A chiropractic beauty contest? Check out this piece of history.

A chiropractic beauty contest? Check out this piece of history.

When the nation’s chiropractors descended on Chicago for a weeklong convention in May 1956, they threw a beauty contest.

The judges crowned Lois Conway, 18, Miss Correct Posture. Second place went to Marianne Caba, 16, according to an account in the Chicago Tribune. Ruth Swenson, 26, came in third.

But this was no ordinary pageant.

“All three were picked not only by their apparent beauty, and their X-rays, but also by their standing posture,” the Tribune reported. “Each girl stood on a pair of scales — one foot to each — and the winning trio each registered exactly half her weight on each scale, confirming the correct standing posture.”

At the time, contests like this were pretty common. They were held to burnish the reputation of the profession. “Basically, chiropractic had a PR problem. We were unlicensed in those days,” Dr. P. Reginald Hug, a past president of the Association for the History of Chiropractic, tells Shots. “We were the new kids on the block and medicine didn’t like us.”

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