At this point, if Miss America is all about “inclusivity” why not just merge with the Miss Plus America?
But hey guys don’t worry. You can always checkout the swimsuit competition at the “Miss Bumbum” pageant. Oh wait, nevermind.
From Yahoo: Miss America, the yearly pageant that has become famous for its controversial swimsuit competition, has now announced it will be doing away with the bikinis.
On Tuesday morning, Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News anchor and now the organization’s chairwoman, said that Miss America is no longer judging women on their looks. “We are no longer a pageant,” she said. “We are a competition. We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance… It’s going to be what comes out of their mouth that we’re interested in when they talk about their social impact initiatives.”
She also said they want the program to be inclusive to women who might have felt shut out of the competition previously. With those efforts in mind, they will be revamping the evening gown portion, allowing women to now wear whatever they want. Instead of the swimsuit portion, the New York Timesreported that contestants will participate in an interactive session “where she will highlight her achievements and goals in life and how she will use her talents, passion, and ambition to perform the job of Miss America.”
In terms of ratings, Carlson said audiences actually prefer the talent portion of the competition, and that this is a new beginning for the organization amid our current cultural revolution. Carlson, who’s also a previous Miss America winner, was one of the first women to come forward during the present #MeToo movement when she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, the former Fox News chairman.
The Miss America Organization was also part of a recent harassment scandal after it was discovered that the previous CEO, Sam Haskell, had sent vulgar, slut-shaming emails to other members of the Miss America staff. Since then, the organization has made numerous changes and now has women holding seven out of nine board member positions.
The New York Timesreported that the organization considered removing the swimsuit portion in the early 1990s and that the organization’s chief executive at the time, Leonard Horn, said, “We are not stupid. We are very sensitive to the fact that the swimsuit competition has always been our Achilles’ heel. The swimsuit competition has been controversial since the early 1920s, but it’s been retained because the majority of the people like it.”
The competition’s changes will be in effect for this year’s broadcast on ABC on Sept. 9.