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November 22, 1965


JAMA. 1965;194(8):905-906. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090210069021

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The first beauty contest to attract wide attention took place some years ago between three comely goddesses, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. The prize was an apple. Contemporary reporting did not reach standards of modern journalistic competence and many details remain unclear. We know, however, that the contest was judged not by a committee but by a single individual, and he, unfortunately, proved susceptible to bribery. Nevertheless, even in those days the successful candidate required a combination of pluriglandular efficiency, unblemished epidermis, and suitably distributed subcutaneous fat and connective tissue.

Over the years the ideals of fat distribution and other structural features changed from time to time and this change was reflected in the pseudoquantitation known as "measurements." Whether the changes in ideals bore any relation to simple gene frequency, or whether selective environmental factors were operative, we cannot tell.

In the modern beauty contest it is not enough that a

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