ON THIS DAY, FEBRUARY 6, 1930 FIRST GREEK WOMAN IS CROWNED “MISS EUROPE”

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Aliki Diplarakou was crowned Miss Europe and named the most beautiful woman in Europe. The Greek brunette was 18 when she won the beauty pageant in Paris. In 1929 she had already become Miss Hellas

Aliki Diplarakou is crowned Miss Europe and named the most beautiful woman in Europe.
Aliki Diplarakou is crowned Miss Europe and named the most beautiful woman in Europe.

Aliki Diplarakou is crowned Miss Europe and named the most beautiful woman in Europe. The Greek brunette was 18 when she won the beauty pageant in Paris. In 1929 she had already become Miss Hellas. Diplarakou’s family lived in Athens but originated from Mani in the Peloponnese.

Diplarakou also participated in the 1930 Miss Universe pageant in Brazil. Aliki spoke many languages fluently and travelled the U.S giving lectures on ancient and modern Greek culture. She hit the newspapers when she dressed in men’s clothes and made her way into the monk’s sanctuary on Mount Athos, where women are strictly forbidden to enter.

Aliki has been seen as somewhat of a pioneer in the beauty contest world. In an era when it was believed that pageant winners with intelligence did not exist, she proved them wrong. She toured the United States giving lectures on ancient and modern Greek culture. Aside from her native Greek language, she also spoke fluent English, French and Italian. She made headlines when she dressed up in men’s clothes and smuggled herself into the monks’ sanctuary on Mount Athos, where no female had stepped foot since the Byzantine era.

When asked by reporters on how she became Miss Europe, she was quoted in Time magazine as saying: “My mother, some friends and I were at tea one-day last year at the British Embassy in Athens when someone for fun suggested we go look at the beauty contest being held in an Athens theatre. We went and sat in a box. The judges… suddenly called out my name. I thought they were fooling… When I tried to refuse, the President of Greece said I must accept as a patriotic duty.

Three days later I found myself in Paris. I won the European contest, and of course, had then to go through with it and go to Rio.”

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.