Miss America drops swimsuit round and won't judge contestants based on looks

Grant Boone
June 5, 2018

Gretchen Carlson, Former Fox News host and Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, announced Tuesday on Good Morning America that Miss America would be eliminating the swimsuit portion and dropping the pageantry aspect.

As one might imagine, nixing the swimsuit portion of the competition has caused quite a stir on social media, with opinions falling on all ends of the spectrum.

Miss America announced it would no longer include the swimsuit competition in future pageants on June 5, 2018.

But it has received its share of criticism for the swimsuit part of the competition, and, to a lesser extent, the evening gown portion, both seen as outdated by some. "You don't have to anymore".

"Miss America's new mission statement is: 'To prepare great women for the world, and to prepare the world for great women, '" said Regina Hopper, the group's president and CEO.

Organiser says they will no longer judge the candidates on their outward physical appearance. And Carlson was Miss America 1989. In 2016, she settled a lawsuit against former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, who stepped down from his role after mounting pressure from additional employees with similar accusations. They were replaced by an all-female leadership team, all of whom have past pageant experience.

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Now, the Miss America hopefuls from all 50 states and DC will be asked to show off their wits and passion in a live interactive session with the judges.

She said the changes will help the organization be more inclusive and empowering for all women.

The changes will be in place for the next Miss America competition, set for September 9 in Atlantic City.

"Miss America to ditch the swimsuit & evening gown competitions & will no longer judge based on appearance. The swimsuit competition has been controversial since the early 1920s, but it's been retained because the majority of the people like it".

And, if women hope to be taken seriously, particularly when it comes to issues related to sexual harassment, it probably makes sense to rethink certain aspects of such a pageant. Instead, contestants can wear whatever makes them feel comfortable as they talk about their goals and accomplishments.

Last year, the organization was rocked after sexist emails sent by Miss America officials denigrating former contestants' looks and intelligence were leaked.

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