And #this #shoe. #zahahadid #unitednude
In which Cristen traces when and why we stopped referring to women as “handsome” — unless they’re “of a certain age.”
In 1855, PT Barnum organized America’s first modern beauty pageant, which sought to crown “the handsomest ladies” of the time. Actually, an unmarried winner would receive a dowry in exchange for her lovely looks, and married gals would get the diamond tiara (to wear around the house?). The language Barnum used stuck out to me because it’s such a contrast to how we might, say, describe the newly minted Miss USA; Erin Brady is certainly a lot of things, but “handsome” doesn’t come to mind. In Barnum’s days, though,that “handsomest” descriptor had developed a striking specificity.
Ear-deep in watermelon, a boy eats a juicy slice at a festival in Florida, December 1963.
Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic