Miss America drops key competition and will no longer judge 'appearance'
A dramatic change is transforming Miss America from a pageant to a competition
What was once the crowning moment of the Miss America pageant has now been dropped, and there will no longer be an event in which competitors walk onto the stage displaying their bodies in revealing swimsuits.
The organizers have announced that Miss America is no longer a pageant, but a competition and that the candidates will no longer be evaluated on their physical attributes.
Gretchen Carlson, former Miss America and chair of the organization's board of trustees, issued the statement which will transform the mythical title and what it means to millions of young women across America.
The evening wear competition will also be judged not on the chosen dress, but on the personality and character of the contestants, and their interest in the world around them.
"We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That's huge. And that means we will no longer have a swimsuit competition."
Gretchen Carlson, Instagram, 5th of June 2018.
The changes will be effective immediately and will apply to the next Miss America competition on September 9 2018 in Atlantic City.
The organization will embrace body diversity and the competition will now feature "women of all shapes and sizes," becoming relevant to young women who may not fit into the traditional, restrictive pattern of beauty.
The change in Miss America is a direct consequence of the #MeToo movement. Carlson took an active role by filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, which led to his dismissal from the network.
The transformation is also a reaction to an email scandal in which communications were leaked in which Miss America officials disparaged and commented on the intelligence, appearance, and sex lives of former title winners.
As a result of the scandal, the Miss America competition's top three leadership positions are now held by women.
Carlson does not think the removal of the swimsuits will affect ratings since the public's favorite part of the show has always been the talent competition.
Read more about the Miss America competition on our Twitter account @amomama_usa