Miss America dropping swimsuit competition, among other changes

Geraldine Edwards
June 7, 2018

Miss America will be a competition, not a pageant, Carlson said on the show Tuesday.

The 2019 Miss American competition will take place in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on September 9 and air on ABC.

This is just one of several major changes coming to the 97-year-old annual affair. There's a big reason.

The event originated in 1921 as a bathing beauty revue, but will henceforth see candidates participate in a live interactive session with the judges rather than swanning by in high heels and high-cut swimsuits. No sooner did the news surface online, people were shocked and spilled their thought with a dash of humour. In May, Regina Hopper (Miss Arkansas 1989) was appointed president and CEO while Marjorie Vincent-Tripp (Miss America 1991) was named chair of the Board of Trustees. Whoever wins will go on to compete in this fall's Miss America.

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For decades young women from across the country have competed in the Miss America pageant, walking the stage in evening gowns and swimsuits.

At the same time, the organization announced that a "Miss America 2.0" website and campaign would be launching soon.

Tuesday's announcement was quickly added to the lengthy list of stunning changes that have reverberated through Hollywood, politics and workplaces around the world in the wake of #MeToo. "We think we're going to have a huge influx". Hopefully, that will be the case, and that those competitions will embrace these changes.

Carlson, meanwhile, has noted that the swimsuit portion has "not highly rated" compared to the talent portion, and shouldn't affect the show's popularity. "Until curvy women sign up and participate and overwhelmingly start getting their foot out there and participating, you're not going to see it as much because they don't feel they're accepted there, but they are".

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"We're no longer judging women when they come out in their chosen attire, their eveningwear, whatever they choose to do", she explained.

Carlson will be in Minnesota next week for the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant.

Carlson said she is not anxious ratings for the nationally televised broadcast might suffer because of the elimination of swimsuits. Girls train hard for it, that's not something to discourage. Meanwhile, men asked for the Mr America competition! The organization said women would display their talents, passion and ambition for filling the role of Miss America.

Social media users, including the reigning Miss America Cara Mund, used the hashtag #ByeByeBikini to show their support for the changes. That's straightforward. But the aim of Miss America is now more ambiguous, something that's evident in the event's few vague requirements, which state that each contestant must be: a woman, a USA citizen, single and never married, and "of good moral character".

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