event.