“We are no longer a pageant. We are a competition.”
Miss America contestants will no longer have to flaunt their bodies in swimsuits and formal gowns. Instead, they will have to show they know what the job of Miss America entails and wear something that makes them feel confident.
Former Miss America Gretchen Carlson, who will become the chair of the board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, said that it’s “no longer a pageant,” but now “a competition.”
From The New York Post:
“We’ve heard from a lot of young women who say, ‘We’d love to be a part of your program but we don’t want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit,’ so guess what, you don’t have to do that anymore,” Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America Organization, told “Good Morning America.”
“Who doesn’t want to be empowered, learn leadership skills and pay for college and be able to show the world who you are as a person from the inside of your soul,” she said. “That’s what we’re judging them on now.”
Instead of a swimsuit, the judges will ask the ladies to demonstrate their passion, intelligence and overall understanding of the job of Miss America.”
The contestants will wear clothing “that makes them feel confident, expresses their personal style and shows how they hope to advance the role of Miss America” instead of a formal gown.
Last December, the CEO and other top executives of the organization resigned after emails showed them making “lewd and sexist comments about past winners.”
Carlson became the first former Miss America named to lead the organization while four other former winners will serve on the board.
Mallory Hagan, former Miss New York 2012 and Miss America 2013, is happy with the changes:
Hagan, whose appearance was vulgarly criticized in emails by former CEO Sam Haskell and former president Josh Randle, said she was pleased with the changes.
“It’s shifting the focus to what it is that makes a Miss America, to what it is that she really does during her year of service, which is speak on an issue and interact with people,” said Hagan, who is running for a congressional seat in Alabama.
From ABC News:
The sweeping changes to Miss America aim to help the organization be more inclusive and empowering for all women. Carlson also said that she hopes the revamped competition will resonate more with young people.
“We are now open, inclusive and transparent and I want to inspire thousands of young people across this country to come and be a part of our program,” she said. “We want you and we want to celebrate your accomplishments and your talents and then we want to hand you scholarships.”
— Cara Mund (@MissAmerica) June 5, 2018
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