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The inspiration for Beauty Contest is a 1950s black and white photograph from Vicky Hodgson’s family album taken by a professional photographer when she was two or three. This photograph is mounted on a card measuring 14 x 21 centimetres and was entered in the Sunday Dispatch Beautiful Child Contest by her mother. In this picture, she is sitting between a table and an embossed backdrop, dressed in a velvet dress adorned with a lace collar. In Beauty Contest, she refuses to sit dutifully and instead disrupts the notion of a beautiful child and the sexist stereotype of 'a nice little girl' by crying. She is comforted by a cake decorated with cream that smears her face when she eats it, thus ensuring that she is no longer a suitable subject for a beauty contest. Beauty Contest was exhibited in Headstrong: Women and Empowerment at the Centre for British Photography, London, 2023.

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