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A Fascinating Peek Into Soviet Russian Beauty Pageants

A Fascinating Peek Into Soviet Russian Beauty Pageants  image

A Fascinating Peek Into Soviet Russian Beauty Pageants

The Soviet Union was notorious for its ultra-conservative ways. So when the beauty pageant ban was finally lifted in the 80s, there was a lot of catching-up to do!

In the USSR, beauty pageants were considered frivolous and ridiculous. But with the fall of the "Iron Curtain" came a flood of influences from the outside world. Not only did Russia feel the need to compete in the "Space Race", they also suddenly found themselves hosting beauty pageants.

The first ever USSR pageant was known as the "Moscow Beauty" contest. It took place in 1988 and has been followed by a slew of other similar contests ever since. Once Russia held their own pageant, there was no going back.

"The restructuring has allowed every ordinary person, every beautiful woman or one that feels beautiful, come and show themselves," wrote one of the event organizers, Marina Parusnikova.

The "sign up" line for this first contest stretched from the Metro stop all the way to the pageant's office. As it turned out, that moment in 1988 revealed just how intensely Russian citizens craved participation in a beauty pageant.

Keep scrolling to see photos of training events, mid-competition shots, and behind-the-scenes moments.

Via PRYF Live Journal, Messy Nessy Chic

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