Mandlig skønhed. De første danske skønhedskonkurrencer

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The first male beauty contests in Denmark occurred from 1902-1917. Presumably, Eugene Sandow’s bodybuilder competitions in London in 1901 inspired the Danish competitions. As the eroticized sex, Danish women could not show up naked on a stage around the year 1900, while men could appear more neutral as a neo-classicist attempt at showing a ‘handsome physique’ in tune with both art and medical science. The Danish media witnessed the beauty pageants with mixed emotions. On the one hand, they saw them as liberating – on the other hand, the press criticized them for being reminiscent of cattle shows. The disappearance of the beauty pageants after 1917 may be related to The First World War promoting a kind of man that was less occupied with cultivating the body than cultivating the nation. From about 1920 to 1965, a society based on the housewife finally placed the man as the sole breadwinner and the woman as the desirable and attractive guardian of the home. Under these circumstances, many people started to neglect male beauty.
Translated title of the contributionMale beauty. The first Danish beauty contests
Original languageDanish
Article number442
JournalTEMP - tidsskrift for historie
Issue number23
Pages (from-to)48-78
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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